Some of the Nkyekyeraa wrapped in katemfa leaves. Inset: Abena Gyamea, one of the Nkyekyeraa sellers plying her trade on the street in Sunyani
Some of the Nkyekyeraa wrapped in katemfa leaves. Inset: Abena Gyamea, one of the Nkyekyeraa sellers plying her trade on the street in Sunyani

‘Nkyekyeraa’ - Most sought after corn meal

Nkyekyeraa, a local corn staple, is one of the common and favourite breakfast meals enjoyed by many residents in the Bono, Bono East and Ahafo regions.


 This meal has stood the test of time and modernity to favourably compete with modern breakfast food enjoyed in the areas.

Nkyekyeraa, made up of dry corn and few groundnuts is usually wrapped in a particular fresh leaf or corn leaves and boiled till it becomes soft for easy chewing.

It is a street food which can be found on the principal streets of Sunyani and all major towns and villages in the three regions.

The Daily Graphic gathered that the name of the local meal was derived from the way it was tied up after being wrapped in leaves before it was boiled.

"Kyekyere", an Akan word, means to tie up and "wa" means a small thing. Hence Nkyekyerewa has over the years been corrupted to become Nkyekyeraa.

Some of the Nkyekyeraa wrapped in katemfa leaves

Some of the Nkyekyeraa wrapped in katemfa leaves

The number of nkekyeraa sellers on the streets of Sunyani and its adjoining communities continue to increase daily because of the meal’s great appeal among the young and old, as well as its low cost.

The vendors are mostly women who carry the maize/groundnut meal in a container and roam through the principal streets to serve their customers.

Other people who sell the local meal are Hausa koko (porridge) sellers who place them alongside their porridge to attract patrons.


In most cases the patrons eat the meal without adding it to another food, but in recent times, patrons have found it convenient to combine it with Hausa koko and sugar.

Some patrons of Nkyekyeraa who spoke to the Daily Graphic explained that it tasted good when it was eaten with hot Hausa koko.

Others said they enjoyed it with sugar, milk or powdered milk.

It is now very common to see prominent personalities such as medical doctors, lawyers, lecturers and security personnel, among other high-profile personalities patronising it publicly on their way to their offices.

The nkyekyeraa meal

The nkyekyeraa meal

Nkekyeraa is patronised by both the poor and rich because of its affordability, with price ranging between GH¢2 and GH¢3.

The sale of this food has thus provided employment for some youth and the aged in the area, with some unemployed youth venturing into the trade to eke out a living for themselves.

The local meal is also now served in the morning at some social gatherings.

Organisers of such events place orders from the producers to prepare the local dish to serve their invited guests.


A producer and seller, Abena Gyamea, told the Daily Graphic that preparation of the local dish was very simple.

She explained that one needed to take the dry maize for dehusking, during which the grains were broken into pieces.

One could also dehusk the maize grains by putting them in a mortar and pounding them until they were dehusked and broken into pieces.

Mrs Gyamea said the maize was then soaked overnight to make it soft.

She explained that the soaked maize was then mixed with a little salt to give it good taste.

She said some groundnuts were added to the prepared maize, after which the mixture was wrapped one after the other in corn leaves or a local leaf known as “katemfe”, which was often found growing at the banks of water bodies, before boiling in water.

She said she had been preparing and selling Nkyekyeraa for years, adding that the trade in the meal was very lucrative, because it was highly patronised by the public.

Mrs Gyamea said venturing into the selling of the food on the streets did not demand big capital, explaining that with as little as GH¢150, one could start the business.

She said out of the business, she had been able to take care of her children's education and supported her husband to boost his livestock business.

Another seller, Fustina Ayamba, said she started the business with GH¢50 in 2019, explaining that she had become one of the major distributors of the meal to Hausa koko sellers in the Sunyani municipality.

Mrs Ayamba said she was ready to support in the training of individuals who were interested in venturing into the industry.


An Nkyekyeraa patron, Isaac Kwame Yeboah, said he had been enjoying the meal every morning, explaining that it was best if accompanied with hot Hausa koko.

He explained that when taken with Hausa koko it sustains him for a longer period than when the Hausa koko was taken with bread.

Mr Yeboah said he discovered Nkyekyeraa in 2020 and had since been enjoying it every morning, adding that he sometimes stocked some in his fridge to enjoy in the evening as well.

Writer’s email: [email protected]

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