After a hectic week in Accra’s snarled traffic and open drains, the need for peace and salubrious breezes becomes urgent and paramount.
If you head in a north easterly direction from Accra towards the Akuapem Ridge and turn off at the Pantang Junction, you will arrive in Abokobi.
At the southern edge of this verdant village is a 1200 sq foot bougainvillea encrusted barn like structure located within a half acre of lush lawn interspersed with mature fruit trees and acacias.
The barn is fronted with stone and topped with an A- shaped roof with six foot eaves. A carved wood Taurus head stands watch by the front door.
An iron spiral staircase- looking sculptural beneath the 21 foot ceilings, ascends to the wood floor of the loft with its recessed sleeping alcove.
Floor to ceiling windows let in glorious light and more than adequate cross ventilation.
African rugs with bold designs from the High Atlas, Cairo and Ethiopia are strewn over the herringbone patterned brick tiled floor and the long span wood planks of the loft floor. A large intricately patterned Bedouin wool saddlebag hangs over the loft railing.
West African pre- colonial wood furnishings comprising solid mahogany cushioned armchairs, a three seater couch, side tables, bookcases, a screen, sideboard, trunks and armoire lend the space a refined nostalgic air.
A variety of antique African textiles; kente, ashoke, Bamana cloths, Kuba pile cut raffia and tuareg blankets provide texture and further visual interest.
The simple clean lines of classic Western mid twentieth century metal and wood furniture provide further punch; there is a gorgeous Heywood- Wakefield chest of drawers in the loft’s sleeping alcove.
Back on the ground floor, in a corner sits an enamel painted wood stool from the workshop of the world famous Kane Kwei – dubbed the “fantasy coffin maker”.
If you lift up your gaze towards the concrete beam supporting the loft floor, you will discover a line of artifacts comprising a pair of antique fencing masks, a 19th century German army metal helmet and a vintage black peaked equestrian helmet…..all very useful if you should suddenly feel the need for head protection.
A wood and metal repoussé teardrop five foot long mirror anchors another wall space adjacent to the top of the spiral stair.
The extensive egg shell colored interior walls between the huge windows have been used to display paintings by contemporary Ghanaian masters; Ablade Glover, Ato Delaquis, George Afedzi Hughes, Anane Asare and Cecil Deggar aka Bigfoot.
In addition, at regular intervals along the walls hang over a dozen metal Ethiopian crosses in different styles and sizes- one of them has a religious painting hidden at the intersection of the arms.
A monumental wood sculpture by Oko Mantey, “Faces of Peace” sits majestically below the window at the far end of the entrance door.
Providing balance to the sculpture is a colorful large framed cloth Woodstock 94 poster near the entrance.
No TV in sight, but loads of art books, art mags, history books, travel literature and great novels….and a unique wood wine rack fashioned from the upturned root system of a giant tree.
And you are a brisk 20 minute walk from Fort Fredericksgaave- a fully restored Danish hilltop historic site with a micro-climate. From there, the Osu Castle is visible.
Numerous picturesque biking and hiking trails wind through the surrounding okra and maize farms from Abokobi towards the Akuapem Ridge.
Hey, hey, almost forgot; just over the bougainvillea covered south wall of the barn compound lies Mr. Ablorh’s thriving plantain farm which includes over a dozen oil palm trees. If you are as nice to him, as you should be, he will on most mornings leave a pot of fresh palm wine ( aka ntumkum) just for you.
Beware, too much of this particular champagne like beverage and you will certainly have an out of body experience just like I had during Prof’s 80th birthday party at Tafo eleven years ago.
Have a great weekend and keep it simple and artsy.
3 night minimum
Price on application.
Nii B. Andrews