18 Mar 2001 | Voodoo realism


Holland, supposedly, is the religious melting pot of the world. This probably is being considered as such, since few westerners ever come to Western Africa. Some 99% of all Ghanaians are devout religious. Almost none, however, belong to the same church. In the north, through Arabic influences, many Ghanaians are Muslim. In the south, many are Christian, although to Western standards, Heathen would be a better description. Besides the only few forms of classic Christianism, most people belong to a church that, in some way, combines Christianism with Muslim and Animist (Voodoo or Juju) faiths.

One nice side effect is that nobody really cares what church you exactly belong to, just that you believe in God. Since everyone, at least up to some degree, seems to agree that all gods are one.


Roughly an hours drive away from Accra, the town of Larthe is the Juju capital of Ghana, and houses the most prominent Juju temple in the country. Since Peter's shadow partner is from Larthe, it was easy enough to visit the town and check out the temple. When we went there, it turned out that the keeper of the temple, some woman, had died a few months before and that the spirits had not yet appointed a replacement for her. This meant that no one was allowed to enter the actual temple. We got to see it from the outside.


The town of Larthe is located on the top of one series of hills and, because of that, suffers from a much wetter climate than Acrra. Half of our time in Larthe, therefore, it rained heavily. On the same stretch of hills, a little bit to the west, the British at the end of the 19th century, constructed a botanical garden to benefit from the much wetter climate. The place, Aburi gardens, were I went with Peter and Jean two weeks later, is a very relaxed place and a very pleasant escape from the crowded and dusty streets of Acrra.

Tagged with: Aburi Accra Ghana Larthe


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After obtaining an M. Sc in maths, Babak Fakhamzadeh started with an office job at a major blue chip company but soon realised he'd do better on his own. Babak is a traveling web guru with a penchant for doing good and a love for visual and experimental art. Together with Eduardo Cachucho, he won the World Summit Award in the m-Tourism and Culture category in 2012 for Dérive app. With Ismail Farouk, he won the Highway Africa new media award in 2007 for Soweto Uprisings . com. Check out Babak's CV.


Babak is currently in Brasil.
+55 219 6557 5388 (Brasil)

March 2015