Being an ambassador is an important and a full time job at hand. You’re not only there with your camera snapping pictures whenever there’s something to capture. You also have to write something intriguing and meaningful that would keep your readers interested. Something that will be useful to the readers. Something that would keep them coming for more.
When I talk about my country, it’s important for me to show people a side they don’t know and places they have never been to. Places new to them, that probably don’t exist where they live or come from, something intriguing and all the while interessting. There are so many places in this country that don’t get the attention they deserve and as an ambassador it’s my job to showcase all of that to those who want to discover more about the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
In every country, there are many local markets that people go to, but there’s always that one place that everyone talks about and which is the landmark of the country. Here in Kinshasa, that market is known as Zando or Grand Marche. A place where you find everything you’re looking for. Clothes, toys, food, bed sheets, shoes, kitchen ustensils and anything. It’s the first place they took me to when I first came to Kinshasa. There are a lot of things with very great prices. You’d find second hand as well as new stuffs. The good part about those markets is that you’d even find real brands at cheap prices. Let’s say a pair of Michael Kors flats originally costs $150, in Zando you could find it for as less as $20 or $10 second hand and if you’re lucky enough that you might find brand new ones. The same goes for the clothes and the other stuffs.
And if you’re looking for good African prints and fabrics, then Zando is your place to go. There are so many of them at good prices. You could find 2 yards for as little as 2500 FC, which is about $2.7 or 6 yards for 7500 FC ($8.2). When you go there, you get the real feeling of being in a real market with all these vendors trying to sell you whatever they have, going after you, showcasing their products. They will keep following you until you either buy or they’ll get bored when they realize that you’re ignoring them and you clearly are not insterested at all. Though I’ve been there a few times, I still haven’t finished going around. I’m still not done figuring out and discovering all these places that sell many other stuffs, due to its immensity with so many entrances and exits. I still plan to go there again sometime soon and roam endlessly around those beautiful cobbled corners and discover new stores.
When you plan your trip to Kinshasa, don’t forget to include Zando. Give yourself time and patience to go around and buy what you want. Whether you’re a forigner or a local, the key is to bargain, always do otherwise you would be sold things double or triple the oiginal price. I had never been good at bargaining but I had to learn it to be able to survive here, or around most places in the whole African continent. I guess that’s what makes us one of a kind after all.