Takoradi Market Circle

Have you ever experienced a market in Africa?

Join me on a journey to my favourite – Takoradi Market Circle

 Here’s an extract from my African fusion cook book

A Plate in the Sun


I grew up in Takoradi, a beautiful city along the Atlantic coast and twinned with its neighbour, Sekondi. Daily food shopping at the open-air market in the middle of town – the Market Circle, is fascinating, a place where you can buy anything from fresh foods to a bow and arrow to bridal wear. An American friend once remarked that it was like a maze and wondered how anyone found their way out. This market, like most markets in Africa, is

a place where women rule.


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As you walk through the Market Circle, you cannot miss the vibrant colours, the pungent aromas and sometimes deafening noises of what appears to be organised chaos. The heady scent of spices piled high in brightly coloured enamel basins, with an old cigarette tin for measuring, peeping out of the stack. Good smells and strange smells, high life and hip-life music blaring from competing systems, the hustle and bustle confusing occasional visitors.

Trolley loaded with Yams



Stacks of fresh fruit and vegetables, trolleys loaded with yams,





Market tomatoes




basins of delicious, bright red, knobbly tomatoes





…and then the fresh meat and fresh fish houses, the aroma of cooked foods, the obligatory haggling over price.


Mounds of dried beans




Mounds of colourful chillies and dried beans,







Coconut seller



the coconut seller and his trolley laden with fresh green coconuts, passing through, looking for a spot and vying for your attention – mind the wheels don’t run over your toes,





the… rhythmic… pounding… of… fufu,


brushes and mops in Takoradi Market Circle



the stalls with essential household goods, brushes, buckets, mops, soap, baskets and grinding stones, hair dressers, seamstresses,





Fabrics piled high in Takoradi Market Circle



stalls with frighteningly high piles of beautiful African fabrics (don’t dare knock them over) and the shopkeeper sitting in the corner wearing an “I’m in charge” look on her face.






Taxis in Takoradi Market Circle



Chatter and laughter punctuated by honking taxis and trundling tro-tros. In the steady heat, cooling treats like ice-water, ice-kenkey and the familiar sight of the





Fan ice cream man in Takoradi Market Circle



Fan ice-cream man whizzing past on his white pedal cart ice-box.






Guinea fowl in Takoradi Market Circle




Then there’s the live produce; chickens, goats, sheep.





Preaching in Takoradi Market Circle



The preacher-man with enormous loud speakers, shouting the word of God, even though he’s using a microphone




…then there’s the scent in the air of fritters frying, plantain and beans, rice and stew, scooped and wrapped in banana leaves…..I could go on forever.


The pace is frenetic, and in a corner, the medicine man and his stall, displaying a curious variety of bitters…resembling tree bark marinated in alcohol, talking nineteen to the dozen he will ‘enlighten you’ on his remedies, everything from ‘waist pains’ to your libido and more, make eye contact and there’s no polite way to escape…


baby with mum in Takoradi Market Circle



in the midst of all this, the baby, strapped to her mother, soft cheek squashed against her mother’s back, safely and soundly asleep…..






Welcome to a typical day in the life of Takoradi’s Market Circle.


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