Kaneshie MarketWritten by:Zoe on: June 18, 2013
Kaneshie market is something else – just a short tro-tro ride away from North Kanehsie (where I’m staying) when you arrive the first thing that hits you is the smell – it is not altogether pleasant – a waft somewhere between rotting meat and a rubbish tip hits your nasal passages every now and then – like salts – to make sure you’re awake if you’ve got cotton wool in your ears. The huge multi-level yellow 70’s construction is the centrepiece for the action but it’s surrounded at the front and at all sides by small colourful stalls and carts and mayhem. It’s busy as hell and apart from the outside stalls there is a huge three-level indoor market, vegetables, meat and fish – “plenty fisho!” (seafood seems to dominate this market: smoked herring, salmon, barracuda, cassava fish, grupo, red snapper, ‘red fish,’ shrimp, crabs of varying colours, sea snails – it goes on) spread outwards on the ground floor while glass and wooden beads and household items from toilet brushes to toothpicks take over the second. Fabrics and tailoring on the third. If this building was in Hackney it would be used by Secret Cinema or Me, You Bum Bum train to great effect but here: it as a dark, cavernous ever winding vault of local trade. There is no ingredient to be found in local cooking (and beyond) that you can’t buy here – plus it’s a bit cheaper than Makola or markets in central Accra as it’s very much a destination for locals rather than tourists. This is where the haggle happens and it’s a real-deal African experience to get in among it. You can hear Fanti, Twi, Ga and Ashanti all clashing in the air – tongues moving as fast as money is exchanged and it’s bloody colourful too.
Kaneshie Market also has busy tro tro station and taxi rank so it’s easy to get to and from and this only adds to the liveliness of the place as people cram into tro tro’s and fight for places in sharing taxi’s or alight in droves to get their bargains.
PS I discovered that the smell comes from cow hide called “Willy” – it looks like pork skin but is much thicker and in this instance eminently stinkier.
My guide through this wonderful mayhem is aunty Evelyn – who is going to teach me how to prepare Groundnut Stew with FuFu – The Fanti way – see next post for details.