Thursday, 10 November 2011

Big Market Day

Kejetia Market is supposedly the largest open air market in West Africa. It is in Ghana's second city, Kumasi and is certainly huge and extremely busy. We negotiated everything to pass from one side to the other. People carrying anything you can think of and stalls selling more. Carcasses of fresh meat are “chopped” right next to women selling tiny packages of “Dolly Blue” and Tescos own brand shower gel. Fabrics in all colours and patterns hanging up for us to admire, beside farming implements. A young woman passed us with armfuls of pristine plastic carrier bags for sale from Lidl, Morrisons and other well known UK outlets.
It was all fascinating and naturally, I delved in my bag for my camera. This is the only shot I got....and it doesn't even show the market......before I was yelled at by a group of locals nearby. You would have thought I’d produced a pistol!

Evidently, Photography is a complete no-no here. The fact that it was a distance shot made no difference. They knew I could zoom in and identify anyone! I got to wondering if the whole place was full of international criminals. I appreciate that many Africans do not want their image captured and I always ask if I am taking closer pictures. However, I thought this was a little extreme. Does anyone recognise this man?

Second hand clothes and shoes are everywhere in mountains on the pavements and hanging on railings. The items discarded in collection bags on doorsteps in Europe, USA and other wealthier places are of much better quality than new clothes available here. We see people walking around in T shirts with inappropriate slogans they probably cannot translate and some from places they could never hope to visit. There are thriving businesses involved in washing, pressing and displaying this clothing for sale. Although the sight of it all shames me, I’m glad so many of our rejects have another life and am sure in the second existence they are worn for much longer until they fall apart.

We didn’t buy anything in Kejetia Market. It was all too hectic and there wasn’t really anything I needed. The sights, sounds and smells were enough. Thousands of people must live there and I wondered what it was like at night. Does it ever sleep?

No comments:

Post a Comment