Reportage

REPORTAGE

A saturday in the market of Bamba

The rural Kenya it's a world to observe 360 degrees

29-05-2022 by Freddie del Curatolo

Saturday is market day in Kenya.
And you have to go and discover the market in the rural areas, where the people who set up stalls of sticks and branches or throw their wares on a sheet between the grass and the side of the dirt road are dusty, inviting charmers, waffling, tempting geniuses of the lamp.
In Bamba, deep in the hinterland of Kilifi, one of the poorest areas of the coastal belt, where people still die of diseases related to malnutrition, the market is an oasis that appears and disappears but always returns and gives meaning to the passing of time, to work, to the dream of being able to make it.
Even just the thought of being able to own something new is enough, even just having the strength to be able to take a walk and look at what is new. A thousand shades of colors overlap with the blue of the sky and the green of the plants, dazzling the children who smile injected with joy and hope to own a new T-shirt, a plastic utensil to dream of being an adult and imitate their mother or grandfather (the father is often better not to try to imitate him...).

Vendors shout their specials, buses trumpet and stop to let off more placers carrying ropes, chickens, hats, wrought-iron tools, shoes and belts.

The little radio stall turns on three at once, a cross-eyed, toothless man claps his calloused hands on polenta pots of various sizes in a concert of unseen sounds that intertwine with the voices of women assaying kanga material to add to their essential collection. Tomorrow is church, and for some it will be a chance to parade around with a new handbag or shawl.
The madman collects scraps of cloth with the intention of creating a soccer ball and compulsively, but always laughing, asks everyone for twine or tape.

The boys are home from school, the young women are on a walk and smiling at those who flatter them, but not too much.

The air is serene, the atmosphere of confused, boisterous, kaleidoscopic cheerfulness is almost contagious. On Saturday in Bamba no one is poor, no one is sad, no one is complaining.

Because no one, for one day, is lonely.

(photos by Leni Frau)

TAGS: bambamercatosabatoentroterra

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