By Michelle Baker, KF 11, Ghana

“Azuma blow” refers to locally made soap commonly found in the rural areas of Ghana.   Apparently, the soap is named after the much beloved Ghanaian three-time featherweight boxing champion, Azuma Nelson.  Although every person I have asked has told me that “Azuma blow” is named after Azuma Nelson, the reasons for the soap being named after him have varied.   One person told me that it was because the soap looked like the blow of Azuma Nelson.  Another person told me that it was because the soap is very hard and heavy like Azuma Nelson’s fist blows. And another person told me because the soap is very strong that it combat any stain like Azuma Nelson combated his opponents.

For the past month, every time I went out into the field I asked about this soap called “Azuma blow,” but no could locate any for me. Finally, this past week I went out into the field to meet a borrower who manufactured and sold “Azuma blow” soap.   At the conclusion of our meeting, I eagerly asked her if she had any of this soap and if I could buy one from her.   I really wanted to take a photo of it.   It only cost about 20 Cedis, or roughly 14 cents to buy two balls of “Azuma blow.”   After inspecting the soap, I think that it is called “Azuma blow” because the soap is very hard and heavy like a blow.    After traveling for 2 ½ hours in a tro-tro (minivan) where the heat was a little too warm to get comfortable, I felt rewarded by finally seeing what “Azuma blow” actually looked like and the Kiva borrower got a nice laugh out of it as well.

Here is a photo of a Kiva borrower who manufactures and sells “Azuma blow” soap.  And a close up of what “Azuma blow” soap looks like.

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