THE COLORFUL FABRIC OF MARKET LIFE:
A bustling market. Shocking yellows, limes, electric blues, crimsons…all
waiting to wrap round a woman’s waist as skirts or billowing dresses.
Choose your fabric and the line of seamstresses will stitch you a dress
overnight for the right price. New buildings sit like half-constructed
shells outside, but inside here the centuries-old tradition of dressmaking
hums on. There’s economic development, and then there’s this economy: the
one that has been thriving in Rwanda for ages.
(Note: The fabric vendors tapped sticks against fabric folds, testing our
pocketbooks but otherwise not showing much interest in us. That is, until I
whipped out my microphone and radio recorder to ask one woman if she
listened to popular radio dramas (the topic of my story). Then people
swarmed around us, pressing their bodies against mine and peering over my
shoulder at my blinking red recorder. My interview subject eventually
clammed up. Eyes stayed on me the rest of the way out the market. Radio
reporting. Alas. Discretion is not our forté.)