If you would like a completely different experience, then visit The African Craft Market in Rosebank. It is wonderful! Full of small stalls, which are packed with all sorts of different items, you are greeted with cheerful smiles and personal attention. What’s more – they are happy to bargain, to a point!
It is large and varied enough for you to happily spend an hour or so, browsing and buying. There is much from which to choose. Some of the articles are hand-made by the owners of the stalls. Others are imported from the countries of Africa – including Kenya, Malawi, Congo, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe. They include African masks and statuettes, ceramics and clothing, jewellery and baskets, wood and stone carvings, antiques and ornaments, tablecloths, cushions and materials. The owners are very happy to chat, and to tell you the history of the items that interest you. If they have made them themselves, be aware of the pride that they have in their accomplishment. It is normally understated. I very nearly purchased a hippo as a door-stop!
The stalls themselves are amazing. Some are large enough for only one person. Others can accommodate one or two more. This means that, by turning your head, you can see all the stock that is available, and compare one article with another. The market is said to be modelled on the legendary African markets of old. If they don’t have the hustle and bustle of the street, they do have the air of mystery and excitement, as the wares in one are succeeded by those in another – and sometimes completely different.
I asked many of the stallholders how they were doing. They all told me that business had become more difficult lately – but the rent for their stall still had to be paid. I could sympathise with them! As I thought about it afterwards I wondered why my house did not contain more ‘hints of Africa’.
Things like bowls, ornaments, coasters etc that reflected the country and continent that is my home. It could indicate something more of my participation in this country and its people. It would also be one way in which I could help those who were trying to live with integrity – by earning a living, and using their natural or acquired skills.
I was deep in conversation with one man, who was showing me what he had created out of pine cones, and the guinea fowl he had formed from seeds. A young lady, whom I had spoken to previously, came up and, putting her hand on his shoulder, stated with a smile, “This is the man I’m going to marry!” He blushed shyly, but smiled with some pride. It was a lovely moment, and one that made me feel very welcomed and included. I could not imagine it happening anywhere else.
Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika!
Hours: Daily 09h00 – 18h00
Address: Corner of Cradock and Baker Street, Rosebank.
Parking: Baker Square
For further information follow the links alongside.