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Episode from the podcastNKATA: Dots of Thoughts

EP06: Mama Margeret of Afroshop Tropical Markt – 25 Years of Making Life Matter in Berlin.

Released Thursday, 4th June 2020
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For 25 years, Madam Margaret Opambour-Adjei has run the Afroshop Tropical Markt, in Neukölln Berlin, where she sells foodstuffs, cosmetics and fabrics mainly from West Africa. Originally from Ghana, she migrated to Germany in 1988. 

In this episode, Emeka Okereke visited her shop during which they discussed various aspect of the movement of African food across borders. 

“We are quite conversant with the movement of bodies and people back and forth borders in the context of migration – in this case, Africans. But there is another angle to it: the movement of food. Africans have always carried their food with them when they travel or migrate. If there are two luggage allowances [for a flight], it is most likely that one of the luggage will be filled with foodstuff.”

Their conversation was a glimpse into her life:

  • The challenges of running such a business in Berlin; the trajectory of the transportation/distribution of African foodstuff and the agents involved. 
  • Some of the governmental policies which constitute bottlenecks. 
  • Her shop as a Pan-African Space, as a space of conviviality. 
  • Her connection with Ghana, her home country. 

Incapsulating this is the fact that the conversation took place on the so-called #blackoutteusday, and in the same week when many people in the world are protesting under the “Black Lives Matter” banner. 

While this is commendable, it is crucial to articulate other ways black people are making lives matter - in their everyday lives. The likes of Madam Margaret may not be able to go for the placard-waving match-protest protest in Berlin. But she has kept a business running for 25 years in Berlin – even as the business is frustrated by imperialist-capitalist realities. She Keeps her head up – for herself and those who depend on her as far as in Ghana. She makes "Lives Matter". 

This podcast is a small attempt to honour her own way of making lives matter.

Guest: Margaret Opambour-Adjei (Berlin)
Host: Emeka Okereke (Berlin)
Text: Emeka Okereke
Photography: Emeka Okereke
Music: Sir Kupeski
Graphic Design: Innocent Ekejiuba,

Listen on: nkatapodcast.com/dot
Support the project: nkatapodcast.com/patreon 

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From The Podcast

NKATA: Dots of Thoughts

I often wake up in the morning with thoughts reeling in my head. Thoughts inspired by a conversation with someone; something I read, heard, listened to (music/podcasts), a film I saw, a photograph I made, an essay/poem I wrote, or in broad terms, an impactful encounter. They exist as disjointed, scattered particles I often refer to as dots of thoughts.Thus, this podcast show is an attempt to articulate, to converse and to put in relation these floating thoughts. While it relies on random impulses, the podcast is structured by thought-prompts focusing on everyday issues across space, time and works of life. Though it is not a live podcast, it somewhat mimics this approach in that for every episode, the conversation, which begins as a monologue, evolves into a dialogue through a phone conversation with someone else in another part of the world (a friend, a colleague, relative, expert in a subject, creator of a work, originator of an idea). This ensures a broadening of the thematic and locational context of the conversation as a way of demystifying distances. It is a weekly show intended to be spontaneous (as much as technical requirements and logistics allow). Future episodes will feature intro/excerpts of new music tracks made by me. Other times, it will reference aural materials sourced from different corners of everyday life. It will be freshly served – nothing preserved in the freezer! Listeners are encouraged to join the conversation by leaving a comment on the episode in their preferred platform of listening. Selected comments will be addressed in a subsequent episode.Emeka Okereke (host)Available on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcast, Stitcher, Overcast, etc.
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