What to Make of Nima?

I visited a Muslim area of Accra today, called Nima, and noticed that several of the Muslims were wearing what seemed to be expensive garments. That struck me as odd because, from what I saw of Nima, there was an abundance of poverty with trash lying everywhere. How could some of these Muslims afford such expensive garments of clothing? Now there weren’t a lot of Muslims who wore these expensive and beautiful articles of clothing, but there were a few, and I am amazed given the context of my observation (poverty ridden and dirty region of Accra).
One of the women we came across in Nima was outfitted in a blue dress that glistened magnificently in the sun. Although she didn’t have much to say, she did say thank you when we complimented her on the beauty of her dress. She also wore a turban and magenta stripes on the dress as well. This is only one example of some of the beautiful outfits I saw. It definitely wasn’t cheap attire that these Africans were wearing! Not just women but men as well!
I don’t know why or how Africans are able to afford such clothing when it looks like it’s a struggle just to survive. It’s hard to even form my own opinion on this matter. Maybe I’m stereotyping and there are some Africans who are wealthy. I may be wrong in assuming that all Africans are poor. The family businesses or jobs of some Africans may be stronger and better suited to buy more expensive items than other Africans. There might be more to Africans than I originally saw or thought. In Ghana, and in the world for that matter, there are always going to be some who get by better than others (because of their family inheritance, ancestral history, work ethic, etc.). I shouldn’t assume that everyone’s poor in an area just because the area looks poor or most of the people living in the area look poor.

by Brian Clarke


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