14 June 2017

Gambia: Success Behind Selling of Second Hand Clothing

We often lay the plague of "resellers" at the feet of the sneaker community, but in reality, reselling is something that reaches well into the depths of the fashion community. In the Gambia, selling of second hand clothing is on the increase. This is as a result of its rapid socio-economic changes that it has impacted on the lives of those involved into it. Among them is one Muhammad Jah of Kotu, a wholesaler.

According to him, he was an Oustas (Qur'anic teacher) and a rice seller in Banjul but the selling of second hand clothing has now made him more successful. He further stated that then business enable him to accumulate wealth unlike his previous jobs.

"I regret why I didn't join this business early," he said.

Alhagie Morr and Abubakr both Gambian nationals said they were drivers by profession but what they are able to do in second hand clothing business is unlike their previous one. "I spent six years in driving but I was not able to do what I am doing now," said Alhagie Morr.

The duos express the same words that the business is enabling them to have legal properties ranging from empty plot of land to animals.

Madi Ceesay, a Senegalese national also praise the business, adding that he was a tailor for years but without success when compare to his current business.

"In this business, I definitely see myself progressing," he said.

For all the places I visited, few women and young girls are found standing side by side with their male counterpart. Among them, Jainaba from Bakorteh, a Gambian national and a Sierra Leonean national who chooses not to be name. Both urge their fellow women to venture into the business because there's a success in it. Jainaba said: 'it's time to do away from shy in selling 'forgajie' (second hand clothing) since it can change one's lives positively like other jobs. She further advice newly graduates and other unemployed young men and women to take up the business. She also said that government intent to but cannot give decent job for all.

"In fact, I see some benefits in the jobs that people belittle that are even better than some decent jobs,' she added.

Other speakers express the same feeling towards the selling of second hand clothing. For this reason, there's no room for sit down while unpaid or unearned, according to Musa Jammeh of Serrekunda Market. Therefore those of you without job, you can take up second hand clothing business as it cost less amount of money to start.

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