I Am A Ghanaian Borga

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I am a Borga. I am only good for three things; sex, gifts and cash in that order. A couple of years ago, a Ghanaian adult movie came out. In one of the scenes, the female actress asks the male actor to grease her “Borga” style. What on earth is “borga” style greasing? Let me guess, that will be the greasing where you do “everything.”

A “Borga” is the cousin of a “Sugar Daddy.”

Growing up in Ghana, I saw a Borga as the jheri-curl Ghanaian man living in Germany or Italy who is in town for a visit. They were the men wearing the baggy stone-washed jeans or shorts with suspenders. The men I see with the prettiest girls in the neighborhood hanging out at the bar in the corner. As a young boy, I saw a Borga as someone with nice gifts from abroad. When my Borga uncles came to visit from Germany, I was eager to receive some candy, shirts and other items from abroad. The perception of the Borga has not changed much from decades ago. A Borga is still someone who comes bearing gifts and cash. A Borga is someone who is looking for some grease while they are in town for a visit.

I fit the definition of a Borga to a tee. I am the smooth talking Yankee boy in town for two weeks to have some “fun.” If I do not have a girlfriend already in town, I am putting my Borga appeal to full use. I may have already started lining up my greasing potentials before I visit.  I am putting them on notice. I am asking them what gifts I should get before I visit. They should know my generosity comes with a price.

I am loaded with cash or I look like I am loaded with cash. I am loaded with gifts like cell phones, tablets, watches, etc. I am hungry for some grease. Every opportunity I get for greasing, I am taking it. I only have ten days so my pursuit for grease is aggressive. I am offering gifts, cash, anything I can think of to get some grease. If I have a girlfriend, I am an early Christmas for her.

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I fit the definition of a Borga to a tee. I am the one slanging my English loudly for everyone to hear at restaurants and in the clubs. I have to be loud. How else will they know I am a Borga? Wait, I think Ghanaians can tell that I am a Borga from the way I dress and something they refer to as “ice.” The first time I heard the terminology “ice,” I thought it was a joke. Apparently people from abroad smell a certain way and it is referred to as “ice.”

I am the one chasing every available skirt I see at parties, at the mall, at church, in the clubs and in the bars. I am the one trying to use my borga powers to attract and woo you over. I am the one walking around with the Yankee and Babylon style dressing throwing my weight around. I am the one trying to impress you with my newly acquired accent abroad. Simply put, I am the one trying to get you to give me some grease.

I am one complaining about the system in Ghana, the traffic, the heat, the power, the poor and slow customer service. I have a complaint for almost everything I see or experience. I have to make a comparison of the systems, the traffic, the customer service I see in Ghana to that abroad. I am the annoying visitor who thinks he is smarter simply because he lives aboard.

I had a candid conversation once with a young lady in Accra. She and I were talking prior to me visiting. She did not need a rocket science degree to figure out that I may want some grease, not a serious relationship. I don’t blame her. How many young ladies have been greased by guys from abroad and left in the dust?

We come, we wine and dine you, we grease, we give out some gifts or some cash then we hop on a flight. End of story.

Well, it may be the end of the story if you did not leave any DNA behind. It may be the end of the story if you did not catch “anything” or give her “anything” as a result of the greasing. It may be the end of the story if all attempts to reach you after you return fails miserably.

As I am beating around the bush, she put me out of misery by declaring, “I know you want to sleep with me. I also need an iPhone. Get me an iPhone or the cash to buy one and you can have me.” She called me out to the carpet. Her candid approach sparks my curiosity about the “Borga” effect in Ghana. I told her I appreciate the offer but it felt like I was taking advantage of her. I told her the cash to help her was not an issue but I had a conscience. The fact that she was going to sleep with me just for a cell phone bothered me. She was surprised by my response. I may fit the definition of a Borga but I am not one, I told her.

The first time I felt like a true Borga was when an ex-girlfriend who lives in Ghana told me that her friends were making fun of her because she has a “Borga” boyfriend. Translation, she was only maintaining a relationship with me for the support I am giving her from abroad. That I am only maintaining the relationship with her for greasing purposes. The reference to me as a Borga was hurtful for both of us as we were trying to build a solid relationship. The support was part of the relationship but there was more. Throughout the whole relationship, I was referred to as the “Borga” by her some of her friends. Our relationship in their eyes, was a joke.

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Here is my take on this Borga matter. For those of us looking for real relationships, we hope potential mates back home do not see us as Borgas. For the ladies back home also looking for a serious relationship, they are hoping that the men abroad courting them are not Borgas just looking for some grease. A lot of men do not come to Ghana looking for every opportunity to get greased up.  They are not at the airport convenience store buying up boxes of protection before they board their flight. However, the impression that most Ghanaian men in town for a visit will look for grease has been instilled in the minds of many. Borgas therefore have a bad reputation. Due to this bad reputation, the following questions are asked frequently.

“Are you sure you are not only interested in my grease box while you are in town?”

“Am I going to hear from you when you go back?”

“Are you sure you are not married?”

The relationship Ghanaians abroad have with their fellow countrymen and women back home will never cease to exist. Ghanaians will continue to travel and return home for visits. The “Borga” label is not going anywhere. It is here to stay. Sex for gifts and cash is also part of every society, part of every civilization, part of our history.

So who is the joke really on with the “Borga” phenomenon in Ghana? Is it the Borga who foolishly thinks he has achieved his goal of greasing women while he was in town for two weeks? Or is it the women who exchange greasing for cash and gifts? Or is it  the people who doubt a long distance relationship with a Borga until the couple actually gets married? Or is the joke on the Borgas living abroad thinking their girlfriends back home are not taking advantage of them?

Who is the joke on really?

Kwadjo Panyin..

Author: Kwadjo Panyin

Kwadjo Panyin is a Ghanaian born relationship and lifestyle blogger located in Los Angeles, California. He holds three degrees; a Bachelors degree from Rutgers University in New Jersey, an MBA from Franklin University in Ohio and a Masters of Science degree from Northern Kentucky University in Kentucky. Kwadjo is a business professional who blogs for fun. His articles are about the challenges of dating and relationship anomalies. Writing, blogging, world travel, and photography are his favorite hobbies.

2 Comments

  1. Aqua says:

    Burga, summer bunnnies, same stuff. Great article

  2. Editta says:

    I laughed my way through reading this one!! I haven’t heard the word “burga” in a long time lol. Well I think it goes like this, if the “burga” and the lady have an understanding where they both know it’s nothing serious and they’re both in it for what they can get it’s a win-win situation for both!! Kind of a friends with benefits thing!! However if one party is thinking more of a long term thing and the other see’s it as a fling then of course the joke is on the person who wants more than a fling!! In terms of whether other people think their friend’s relationship with a “burga” is a fling or not, the joke is on them. Who cares what people think!!! The most important is what the 2 people in the relationship think, never mind anyone else!

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