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Friday, August 13, 2010

Definition : Ghana-must-go

Prologue :-  in 1983  about a million Ghanaians were evicted from Nigeria –mostly Lagos.  In the rush to ‘cut-out’ of Naija , the refugees used cheap plastic bags with a distinctive ‘ghana-must-go’ checker pattern to pack their luggage and thus the word Ghana must go became associated with that type of plastic bag.
Fast-forward a couple of decades... mass looting and corruption is on the rampage; bags are now used to haul wads of cash to and from Abuja (from the briber’s jeep to the bribee’s  office)
The term Ghana-must-go has now  evolved  to have other meanings.
Today on Naija Words we will examine the different forms, colours and definitions of Ghana-must-go
Ghana-must-go (noun phrase) plural Ghana-must-gos.

1. A Large plastic bag used to carry luggage, usually with large distinctive checker boxes
 The bus touts stole the man’s Ghana-must-go at the car park; he was miserable.
 The boy kicked his cheating girlfriend out of the house and threw her Ghana-must-go in the gutter.

2. A term denoting a bribe, a container that a bribe or illicit/suspicious property is carried in.
Synonym : Brown envelope, Bribe , illegal money
        The irate journalist smiled out of the senator’s office with a small sized Ghana-must-go in hand.
        No ransom was paid: only Ghana-must-gos changed hands.
        The national cake is best severed in black Ghana-must-gos.


  1. Thanks for the history, so this happened in 1983.

  2. I used to carry those kind of huge bags minus the vertical and horizontal lines when i came into the metro. LOL.

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  3. This was in response to the 1969 legislation when Ghana enacted the Aliens Compliance Order, in which hundreds of thousands of immigrants, mostly Nigerian, were expelled from the country.

  4. thanks for your explanation of how the name come Ghana must go but today is use everywere here in Europe both white and black