Ashawo is the most commonly used word Ghanaians use to refer to prostitutes. Apart from Ashawo, there are other words people use to call prostitutes but Two-two is more used than those words.
Female sex workers are at times called ‘two-two ni baa’ and the origin of the word dates as far back as the early 20th century in Takoradi and Sekondi in the Western Region.
When industrialization started in the Western Region, the place became the hottest destination for most Ghanaian men.
As the place became a popular destination for people to easily find jobs, sex workers also saw the place as the perfect destination for them to go and make more money.
Sex workers came from other parts of Africa, especially Nigeria to explore the markets in Takoradi and Sekondi.
At the early stages, only the local men were patronizing their services.
The sex workers saw that the foreigners were also interested in their services but also noticed that they were shy.
Therefore, in other, for the sex workers to get into contact with the foreigners and render their services to them, they started lining up at vantage points.
The foreigners after noticing where the sex workers line up started passing through those areas.
However, one thing was standing between the giver of the service and the receiver of the service.
And that was the language barrier. Takoradi and Sekondi during the industrialization became a multi-cultural city but the language was still a problem between the locals and the foreigners.
The foreigners then devised a means to call the sex workers whenever they reach where the sex workers were lining up.
They will raise two fingers whenever they reach where the women were and invite two sex workers to take home.
As time went on, the raising of the two fingers turned out to be their name. And that was how sex workers in Ghana got the name ‘Two-two’.
According to the history, the women were also interested in rendering their services to the foreigners than the local men as the foreigners paid them more than the local men.
by: Nana Asabere