Stories on wheels; the trotro style


Tro-tro” as widely referred to is the name given to Ghana’s mass transit vehicles. Tro-tro is patronised as a daily means of transportation by more than 80% of the people living in the two most populous cities in Ghana, Accra and Kumasi.

This is as a result of it’s affordability and accessibility. It has been a good source of employment for many young guys who serve as either the driver or conductor (mate as locally referred to).

The name Tro-Tro originate from the Ga language word “tro,” which means three pence (pence which is the penny currency coins used during Ghana’s colonial era). During those colonial days, the mass transit vehicle charged passengers three pence per trip, and therefore were referred to as “tro-tros,” and the name, since remains till today.

Currently, the name tro-tro has taken on a new shade, evolving to troski affectionately among the new generation of Ghanaian youth.

Notably, most of these vehicles (tro-tro) come with a wide range of inscriptions, either on the back, side windows and sometimes the windshields.

Whilst some of these words are religious, political and witty, some also carry great sense of motivation. This source of information may not be our ideal scholarly written books with some carrying unforgivable spelling mistakes, yet the significance of these messages cannot be overlooked.

The language in which these inscriptions are written differs from car to car in the country as Ghana is a multilingual state with English as the official language. They come in English and twi mostly though.

This car has the name of one of Ghana’s football legends (Michael Essien) inscribed behind it

Nevertheless, Reading and understanding most of these inscriptions might be easy for most Ghanaians.

It is jokingly believed that trotro cars are the hall of fame hub for musicians in Ghana. You might be privileged to see the likes of stonebwoy, Sarkodie, Daddy Lumba and many more of Ghana’s talents.

It is surprising that female artistes are not featured widely given how legendary some are. This perhaps will have to do with the tro-tro business being canvassed by men.

The next time you see your favorite artiste’s picture on a tro-tro car know that he’s a legend in the making or one as such.

Which of these captures your attention?

A tro-tro vehicle with a religious message
A message which reinforces morality
This message is carried in native twi which translates, “you are inquisitive” in English
This hilarious message is a misspelling of the English word “EXPERIENCE”



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