Safe playgrounds and open spaces are not a common sight in Accra. It’s an ironic situation considering Accra is deemed a ‘Millennium City’ (we revel in labels). Parents, Guardians and adults seeking a very serene environment for moments of solace struggle to settle on one.
So, a couple of weeks ago when I got invited to the Mmofra Park by one of the people I consider a mentor, I obliged for two reasons: one, you don’t ever turn your back on a request from someone you honestly respect. Second, it was an opportunity for me to find out what really the Mmofra Park was about.
I’ve heard about Mmofra Park, an initiative by the Mmofra Foundation. I’ve been invited to events at the venue on more than two occasions but failed to honour the invitations on both occasions, sadly.
The Mmofra Park
Located at Dzorwulu, som 5 mins walk from the Abelemkpe traffic intersection (you turn right when you are driving from the Perez Church). As the name suggest, “Mmofra” which means Children or kids in twi, is a playground for children. The park is everything that the Efua Sutherland Children’s Park, deemed as the nation’s children’s park, is not.
The park is the vision of the famed playwright and activist, Efua T. Sutherland. According to information I gathered, she bought the land many decades ago when Dzorwulu was nothing like it is today. (Dzorwulu was considered an unfit area for human habitation. Today, it’s one of the prime areas in the city).
The Sutherland family converted the land into what their forebear had always wanted; a safe, serene and educative playground for kids.
It’s such a tragedy that a bustling city like Accra has next to no safe spaces or grounds for it’s inhabitants especially children. Early childhood development experts have indicated how important playing is in the development process of kids. An article published by the Guardian newspaper on child education in Europe showed that, kids in Norway grow smarter because the educational system places much emphasis on playing than rigorous classroom work.
One of the best things playgrounds like Mmofra afford is the opportunity for parents to strengthen the bond between themselves and their kids; for kids to bond with other kids; and also develop friendships with other families through play and education. The park is the perfect avenue for socialization and friendship making.
The park looks like a work in progress. It’s evidently clear that the owners have the intention of expanding the park. For now, kids can play on the swings, indulge in a game of basketball or kick some football around along with the usual running and other sporting activities. Parents could host birthday parties or picnics for the kids at the park as well.
Even though it’s a park for kids, the atmosphere offers the right ambience for adults who wish to do some reading, writing, thinking or indulge in mediation. The quietness is the perfect incentive.
With the city seeing a fast paced commercialization and occupation of every space of land thanks to gentrification and real estate developments, it is a resounding move to see there are people whose interest lies in the provision of excellent place for both leisure and educative purposes for young kids.
If you’ve never been there, you should visit the facility. For parents looking to spend some quality time with their kids on weekends and holidays, Mmofra Park is the ideal place for you. It’s good to visit the mall but spending time with your kids in an open space is an experience. Don’t worry about the cost. It’s extremely affordable.