Alohou Papa stands in the middle of the bustling market in Togoville and blows hard on a bright red whistle to catch everyone’s attention.
“It’s 9 o’clock. The village chief is sending me to announce that bartering can now start,” he cries. “No arguing and no provocation,” he tells traders and buyers.
Every Saturday on the northern shore of Lake Togo, some 65 kilometres (40 miles) east of the capital, Lome, Togoville runs a lively traditional barter market.
No money changes hands at the small public square, where traders, fisherfolk and farmers from surrounding villages flock to trade their produce.
At “Togossime” — “Togo market” in the local Ewe language — all sorts of goods are swapped but grains, chickens, fish and other seafood are the most popular.
“Togoville is a traditional village,” explains Simon Tovor, special advisor to local chief King Mlapa VI, who is head of the district and whose palace looks down on the dusty streets.
“In days gone by, our parents lived off the land and sea. They swapped produce and everyone got along well,” he told AFP.
“We thought it best to keep this practice so we didn’t lose this record of our grandparents and to show to our children how our parents lived.”
Stuck in time
In many respects, Togoville — Togo’s former capital which gave its name to the country — seems stuck in time, living according to the rhythm of the lake and the fishing season.
It was here in 1884 that king Mlapa III of Togoville signed a treaty to become a German protectorate, well before Togo became a French colony.
Even today, it’s easier to get to Togoville by wooden canoe across the lake than by using the potholed road from Lome that skirts the water’s edge.
The village, which is home to some 10,000 people, is well known as a centre for voodoo, attracting devotees to study and practise the religion.
Wooden statues and shrines are everywhere. The Virgin Mary is also said to have been seen walking on the lake in the 1970s, spurring pope John Paul II to visit in 1985.
At the market, most business is conducted in the open in the oppressive heat. A few dilapidated wooden structures with rusting corrugated roofs are used as shade.
Others spread out their wares on the parched brown earth. Women in colourful wrappers pick their way expertly through the crowds, balancing large bowls of produce on their heads.
Atsupi Fiodjio has been coming to the market from a nearby village for more than 25 years and sits on a brick selling smoked fish.
“I come every Saturday with two or three big baskets of smoked fish and I go home at the end of the day with at least three sacks of maize, beans and black-eyed peas,” she said.
“I resell them in our market where grains sell really quickly because our people mainly fish. We don’t grow anything,” she added, as a dozen customers looked on.
Sitting on the ground in front of her nearby stall, Jeannette Tenge lets everyone in earshot know about the quality of her fish.
“I only accept grains, especially corn and rice, and of course flour and cassava. Doing this gets me my stocks for the house for the whole week for my family,” she added.
“On other days I sell bread in the village school,” she added, complaining about the lack of shade from the harsh sun.
Poverty and necessity
Togoville’s barter market is one of only a few surviving in the country but it isn’t just about respecting traditions. It also endures out of necessity.
About half of Togo’s nearly eight million people live below the poverty line and often complain about increases in the price of foodstuffs. Some don’t always have enough to pay in cash.
“I left the house with some corn and garri (powdery or ground foodstuffs) to come and swap with some fish to prepare at home,” said Adole, a schoolgirl.
“I don’t often come to the market. I come when I’m a bit hungry.”
Enyoname said she barters poultry for corn and garri. “I have to do it because I find it difficult to sell,” she explains.
The king’s advisor, Simon Tovor, said bartering also has a practical application, allowing goods to be used more quickly than by selling.
“People in the countryside use this shortcut rather than try to sell their produce with all the risks… (involved in) keeping it fresh,” he added.
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Nigeria’s Chimamanda Adichie receives UN Global Leadership Award
Adichie is the youngest African and only Nigerian to have received the award
Multiple-award-winning Nigerian Writer and Feminist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has been awarded with the prestigious UN Global Leadership Award by the United Nations, making her the youngest African and only Nigerian to have received the award.
Adichie was recognized for her work in Literature – most notably, her talent for using storytelling to connect with people across generations and cultures on issues related to gender, identity, racial inequality as well as for being a leader on the frontlines of global progress.
This landmark achievement comes just after Adichie’s famous novel, “Half of a Yellow Sun” was named in BBC’s 100 Novels that shaped our world.
The 2019 edition of the annual award, tagged; “We the people to honour the founding ideals and vision articulated in the UN Charter” held on the eve of the United Nations 75th anniversary.
Adichie joins the league of notable figures that have received the award in the past, which include former Presidents of America, President Bill Clinton, and Barrack Obama, Oprah Winfrey and former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan.
Elated Adichie took to her Instagram account to announce the award.
Also honoured at the ceremony were Mary Robinson, Chair of The Elders and former President of Ireland, Gunhild Stordalen, Chair of the Stordalen Foundation and Founder of EAT, UN staff members who have worked on the frontlines of crisis response, amongst others.
Complete list of the Future Awards Africa winners
Held at the Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos, Nigeria, the award ceremony was hosted by Falz and actress Toni Tones
The 2019 Future Awards Africa took place at the Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos, Nigeria on Sunday, November 24, 2019.
The award recognizes the achievement of young Nigerian talents, innovators, entrepreneurs, and community advocates doing great in their various fields.
As usual, the annual award did not fall short of expectations. This year’s edition was themed “Nigeria’s New Tribe”. It was hosted by hip hop artist and rapper, Falz and actress Toni Tones.
Here is the complete list of the winners:
THE FUTURE AWARDS AFRICA PRIZE FOR ACTING
Timini Egbuson (32) – Winner
Bimbo Ademoye (28)
Bandele ‘Baaj’ Adebule (30)
Sharon Ooja (28)
Fatima Washa Abdullahi (26)
THE FUTURE AWARDS AFRICA PRIZE FOR MUSIC
Teniola Apata (26)
Damini Ebunoluwa ‘Burna Boy’ Ogulu (28) – Winner
Folarin ‘Falz’ Falana
John ‘Johny Drill’ Ighodalo (29)
Sadiq ‘Wurld’ Onifade (32)
THE FUTURE AWARDS AFRICA PRIZE FOR AGRICULTURE
Emmanuel Maduka (24)
Chiamaka Ndukwu Theresa and Kenneth Okonkwo (25/25)
Uka Eje (29) – Winner
Divine-Love Akam (24)
Rotimi Olawale (29)
THE FUTURE AWARDS AFRICA PRIZE FOR ADVOCACY
Hamzat Lawal (32) – Winner
Bright Jaja (29)
Uchechi ‘Ucy’ Rochas (27)
Ifedayo Durosinmi-Etti (30)
Funke Adeoye (27)
THE FUTURE AWARDS AFRICA PRIZE FOR ARTS (VISUAL & APPLIED)
Arinze Stanley (26)
Ken Nwadiogbu (25) – Winner
Dipo Doherty (28)
Olarinde Olayemi Ayanfeoluwa (22)
Olabanke Subair (28)
THE FUTURE AWARDS AFRICA PRIZE FOR COMMUNITY ACTION
Abdulazeez Kaltumi (27)
Yetunde Fadeyi (27)
Kelechukwu Nwachukwu Lucky (25)
Tony Joy (27)
Akpobi Elvis (31)
Isaac Success Omoyele (28) – Winner
Stephen Teru (29)
THE FUTURE AWARDS AFRICA PRIZE FOR FILM-MAKING
Kayode Kasum (28)
Dare Olaitan (28) – Winner
Chinney Love Eze (31)
Rahama Sadau (26)
Uche Odoh (30)
THE FUTURE AWARDS AFRICA PRIZE FOR LITERATURE
Akwaeke Emezi (32)
Ijeoma Umebinyuo (30)
Lanaire Aderemi (20)
Oyinkan Braithwaite (31)
Otosirieze Obi-Young (25) – Winner
THE FUTURE AWARDS AFRICA PRIZE FOR MEDIA
Peace Itimi (24)
Paul Alasiri (27)
Edirin Edewor (28)
Samuel Ajiboye (28) – Winner
Tosin Olaseinde (31)
THE FUTURE AWARDS AFRICA PRIZE FOR PROFESSIONAL SERVICE
Bukky Akomolafe (31) – Winner
Adesola Ade-Unuigbe (28)
Yinka Iyinolakan (30)
Onoriode Reginald Aziza (27)
Peter Tega Oghenejobo (32)
PRIZE FOR OAP (VISUAL & AUDIO)
Osato ‘EDK’ Edokpayi (27)
Huisaina ‘Dashen’ Usman (31)
Mayowa Ogundele – Adegoke (30)
Simi ‘Drey’Adejumo (21) – Winner
Sandra Ezekwesili (30)
PRIZE FOR PUBLIC SERVICE
Adetola Onayemi (28) – Winner
Ibijoke Faborede (31)
Moses Onalapo (29)
Dr Achama Eluwa (31)
Fehintola Ajogbasile and Judith Oguzie (27/32)
PRIZE FOR SPORTS
Al-farouq Aminu (29)
Georgia Oboh (18)
Eseoghene Oguma (21)
Samuel Chukwueze (23)
Israel Adesanya (30) – Winner
PRIZE FOR EDUCATION
Olaseni Cole (32) – Winner
Omozino Eguh (28)
Eyitayo Ogunmola (31)
Seyi Oluyole (27)
Farida Kabir (27)
THE FUTURE AWARDS AFRICA PRIZE FOR TECHNOLOGY
Chinedu Azodoh/ Adetayo Bamiro (29/32)
Zang Luka Bot (28) – Winner
Muhammad Salisu Abdullahi (28)
Timothy Adeleye (25)
Funfere Koroye (29)
THE FUTURE AWARDS AFRICA PRIZE FOR FASHION
Andrea Iyamah (26)
Derin Fabikun (29)
Tuboboreni Sandrah (28) – Winner
Osemwengie Victor Odion (31)
Kenneth Izedonmwen (29)
THE FUTURE AWARDS AFRICA PRIZE FOR BUSINESS
Adekunle Hassan (31)
Obi Ozor (30)
Chika Madubuko (30)
Olawale Ayilara (31) – Winner
Tiwalola Olanubi (31)
THE FUTURE AWARDS AFRICA PRIZE FOR JOURNALISM
Aisha Salaudeen (25)
Joey Akan (28)
Ayodeji Rotinwa (29)
Shola Lawal (25) – Winner
Kiki Mordi (28)
THE FUTURE AWARDS AFRICA PRIZE FOR PHOTOGRAPHY
Adah Clarence (30)
Yemi Ajala (31)
Praise Nnemeka (21)
Stephen Tayo (25)
Tolani Alli (27) – Winner
THE FUTURE AWARDS AFRICA PRIZE FOR YOUNG PERSON OF THE YEAR
Debo Ogundoyin (32)
Kenneth Udekwe (32)
Damini ‘Burna Boy’ Ogulu (28) – Winner
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