BOYS AT THE LOCAL BARBER SHOP KARTONG © HELEN JONES-FLORIO
BOYS AT KING KAI’S LOCAL BARBER SHOP KARTONG, THE GAMBIA, WEST AFRICA © HELEN JONES-FLORIO

 

We first met ‘King Kai’ – a young local entrepreneur from the village of Kartong (also known as Kartung), which borders Senegal, in southwestern Gambia – a few years ago, when he had recently opened his small barbershop/hairdresser, which also served the community with cold drinks and expertly hand-crafted (by King Kai, himself) models of traditional masquerades. Never one to rest on his laurels, when we returned a year or so later, KK had expanded his business empire to include an amusement arcade, to entertain the youth of the village – apparently, much to the consternation of the village elders and Koranic scholars, who felt this to be unIslamic behaviour for young boys.

To see more from our West Africa travels, please visit ‘River Gambia Expedition 1044kim source-sea African odyssey‘  and ‘A Short Walk in the Gambian Bush – a 930km African odyssey

Helen Jones-Florio

 

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