THIS IS ACCRA - Makola Market Edition
So last Christmas holiday season, I was not missing Ghana for anything. By hook or crook (maybe not) I knew I wanted to be home. I had not been back home since Summer of 2017 and I felt I was well overdue! I needed to go bask in the Ghana sun and catch all the vibes to brace myself for the coming year. I was excited to enjoy the holidays with family and friends. Interestingly enough, Joel (@adotey.lomotey), who I met through my gorgeous real life sister Reggie (@etc_hes a dope graphic designer and animator), wanted to have a creative shoot with me because he had caught wave of my new journey of starting a lifestyle blog. With completely no idea in mind, I was excited to shoot! I mean I had been following him for a little while and I genuinely loved his work - so, why not?
“You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
― Maya Angelou
Joel, on the night before our scheduled shoot (a day before I came back home - my second home ha), got this wild idea we shoot in the streets of Makola market (anyone who has ever been to Accra knows of the most chaotic market in Ghana; out there the hustle and grind is REAL). His only direction, ‘I need you to wear something bright and fun because you have to stand out in the busy market crowds’.
You know, of course I had a few outfit options but ultimately this floral, Asian inspired print tiered dress from ASOS made the cut! We headed to the market to create some magic! Trust me we were a little hesitant. We had started second-guessing our entire existence. Was the dress too short? Will we offend someone and get lynched? (these were serious thoughts!)
Surprisingly, we couldn’t have been any further away from the truth! EVERYONE at the Makola market was loving and friendly. Makola was vibrant in color, diversity of goods/services and personalities. We had people working with their competitors in unison. It was just so beautiful and inspiring to see two vendors, selling the same things, sit side by side hailing the big crowds to have a look at what they had to offer. You got to love Africa.
We took this shot in front of a random motto bike and all the men wanted to be in my shot lol. I guess I am cute, CUTE *sticks tongue out*! Honestly, that eased me up and I knew it was going to be a fun experience. I felt comfortable and safe. I felt at home :)
I even changed shoes at one lady’s stall - you know I wasn’t walking around Makola in these heels! Turns out, we are from the same clan! Small world! How did I find out? I was taking off my shoes right after strutting down the street to get this photo and she said in Ga ( a Ghanaian language of the people of Accra, the capital of Ghana) - *Kw3m) l3, tam) mi bi Arana* (pardon my broken Ga lol) meaning “look at her, like my daughter Arana”. I proceeded to tell her my big sister was Arana too. In my clan, we name in order and by gender. So just by saying that, she knew where I was from. When I was leaving she told me “miy3 Nettey hu y3 shia” meaning “I have a Nettey at home” - she was talking about her first born son called Nii Nettey. It was such an interesting dialogue. I had actually found family in the market. Now typing this, I wish I took a photo with her :(
We also purchased some fresh coconut water. I needed a straw (of course I wan’t trying to ruin my lipstick) but the coconut vendor did not have any. A lady selling some accessories offered me one after overhearing the conversation - HOW SWEET!
I took pictures with a kayayoo (they help you with your heavy goods by balancing it on their heads - they are simply real life SUPER HEROes).
In short, everything was amazing and we actually had a lot of fun and interacted with many loving people. So, it left me with this thought…
For she found beauty in all her chaos despite her hustle and competition
This is ACCRA!
PS: A few more photos… enjoy!
Ever have your expectations/perception about a place floored? Share your experiences below! I’m excited to here your amazing stories :)