‘Unconventional’ Business at University of Ghana Congregation


A parent with her ribbon in its right place as she waits for her ward

We all know congregation ceremonies provide brisk business opportunities for many businesspersons: photographers, pastry chefs (they provide the cakes, the meat pies, the sticky buns, the Monkey Bread, etc), taxi drivers, ‘pure water’ sellers, soft drink vendors…name them. These entrepreneurs provide goods or services and get paid. We can say without the slightest fear of contradiction that they are conventional businesses.

A man with a ribbon on his chest

A man sporting a ribbon

But for Auntie (obviously not her real name), providing graduands and their guests with ribbons is the perfect business on a graduation day. Of course, selling ribbons will not, should not be unconventional. But it is Auntie’s approach that is:
As soon as a graduand and their guests arrive at the congregation grounds, Auntie rushes to them, greets them with exaggerated courtesy and pins a ribbon to the lapel- (or anywhere on the torso) of each one of them. And then asks for a “donation to support herself”.

“You can give any amount,” she would add. Many people usually get stunned for a moment, but often recover in time to ‘donate’ to her cause! And that is it! She is in business.
Some refuse to allow her pin the ribbons to their clothes, but she would, nonetheless, ask for the ‘donation’. Some donate, others don’t. And if you were at the Great Hall area of the University of Ghana today( 18-11-2016) and saw the number of people sporting ribbons, you would agree with me that the lady is in good business. Unconventionally.

Auntie, the unconventional business woman

Auntie, the unconventional business woman

Emmanuel Asakinaba

Posted by Emmanuel Asakinaba

Student, UG. Poet. Activist. Writer.

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