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Discovering the delights of an African market with travel blogger Akosua Shirley

Hi Akosua, tell us a little bit about yourself!

I’m Akosua Shirley aka the area girl with branding! Which is pretty much my way of saying I’m the girl next door who loves exploring and sharing through amazing pictures and videos. I’m full time travel & lifestyle blogger and content creator. I am honestly obsessed with travel; it’s my greatest teacher & inspiration but specifically travelling and exploring my own country. A few years ago I took a solo backpacking trip throughout the whole country within 32 days and I have been showing Ghana off since.

woman standing under parasol at african market next to bowls of spices in daylight

What is your favourite market and what is your connection to it?

Nima market in Accra, Ghana is definitely one of my favourite African markets. It’s an open space market that has taken over a whole block/street. It’s always busy and chaotic but when you get used to it, it’s a pretty interesting place. I love it because of my dog Zeus. Even though I lived relatively close to this market, I never really explored it till I needed to find a particular rice for my darling Zeus and it was only there I could get it at a great price. I explored it and found other gems. My dog passed away and I love that I think of him fondly every time I go there in a way that makes me smile rather than cry. It reminds me of how much I loved and cared for him.

What are your top 3 favourite things you can buy at Nima market?

  • Brown rice (I’m sure you saw that coming 🙂 )
  • Dried local spices
  • Wagashi, which is our local cheese made of fermented cow milk. It looks like tofu. It’s a local delicacy from the northern region of Ghana and other West African countries

What is your favourite stall/small business at Nima market?

Definitely the wagashi stand. Wagashi is hard to come by in the city. For a long time I was under the impression is was only available in the northern regions so you can imagine how excited I was when I found it. It just takes me back to my days on the road, backpacking Ghana and discovering new things.

Tell us about a memorable encounter you had at Nima market!

My most memorable encounter would be with the market itself. It’s a great example of “order within chaos”. When I say that market can be hectic, I am not exaggerating and to newcomers it feels like noise and disorder but when you solider through once or twice or simply take time to observe all, the intimidation disappears and it’s just another day in an African market. You see the patterns and it’s not so disorganised after all.

Why do you think it’s important for people to visit markets in general?

Personally I go to the market because I find the prices to be more affordable than in the supermarkets. The produce are fresher and sometimes you can buy straight from the farmers. In addition, the market in Ghana gives me an opportunity to shop a lot more zero waste as the options of no packaging is available. It’s also a great way to mingle and observe people of different cultures and socio economic backgrounds.

Click here for the market page of Nima market!

Market ambassador: Akosua Shirley, a full time creative from Accra, Ghana

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