Trading on top

In Africa, there are hardly any business premises. Saleswomen present their products on their heads. Eye contact with the buyer takes place near the goods.

Blickkontakt in Sierra Leone / © Foto: Georg Berg
Eye contact in Sierra Leone / © Photo: Georg Berg

As a visitor to Sierra Leone, you have barely left the hotel behind when you find yourself in the middle of it all. Surrounded by people who all have something to offer. Drinks, snacks, and phone cards, but also things that a tourist would have no use for. Manioc tubers, for example, or huge fish. Freshly caught and certainly worth their money. Almost everything is carried in colorful bowls on the head and is thus not to be overlooked even in the crowd. Sellers do not have to search long, because they make eye contact with potential buyers directly under the goods. In Sierra Leone, food is sold only fresh or dried, and only in the quantities needed for daily consumption. Refrigerated or industrially packaged products and supermarkets are scarce, even in the larger cities. In rural areas, few homes have electricity or running water.

Bäckerjunge aus Sierra Leone / © Foto: Georg Berg
Baker boy from Sierra Leone / © Photo: Georg Berg
Frau trägt ein Tablett voller BHs auf dem Kopf / © Foto: Georg Berg
Woman carrying a tray full of bras on her head / © Photo: Georg Berg
Frauen überqueren die alte Eisenbahnbrücke von Freetown, die Tengbeh-Brücke, und tragen dabei Waren auf dem Kopf / © Foto: Georg Berg
Women crossing Freetown’s old railroad bridge, the Tengbeh Bridge, carrying goods on their heads / © Photo: Georg Berg
Eine Schale mit Chilischoten rot und grün im Angebot / © Foto: Georg Berg
A tray of chili peppers red and green on sale / © Photo: Georg Berg

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