In this post, we will be discussing The Symbolic Use of Kantamanto Market and Korle Lagoon in UNEXPECTED JOY AT DAWN.

Kantamanto Market as well as Korle Lagoon are two symbolic locations used to depict the Ghanaian reality in Alex Agyei-Agyiri’s Unexpected Joy at Dawn. They depict in distinct ways the dire situation that was prevailing in Ghana in the 1980s , which the author is trying to put within the text.

The Symbolic Use of Kantamanto Market

Kantamanto Market in particular is an example of Ghanaian time when there was no discrimination against foreigners and everyone could live there without fear or restriction. It is a time in Ghana in which there was no distinction in the lives of citizens or non-citizens. immigrants were not subjected to discrimination.

Kantamanto expressed African unity. Standing at an appropriate spot, experience the various tribes and races within Africa in addition to Asia.


That is the former market was to be the place of convergence for traders from various nations. It’s an example of the African unity that’s lacking in Ghana. The once-popular Kantamanto Market embodies the never-say-die Pan-African spirit as well as African family that was a part of Ghana prior to the 1980s.

In its ruin, Kantamanto Market symbolises the many changes Ghana has experienced changing diplomatic policies as well as changes in the government as well as changes in the economic environment and changes in its overall outlook, among other changes. Kantamanto Market is symbolic in the sense that the writer employs it as a microcosm of the decline of Ghana in general.

Read Also:

Summary of UNEXPECTED JOY AT DAWN By Alex Agyei Agyiri’s: Part 1(Chapter 1 to Chapter 5)
Summary of UNEXPECTED JOY AT DAWN By Alex Agyei Agyiri’s: Part 1(Chapter 6 – Chapter 10)
Summary of UNEXPECTED JOY AT DAWN By Alex Agyei Agyiri’s: Part 1(Chapter 11 – Chapter 15)
Summary of Unexpected Joy at Dawn Chapter 16-20
Characters In Unexpected Joy at Dawn By Alex Agyei-Agyiri
Themes in Unexpected Joy At Dawn
Background and Settings in The Unexpected Joy at Dawn 

The Symbolic Use of Korle Lagoon

Korle Lagoon on its part is used to symbolize the depravity of the Ghanaian society at the time. A strong smell of the collected garbage, stagnant sewage, corpses and other corpses in or in the vicinity area of Korle Lagoon all add up to signify a total state of decay and the repulsive climate Ghana (in the words) is enveloped in.

Ghana is now an area of poverty, economic depression, and aversion to foreigners. They also do not value the talents of its citizens as is evident in the demise of Aaron’s Ant Hill Brick Project. In this kind of country it is only criminals that prosper as we’ve witnessed through Tally O. and Joe.

Another characteristic of the revolutionaries. They always have the right idea. Any person who disagrees is immediately labeled as a reactionary, and is punished severely. A nation that does not allow space for differing opinions is likely to remain stagnant, just like that of Korle Lagoon.

The murder of a child is not just a sign of how far that revolutionaries are willing to go but also shows how morally offensive these self-righteous people are. The nod of approval of the crowd is also a sign of how depraved this society is.

Korle Lagoon also houses criminal elements. It is the place to meet youths smoking marijuana and thieves sharing their cash. Remember Tally O was at the same lake in order to wash his clothing after his dupe on Mama Orojo.

In essence, Korle Lagoon symbolises a derailment of society’s moral and social ebb.


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