Ghana, a beautiful country situated in the western part of Africa, is made up of different tribes, cultures, religions, fashion and food. In time, I’ll cover the history and more, however on this occasion I’ll talk about a group of women, who inspire me a lot and on this occasion my fashion sense.
These group of women help put food on our tables each day by bridging the gap of the food journey from the farms to our tables (and I don’t feel they’re celebrated much). These women are the ‘Market ladies’ of Ghana. Most of them wake up in the early hours of the day to source the best produce from the farmers and display their wares each day for the rest of the country to buy.
They display their sourced produce in the most appealing way , under the scorching sun (at times using a straw hat for shade against the piercing heat of the sun); smile and shout sweet nothings to attract customers. They inflate their prices to increase their profit margins or make up for the losses for poor sales the week before. I watch as they negotiate and flirt with their potential clients to ensure they make a profit.
MY VISIT TO GHANA
The next morning (after I arrived in Ghana), I woke up to the sound of my neighbours Cockerel, ushering in the morning. Shortly afterwards there was an elongated loud voice shouting ‘Kontomire, Apim’, as I pulled my curtains open to reveal a lady with a big silver basin packed with fresh Green Plantains and Kontomire (Cocoyam leaves). I could tell the load was very heavy and before I could think I was shouting for her attention. I quickly wrapped a cloth to cover my nakedness, grabbed some money and dashed downstairs to the gate. There she stood, with a smile (beautiful teeth), a few trickles of sweat (that early morning) with the heavy basin balanced on her head, cushioned in by a heavily rolled cloth and supporting the basin with one hand.
I smiled back as I helped her place her heavy load on the ground, where I had to I couldn’t help but ask how many miles she walked each day and she advised she never counts, as she keeps walking till about 1pm ( by which time she would have sold out). I asked her how much it was for half her produce ( my intention was to lessen her load for the rest of the day) as I paid her asking price without negotiating.
She was grateful to say the least, however she said she was going back home to refill her basin as she feels it’s a good day.
These women work hard and in some cases under harsh conditions, however they manage to offer warmth and a smile to their clients. Some have gained loyal customers over the years due to their unique interactions and sourcing of the best produce. I wish them well and if you can afford to, tip them when you buy their wares.
Watch more about the market ladies of Ghana on my YouTube channel, ‘Ndudu by Fafa’ below
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All photos, videos and recipes are by the owner of this blog.