Market Day — Making Friends in Unfamiliar Places
Green market Square: The proprietor’s name was Ntumba. He sells paintings and only sells in this market. Ntumba pays 450 rand a month and lives in a township in Nyanga. He chooses to sell here because it is a well known area so it is good for business. He moved to South Africa when he was 18 years old from Malawi to study art. When prompted about his story and his reason for coming to South Africa, Ntumba told us that he moved to South Africa to study art. He studied under a man named Jack who taught street children. However, we soon learned that this was probably not the case as most of the art around the market was identical to the paintings in his store.
Pan African Market : The name of the proprioter was Flore. She only sells her goods here but they come from all over South Africa. Rent costs 4000 rand a month. It is much more expensive than Green Market Square because they don’t have to worry about inclimate weather. Also, where the individual stores are located within the market also impacts pricing for rent. For example, stores located in the hallways were cheaper than those in rooms.
Although she now lives in Cape Town, she moved from Cameroon at ten years old for business. When prompted about why she chooses to sell at this market, Flore explained that she sells at the Pan African Market because it is a very old market. According to Flore, the market started in the year 1886. As a result, the market has gained notoriety causing tourists to come often.
The Blue Shed: The store name is Beyond Cotton. The goods are primarily cotton items such as sweaters and scarves. The proprietor was born and raised in Cape Town near Mitchell’s Plain. She does not make the goods herself rather she gets them from suppliers. The suppliers work from home, have their own market, and also supply The Blue Shed. They are also not originally from South Africa. The suppliers are from Scandinavia and now live in Plumstead in Cape Town in the Southern suburbs. The owner of Beyond Cotton heard about the family through word of mouth. The family only supplies the store with cotton jersey items such as sweaters and scarves. While the proprietor was not positive about how much rent costs, she said it would be more than 4000 rand a month. She informed us that location and size of the stores impacts pricing of rent but that rent goes up every year.