Somewhere along the lines of me signing up for numerous email lists from events I attend, i wounded up on one known as Open The Gate. I cannot tell you how but i can assure you I’ve not regretted a single email. They hold a number of events but The African Market stalls, held at Old Spitalfields Market, is one that i look forward to most.
As mentioned in the above picture, it is held once a month on the 4th Saturday. I slyly think that’s done on purpose cause payday would’ve come by and I respect the method because it certainly works on me. There are a number of stalls propped up in the venue that sell a variety of products; ranging from clothes to jewellery and books to paintings.
There are other stalls surrounded that sell whatever it is they sell, but with the vibrant colours and the richness of melanin, it is difficult to miss the African Market. I put myself on a budget because it is easy for my bank account to get sucked dry once I step in; especially when I know it’s supporting small black businesses. Prices obviously vary and I don’t find them to be extortionate but you might stumble onto some items with a price tag that make you do a Fat Joe and lean back.
Pieces I grabbed:I got this whipped hair and body butter together with the afro comb from the brand called SUNU KËR. They are a 100% natural and vegan handmade hair and beauty product company and can be found on Instagram and Facebook. I’ve already used the whipped butter today and it melts easily into the skin and has a creamy texture to it. The butter cost £8 and the afro comb £5. I’m sure i could get the afro comb for cheaper at Ridley road market in Dalston but don’t judge me.
Earrings are in my top 10 of things i love. They make my face because i have bowling ball head with ears that go into hiding, and earrings make the necessary statement. So this beauty was a no-brainer. What i love about this is how the Ankara fabric is in-between the gold hoops. They cost only £7.50 and the brand, Colourshot, can be found all over the online world. Etsy, Pinterest, Facebook… You name it. For more pieces you can check them out on http://www.colourshot.co.uk/
I didn’t get an item from this brand, Bubushiiky, but i loved their pieces. As well as the already wrapped Ankara shoes, you can give them old shoes that you’d like Ankara fabric woven into and they’ll do that. For a starting price of £30 (don’t quote me). And it’s not just the shoes that get that treatment, from what I’ve found online, even chairs and cushions can get that look. So imagine all that colour in your home. I mean, it’s not necessarily for me but that’s not the point. They can be found on: Instagram and on their Website
Finally, after all the shopping, it’s always nice to have a great eatery just a few metres away and this is guaranteed. There are Caribbean cuisines, Indian and a number others readily available but the actual issue is finding a spot to eat. When you’re hungry though, eating standing up isn’t a challenge. I spotted an Ethiopian and Eritrean food pop up that smelled divine. Having never had that type of cuisine before, I was more than ready to give it a try and it was worth every bite. I got the vegan option (I’m not a vegan) and i stand by the idea that if the vegan option bangs, then the whole thing must bang. And bang, it did.
Be sure to check out Open The Gate http://openthegate.org.uk/ and sign up to their newsletter! Dont miss the next African Market pop up at Old Spitalfields Market, Shoreditch.