In January I robbed my bank account and went to Senegal to buy african fabrics and to let Africa inspire me. My stepdad lives in Dakar, the capital of Senegal, so I was sure he would show me around.
One of the first things you notice when you enter Dakar is the amount of construction going on. This city is growing FAST! I was told that the rest of the country is far less developed and a large majority of the Senegalese population is slowly creeping towards Dakar, as the opportunities for employment are substantially higher than in rural areas.
One thing that never ceases to amaze me is how chilled-out life in Africa is. Although globalisation has had a huge impact on Africa, the “time is money concept” has not trickled through. The Dakarois enjoy the finer things in life and get their rest and relaxation,
Dakar is a city of great contrast, homeless people sleep on the streets in neighborhoods with big houses and expensive SUV’s, horse-drawn carriages fill the streets next to expensive sportscars. Fortunately happiness is not tied to material possessions, and most of the people in Dakar are incredibly friendly (watch out for merchants in tourist areas)
As the context of my trip was to find local tailors and craftsmen to work with and my french is utterly terribly, I knew this was going to be a treat. I was overwhelmed by the extent to which people were willing to go to make my trip successful. Amina, my stepdads cousin, was on a break from her law degree and she really helped me discover what Dakar had to offer.
Dakar has an incredibly culture for tailors and having clothes made to measure. In every neighborhood you will find a little tailor that takes care of his neighborhoods clothing needs.