Lets hear it for the West…

of Africa that is. Having just got back from a week in the Gambia, lets just call it a business trip, I spent some time thinking about what it is that makes each country unique. So often in Europe we think of sub- Saharan Africa as just one big block of a country and yet for others to think of  Britain as indistinguishable from France or Italy seems ridiculous to us.

There are obviously major similarities across the continent – the colours, the heat and unfortunately a lot of poverty but there are also big differences.

West Africa is the home of what we think of as African Fabric Design so I was out spotting beautiful fabrics on the dusty streets again. I just love the energy that you find in the street markets.

Another big difference is the music – everywhere you go in the Gambia you can hear really great musicians playing good music which I didn’t really find to be the case in Kenya way over in the east.

A lot of musicians come across the border from Sennegal where Youssou N’dour has just been elected minister of culture.  Remember that great song with Nenah Cherry “7 Seconds”?  Must be a bit like having Eric Clapton as Arts Minister!

The east may have the Nile but the west has its own monster, the River Gambia, where we came across this wonderful boy’s own sort of fort called Lamin Lodge.

And of course your intrepid explorer here did not stop thinking about Wild ingredients for the whole week! Here I am taking a trip up river on a frantic search for that special additive for our next product, not relaxing honest!

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