Filed Under (Beninese culture, General) by Rob on 13-05-2008

Many t-shirts from elsewhere in the world make it to West Africa, where they are sold at local markets.

You may remember this occasion, where I saw a lady wearing a Newnham Middle School sweater at the market. Clothes like this are sent over from charity shops in huge bags, which market traders buy and then sell on the individual items. Once I bought a Marks and Spencer suit for 9,000 cfa (= £9-). I was delighted to see the old price label, still inside, which read: British Heart Foundation £10-. Wow – I saved a pound, even after its long journey here!!!

There are also plenty of imported second-hand t-shirts, which come from the same sources. Here are a few we’ve seen during our time in Togo and Benin: an Asda t-shirt (a British supermarket), the rather confrontational Mind your own business t-shirt (of course, he had no idea what it meant), a Britney Spears t-shirt (before she shaved her hair off) and a Michael Owen top:


These are just a few of the many t-shirts which raise a smile on the average yovo face when we see them! To top it all, I was walking down a local street the other day, and saw a guy selling this t-shirt for a pound:


I couldn’t resist it – for nostalgic reasons – but somehow don’t think I’ll wear it back home!

Thanks for reading!

1 Comment posted on "More on T-shirts…"
Rachel on May 15th, 2008 at 10:47 am #

If they are really unlucky, this time next year Cotonou will have it’s own Tesco (they have run out of places surely to build them here).