I was just speaking with Old John. I asked him to tell me about markets long ago in this land. He said before colonisation, there were no fixed marketplaces where you could go and buy stuff daily.
There was a ‘watering hole’ where people and peoples from North and South met on scheduled days to barter salt for fish, cotton for iron, kontomire for cane rat, kola for white clay. When the goods were finished, they’d barter news. A man took a fifth wife; a woman had her Badu Dwan (a celebration of her tenth child); a boy and girl were banished from their town for festive fornication.
When the news is digested, messages would then change hands (or ears). A man sends his love to a maiden – he sends it with a guinea hen. A woman sends a half-piece of calico cloth to her daughter who lives with her sister at a far-off place.
Then, I told Old John about the Accra Mall; about the overdressed Barbie dolls and Peacocks that flock its corridors and spaces from morning till midnight. Old Man John said he was little surprised. Pre-colonial market day was also a time to show off wealth, magic, beauty, wives, horses, cattle, sons and daughters.
Old John thought the fixed market was introduced by European merchants to enable them offload their little-needed goods of European cloth, alcohol, guns and gunpowder, tobacco, mirrors and hats(!) to Africans!
So a mall may be American, but Accraians remain African!