16 years ago, Yahaya Suberu made history driving from Ghana’s capital Accra to Stockholm, Sweden

Dollita Okine August 14, 2023
A filmmaker and university lecturer at New York University's Ghana campus, Yahaya Alpha Suberu, made history in 2007 when he became the first Ghanaian to travel by car from Ghana to Sweden. Photo via: Ghana Web

In 2007, a filmmaker and university lecturer at New York University’s Ghana campus, Yahaya Alpha Suberu, made history when he became the first Ghanaian to travel by car from Accra, Ghana to Stockholm, Sweden.

According to Ghana Web, the desire to go from Ghana to Sweden by road was originally formed during Suberu’s initial visit to his relatives in Stockholm. He conveyed his intention to travel back to Stockholm by road while taking a stroll with his brother and uncle one evening, moved by the beauty and tranquility of the city. 

Ghana’s 50th independence anniversary celebrations in 2007 served as another source of inspiration for the pioneer. He traveled 11,677 km in a 1986 2CV Citroen (602 cc), a small economy car made by the French company Citroen, making his adventure quite extraordinary.

The journey began on June 23, 2007, in Accra’s Independence Square and ended in Stockholm’s Sergels Torg. It took 24 days to travel through nine different nations. He drove his car through Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania and Morocco. From Morocco, he took the ferry across the Straits of Gibraltar to enter Spain and Europe. From Spain, Suberu went through France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, and Denmark. From Denmark, he crossed Ostersundsbron to Sweden. More than 900 liters of gasoline were required due to the distance and the variety of terrain.

Suberu had to purchase a Michelin map of West Africa, North Africa, and Europe because he did not have a Google map or smartphone to assist him with navigation at that time. His journey was fraught with difficulties; at one point, in Mauritania, his gearbox malfunctioned, requiring a 6-day search for a replacement.

He occasionally slept outside due to a lack of funds, and once he did so in the chilly desert. Unfortunately for him, the wind blew his tent away, forcing him to sleep in the cold bare-chested. Suberu disclosed that he was resolved to uphold his integrity by refusing to pay bribes to dishonest authorities who demanded them at the borders.

Suberu flew back to Accra in August 2007. Fans greeted the pacesetter at the Kotoka International Airport after learning of his story in the media, despite the fact that this was not posted on social media at the time.

Recently, a crew of daring explorers from Ghana under the direction of Kwabena Peprah traveled more than 10,000 kilometers across the continent. According to sources, their excursion began in Accra, the capital of Ghana, and culminated in a trip across continents, passing through a number of African and European states.

They left Accra and traveled through a number of Ghanaian cities along the way, including Aburi, Nsawam, Kumasi, and Sunyani, before entering the neighboring country of Cote d’Ivoire. From there, they traveled through Mali, Senegal, Mauritania, and Morocco before taking a Mediterranean ferry to enter Europe through Spain. Their tour highlighted the various topographies and climatic conditions of Africa and Europe.

Unlike Suberu’s simple, old-fashioned car, this expedition used a variety of vehicles, including a Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon, a Toyota Landcruiser (V8), a Lexus RX 350, and a Ford F150 Raptor. The team traveled between 800 and 900 kilometers on average each day, using about 250 gallons of petrol.

Thanks to evolving technology, which Suberu lacked, the videos they posted on social media that showed the difficulties they experienced, such as changing brake pads and dealing with local officials, were used to track their progress.

These brave experiences serve as an example of the human spirit of exploration, resourcefulness, and resilience.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: August 14, 2023


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