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GMT – What is it?

Posted in Africa, and Personal

You know Greenwich Meridian Time. I do too! But GMT has not always remained as what it should be. Its been flavored over the years. Its been improved and tweaked, updated and enhanced, to match, at least the local community.

Even better, Ghana is one of the countries Greenwich Meridian passes through. Its such an honor. To make it even better, Ghanaians have come up with a revised version of the imaginary line, namely, Ghana Man Time.

Be aware anytime you use the abbreviation GMT at the end of your times. It can mean two things, say 14:30 GMT:

  1. Using Greenwich Meridian Time, which refers to the UTC±00:00 the basis for the world’s civil time.
  2. Using Ghana Man Time, which is in its own form an advanced yet calculable only depending on the situation. Will get to the details later.

Therefore, to prevent the confusion, I will usually follow up with a clarification question when I’m told what the schedule or program time is.

Its simple. When I am told to meet at 14:30 GMT, I ask, “Ghana Man Time or?” Often, the one I ask will giggle a bit. I might be told to go away with my time-conscious addiction. On my fortunate day, I’ll get a response confirming the time is the UTC for real. So what exactly is Ghana Man Time?

Ghana Man Time: What is it?

Some history will do – What is Greenwich Meridian Time?

Some might say its a coincidence; others might propose a conspiracy theory and whatnot. For me, the whole GMT (Greenwich Meridian Time) term was rigged.

The Wikipedia article on Greenwich Meridian, at several attempts, tries to explain the origin of the word ‘Greenwich Meridian’, which are all not true.

See! the true story is this. Ghana’s colonial masters were/are the UK. Once upon a time, when in Ghana, the leaders of the colonial masters found it almost impossible to find their way around, yet the local people were accurate with knowing what time it was.

In order to learn the secret ‘sauce’ to this time ‘sorcery’, the chiefs were gathered and questioned. It was revealed there’s a Witch (using Witch here, although gender of the force-field is not mentioned in the legend), of a Green type. Unlike the default Red-type Witches certified in the era, this Green-Witch was amazing. Who knows how, but this mysterious force field will help keep the time of the Ghanaians in check, ensuring they’re up to their daily tasks without interruptions.

Green-Witch was a great helper to them.

Why? Because by the hardwork of the local people, will these force-fields be appeased intermittently. If the local people aren’t successful, how is the Green-Witch going to benefit from sacrifices?

For this Green-Witch, the local people being efficient was a Win-Win situation! Thus, Green-Witch was a great helper to them.

Upon learning this mysterious, but truthful account from the chiefs, the colonial leaders sort to get to the bottom of this, by trying to harness the time-conscious force from this Green-Witch.

For whatever reasons, this Green-Witch grew so strong, it reached the peak of its efficiency, to the extent its force-field benefited even the non-local, colonial masters.

The celebration that ensued was immense! Hand-in-hand, the colonial masters could work closely with the local people considering they’re all on the same page – wake up same time, meet as planned correct times, deliver messages on time and many more benefits.

Unfortunately for the colonial masters, it was time to leave. Obviously, this force field wouldn’t follow them. The masters needed a way to document this Green-Witch, yet, in a way that wouldn’t conflict their beliefs.

They didn’t believe in a Witch helping people keep time. That was, to them, impossible. Impossible, they said, and as such, tweaked the word to reflect a slight change, enough to write out, without actually compromising on the pronunciation.

After many hours, growing into days of deliberations, the word “Wich” was picked in place of using “Witch”.

A bit of a farewell feast was thrown, happily sending off these colonial masters.

On their ship heading home, something almost magical happened. It was the approval of the Green-Witch in a form of a jaw-dropping spatial experience which looked like an Auroras, but unlike this North-pole natural phenomena, it happened just a few miles away from Ghana located near the equator.

Strangely enough, this display in the skies had something more to it. It was roughly in the form of a straight line. Only visible to these colonial masters, it guided them crossing over the deep sees, helping them get safely back home.

Although much of the remaining story is history, the addition of ‘Meridian’ was as a result of the peak the Green-Witch (now Greenwich) reached, before the colonial masters could benefit from its blessings.

It was the approval of the Green-Witch in a form of a jaw-dropping spatial experience which looked like an Auroras,

Greenwich Meridian Time, was finally added to books, aired on radios, and taken to be an actual term referring to a basic time model. Of course, that is why the Greenwich Meridian Time is 0:00, unlike the rest time models.

It was all roses, until something really bad happened. An unfortunate incident that would change the future of Ghanaians. This led to Ghana Man Time.

More history – What is Ghana Man Time?

The moment Green-Witch scaled up to its ‘meridian’, more sacrifices were expected. Unknowing to the local people, they found their time schedule messing up every now and them.

Enquiries were conducted into the issue. It was learned, that since the Green-Witch offered great help to the colonial masters, both during their stay and travel back home, it expected sacrifices from the colonial masters as well.

This of course, was hard to pull off, considering the local people had no idea where to locate these adventurers. How about go look for them? That was no an option, considering people at the time, believed the earth to be a flat surface, falling down into an endless pit for those who dare to traverse to a far distance.

Unlike the Red-type Witches that would punish with bad health and at extreme cases, death, this Green-type witch was more of a subtle commotion causer. The local people started having very ‘con·vo·lut·ed’ time-abiding issues.

Crops started failing, productivity began reducing, weather started appearing uncertainly. In a word, the communities began being untimely. Lacked order. No arrangements.

In later years, a consortium was formed to resolve the issues. In fact, there was no resolving, as the Green-witch had gone rogue and wouldn’t take ANY sacrifice for a treat. Green-witch had to leave issues in their current state, and abort helping the local people. Green-witch rigged the time so well it continued messing up the lives of people, but wasn’t entirely ruining them.

This consortium, in union with the Green-witch representative, struck a deal, lasting a 150-year period. As punishment, the Green-witch propositioned this time-span as a means to show the local people what it means to hold their end of a deal.

Although the full details relating to how Ghana Man Time is calculated, as arrived by the consortium on that unfortunate meeting day, the process follows a pattern similar to this:

Day factors:

  • On working days, if meeting time is schedule for, say 14:00 GMT, it will translate to 14:15 through to 14:45 GMT instead.
  • On weekends, if meeting time is schedule for, say 14:00 GMT, it will translate to 14:30 through to 15:15 GMT instead.

A basic principle behind Ghana Man Time is, a scheduled fixed meeting time is in practice floating. There’s nothing like 14:00 GMT (Ghana Man Time). It ALWAYS has to be a range. Therefore, when 14:00 GMT is given, it will always be translated using a +30 minutes when on working days

Otherwise, a +30 to 40 minutes is the de facto.

GMT for occasions has its own scheme.

  • Happy-versaries (Weddings, Outdoorings, Parties etc): If 14:00 GMT, will become +40 through to 70 minutes, thus: 14:40 through 15:10 GMT
  • Saddy-versaries (Funerals etc): If 14:00 GMT, will become +60 through 120 minutes.

For first time travelers to Ghana, this phenomenon might seem weird, yet after a couple of days living under the influence of Green-Witch spell, hovering over the whole nation.

Antidote to Ghana Man Time

Although Green-Witch is messing up with the time of Ghanaians, hope is not lost. To workaround the spell, Green-Witch recommends always rigging the scheduled time in a way to accommodate for the discrepancy.

So if you are supposed to meet at 14:00 GMT, pull the time to say, 13:00 GMT instead. You will be surprised how well this antidote works to the Ghana Man Time syndrome.

In a subsequent episode, of which I have no idea the Time I’ll release, I talk about how sanitation is such a big issue in Ghana.

If you liked the true story of Greenwich Meridian Time, share with your friends. Can’t wait to read your comments below.