The Tilapia Myth: Episode 2

      Episode two (2) teaser: Grilled Tilapia is more expensive than smoked or salted Tilapia. However, before the craze for grilled Tilapia, there was smoked Tilapia and salted Tilapia popularly called ‘koobi’. The salted Tilapia (koobi) was recognized mainly for the unique taste it adds to local dishes, while smoked Tilapia is a chief fish for the middle class and for special occasions for all manner of people. Though smoked or salted Tilapia can be used for any meal and it would glorify the dish, smoked Tilapia in pepper, grinded in an earthen ware bowl, referred to as ‘agbameble’ by people of the Ewe tribe, is unresistable.

      The myth of prices and false wealth

      Ghanaians are ready to wait hours for a fresh tilapia to be grilled for them. Probably not because of the delicacy or the nutrients to gain from the tilapia, but the price to pay for it. Will you continue to burgain for a nice dress with a roadside seller upon seeing a friend? Or you will prefer custom dress. A lot of people are more satisfied with the price they pay for services or items than even the satisfaction they get from the service or item, even when they do not have the financial ability.

      Some people believe paying others to perform certain services they themselves could have done is more gratifying. For instance, people are ready to hire someone to clear their small-sized backyard instead of them grabbing cutlass or hoe for the job. If not for saving the cost incurred, at least it could serve as a form of exercise for the individual who is likely to be too busy for any workout. But to get the satisfaction that is obtained from grilled Tilapia, he or she would opt for a paid service.

      People are ready to spend a lot on Tilapia dishes during their weddings and even request services that they could not ordinarily afford during their weddings only to prove a point. A false wealth. The consequences which could be felt during their lifetime or during the lifespan of their marriage. From catering services to decorations to program outlines, there are many opportunities for new couples to either stay within their means or prove a false wealth status.

      Family gatherings and events are not very different from the Tilapian scenario of weddings. In the midst of family events or gatherings, family members, especially formal sector workers, are likely to present a status which is not real in terms of what they could afford. Formal sector workers, who may be earning less than those in the informal sectors, could suggest amounts to be contributed by family members that indicate higher payment obligations for formal sector workers.

      Church or religious gatherings or activities are another opportunity for people to present themselves as having financial abilities that they do not. By the mention of biblical quotations blended with the eloquence of the preacher, people are likely to donate what they do not have. It is true God provides, but a widow’s might was what she had and not what she did not have. That is the reason there is a high default rate on church promises.

      Rather than explain financial situations to children and carry them along in terms of the financial situation of the family, some parents may want to present themselves as having a solid wallet for their children. Driving them into debt further.

      People are ready to organize parties for either themselves or their children at a level that is above them. Parties or occasions are good to organize, especially when it has to do with positive celebrations, where individuals organize parties to celebrate achieving their next goals. The Tilapia in those parties are the level of expenditure involved which mostly take a substential portion of the individuals earnings. Worse of it is when an individual organize the party not to celebrate but to equalize or outweigh a rival. It would be more appropriate to send a home prepared meal to a convenient location to celebrate yourself or children than opting for a catering service at a location that charges for its space too. It is okay to do so if you can afford. Otherwise, you are just consuming a grilled Tilapia instead of a smoked Tilapia.

      Even though prices and alternative products/services are supposed to move together, a lot of people are fixated on the trends of the moment. The grilled Tilapia craze. For several reasons, people prefer grilled Tilapia to even smoked Tilapia, though both are Tilapia. Display of false wealth adds a little to individuals’ worth only for a short period, while the negative effect of such a display of false wealth is devastating and long lasting.

      Funny enough, siblings who used to select their desired smoked Tilapia for their meal, now consider grilled Tilapia as more of fish than smoked Tilapia.

      By: Asterisks

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