An AbyD Author Remembers Her Past
To really get to know the world that Patricia Norki Nater writes about in her recent AcuteByDesign book, Dance of the Antelope, which takes place in Ghana, we asked her to tell us a bit about where she comes from.
She chose to tell us about a popular the market in Accra. The Makola market is important to Norki because it was writing about this big, loud, colorful and traditional market as a young girl that cemented in her mind that she wanted to be a writer. The piece of writing that she produced for her teacher about the market during the Christmas holidays won high praise and was even put on display in the classroom.
Now, years later, Norki shares with us her memories of the Accra market:
“When you walk in – it’s a frenzy! Vendors calling out to customers about their wares, the vibrant colors of goods and fabrics, the smells of delicious foods such as roasting plantains, corn or kebabs are almost overwhelming. It even looks like a party! The balloons for sale and the Piccadilly Gem brand biscuits that vendors string up like popcorn as decoration added to the air of festivity.
“You enter and all of this comes at you like a wave, and you need to search around for what you need: groceries, lunch, new clothes, shoes or a present for a friend – you could get everything there! Back then, all the vendors were outdoors. They would sit on stools behind their high stacks of wares, wearing these big hats to keep the sun out of their faces. The hats were sometimes so big that you could hardly see their faces!” she recalled.
At the competitive, good-natured market, vendors selling similar products often sat beside one another. They would arrange oranges, bananas and peanuts in crazy patterns to try to attract people to their goods and sell more; all the while calling out to everyone that passed by, trying to entice them.
Going to the market was always an adventure. “Oh, the peanut brittles and coconut candies! And the ice cream men riding bicycles and selling Fan brand vanilla ice cream or Sunspot brand orange and lemon shaved ice. It was heaven for children, who were everywhere laughing, crying and playing while the adults chatted, possibly sipping palm wine.
“I would be trying to get the sweets while my mother and father were getting our groceries. They didn’t take me often because I always wanted to buy something. My dad loved shopping though. Those were happy times.”
“The market in Accra is not really like that anymore. Now, it’s more coordinated and supervised but I will always remember it like it was when I was a child.”
To learn more about Norki’s fascinating world and life in Ghana, pick up a copy of her new release, Dance of the Antelope. The Ghanaian Cinderella story features the beautiful, young Nshira and teaches youngsters about Ghanaian homes, clothing, food and culture. Get your copy here today!