August 25, 2023 | by shivam saxena


Where “stuff” goes and how it moves once “we” have finished with it – fashion slaves have uses too. I don’t quite understand if this market has been forced to move by the railways expansion or has closed down?





Nestled in the heart of Accra, Ghana, Kantamanto Market stands as a bustling epicenter of commerce, culture, and history. This vibrant and chaotic market is a testament to the energy and resilience of the Ghanaian people, offering a captivating glimpse into the daily life of this West African nation. In this article, we will take you on a virtual journey through Kantamanto Market, uncovering its rich history, diverse offerings, and the incredible stories of the people who call it home.

For more than 30 years now, the trading in Accra’s Kantamanto Market has contributed and linked in to the urban center’s economic productivity and vibrancy. Located near the Makola Market area, Kantamanto is its own market, separate and distinct from Makola. It’s home to more than 30,00 traders, who sell most commonly secondhand clothing, but also spare parts, household decorations.

A Historical Perspective of Kantamanto

Kantamanto Market, often referred to as “Kaneshie Market” by locals, has a storied history that dates back to the colonial era. It originally served as a trading hub for textiles and fabrics. Over the years, it has evolved into a sprawling marketplace that accommodates a wide range of goods and services.

One of the defining features of Kantamanto Market is its labyrinthine layout, characterized by narrow alleyways that wind through a maze of stalls and shops. This layout reflects the organic growth of the market over time and adds to its unique charm.

The Market’s Diverse Offerings in Kantamanto

Kantamanto Market is a true shopper’s paradise, offering an astonishing array of goods and services. While it may have started as a textile market, it has since expanded to include virtually everything one could imagine. Here are some of the market’s highlights:

  1. Clothing and Fabrics: Kantamanto is still renowned for its textile vendors, where you can find colorful African prints, lace, and traditional garments like kente cloth and dashikis.
  2. Electronics and Gadgets: From smartphones to home appliances, the market boasts a wide range of electronic goods. You can also find repair shops for all your electronic needs.
  3. Secondhand Clothing: Known locally as “bend-down boutiques,” these stalls sell gently used clothing from around the world, catering to budget-conscious shoppers.
  4. Footwear: Whether you’re in search of trendy sneakers or traditional sandals, the market offers a plethora of footwear options.
  5. Jewelry and Accessories: Adorn yourself with beautiful handmade jewelry, beaded necklaces, and other accessories crafted with care by local artisans.
  6. Fresh Produce and Food: You can find an array of fresh fruits, vegetables, spices, and traditional Ghanaian dishes like waakye and jollof rice within the market.
  7. Art and Crafts: Art enthusiasts will appreciate the market’s selection of Ghanaian art, wooden carvings, and beads.

Meeting the People of Kantamanto

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What truly makes Kantamanto Market come alive are the people who work tirelessly within its labyrinthine alleys. The market is home to a diverse community of traders, craftsmen, artisans, and entrepreneurs. Here, you’ll find merchants from various parts of Ghana and even neighboring countries, each contributing to the market’s vibrant tapestry.

Many of the traders have unique stories of resilience and entrepreneurship, overcoming challenges to build their businesses in this bustling market. Conversations with these individuals reveal the incredible spirit and determination that define Ghana’s people.

Challenges and Resilience

Like any other bustling market, Kantamanto faces its share of challenges. Congestion, sanitation issues, and sometimes unregulated trading practices are common concerns. However, it’s important to note that efforts are continually being made to improve conditions and ensure the sustainability of the market.


Kantamanto Market in Accra is not just a marketplace; it’s a microcosm of Ghanaian life and culture. Its rich history, diverse offerings, and the remarkable people who populate it make it a must-visit destination for anyone seeking an authentic Ghanaian experience. It’s a place where the past and present converge, where tradition meets modernity, and where the spirit of entrepreneurship thrives amidst the chaos. A visit to Kantamanto Market is an adventure into the heart and soul of Accra, leaving you with memories and experiences that will last a lifetime.



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