Location: Accra, Ghana
With brand new sports equipment fetching impossibly high prices in Ghana, it is no wonder that second-hand markets, such as the Kantamanto Market in Accra, do such a raging trade. Most average Ghanaians cannot afford to spend $30 on a new pair of football boots, so they dig around in the mountains of second-hand pairs at the market stalls to find their size, and only part with $4 for a pair.
One of the market sellers, Joseph Tetteh, boasts a bustling trade at his stall.
“I began dealing in second-hand jeans six years ago, but I have shifted to football equipment due to its high demand by the youth and football teams in the country,” he said.
Twenty-year old aspiring soccer star, Theophilus Neequaye, explained that because new football equipment was so expensive, he and his friends relied on ‘Obroni wawu’, goods imported from overseas. The equipment on display in the markets is often store rejects from Europe and the United States of America. The stock ranges from mounds of football jerseys, to bins full of soccer balls, shin guards, odd socks and hundreds of mismatched football boots. Customers have to dig about for hours to find what they are looking for, and soccer players often end up with two different shoes in order to get a pair in their size.
Theophilus shops at Kantamanto Market for all of his sporting equipment. Forced to leave school at an early age due to financial constraints, he started work with a Chinese shoe dealer to earn some money. His dream has always been to make it as a professional footballer, so his wages go towards football kit from the market.
“A brand new shin guard costs $2, while the used ones cost $1. A set of brand new socks costs 50 cents, while the used ones cost 20 cents,” he said.
The young player is a defender for Kwashieman Manchester United, a second division team, but he hopes to one day play for British side, Chelsea, and be able to afford to buy his very own football kit.