The Day I Was Told I Drink Cheap Water in Ghana

3 min


Anyone who really knows me would know that I don’t care about what people think about me or anything—not even my mother’s opinion or perspective really matters to me.

I believe we all have a single life and no one should seek to interfere in the life of another or try to get anyone to conform to their expectations, worldview or whatever. We are allowed to have discussions and that’s it.

A friend of mine who may read this post visited me while I was in Ghana. I served her with some fine French Red Wine that I had bought and shipped from the U.K. This bottle of wine would cost about £12 to £15 and I was freely sharing with a friend.

After all, what are friends for?

Awake Bottled Water

I don’t think I am rich and I don’t think I am broke either. I have enough to own the things I need in life, provide for those I really care about and to travel whenever I want.

I visit Ghana 5 to 6 times in a year. I was there in October and I was there again in December.

Back in the UK, I usually shop from Tesco, Lidl or Sainsbury’s—depending on which one is closer to my route. I buy bottled water for my household from any of these places and I don’t even know what the brand names. I just pick whatever pack I find.

In Ghana, I see different brands of bottled water. When I have my meetings and eat at Marriot, they serve a different brand and when I am at Holiday Inn, I see a different brand too—Golden Tulip, Labadi Beach Hotel, Kempinski Hotel and others all serve some brands of bottled water that I am not familiar with—or let’s say I don’t even check.

At my own home in Ghana, the caretaker furnishes the fridge with water—usually, he buys packs of Bel-aqua, Voltic or Awake or whatever.

I do not know who owns these brands or even their prices. Water to me is water as long as it is clean.

I have friends in the UK who directly drink water from the pipe—and others filter pipe water before drinking.

I am well-travelled and it seems it is only in certain parts of Africa including Ghana that bottled waters have some other rubber/plastic seal on them. In the UK, I have never seen any bottled water that has another layer of rubber/plastic seal. But then in Africa, a lot of wicked people are there, who can pour whatever water into these empty bottles and sell them if the extra plastic seal is not placed on them, I am told.

So back to my friend.

While she was sipping the French wine, she asked for water—and I shouted to ask that some water be brought to us. That day, the caretaker had stocked Awake bottled water.

My friend took the water and said: “oh this is cheap water.” On bad days, I really leave people to their ways—because this is someone who is starting life, renting somewhere in Accra and trying to bamboozle her way in life with “big talks.” I have seen enough of these.

So, AWAKE is cheap water in Ghana—my mind registered it. I couldn’t be bothered to ask the caretaker about it—probably it was not that important in the grand scheme of things to me.

Then a few days after my encounter with this friend, I took an Africa World flight from Accra to Kumasi. In the plane, I saw an advertisement of AWAKE bottle water—with a touching message that every bottle you buy, 1 pesewa goes to a charitable cause, the National Cardiothoracic Centre to fight heart diseases.

Interestingly, when I discussed this incident with one of my other friends, he got furious and went on a tirade—saying I should have taken the bottle of wine and water away from this my other friend and asked her to leave.

Of course, that was not necessary but it clearly shows the mind-set of a lot of people in Ghana.

I do not know the price of AWAKE and that of any other bottled water in Ghana but I guess AWAKE may be cheaper in price on the market—hence this friend’s assumption that it’s cheap and it should be drunk by someone like me.

Does it really matter the price of the water we drink too, as long as it is clean?

It’s this sort of “bigsm” that is why a lot of people of our generation are swimming in depression and poverty.


Chris-Vincent Agyapong Febiri, Esq
I am Chris-Vincent Agyapong Febiri, a Lawyer, a Thinker, a Minimalist, a Writer and something like a Legal Polymath based in the United Kingdom; I hold 2 Master’s degrees in Law; International Human Rights Law (LL.M) and Legal Practice Course (LL.M) from University of Leicester and Nottingham Law School--and also a degree in Law (LL.B). I currently work at Adukus Solicitors in London--where I use my legal brains to kick real ass, for the good of my clients and humanity. Contact: [email protected]