No credit

Patani (Delta State): The owner of this shop clearly doesn’t want to sell on credit. Demands for credit by customers, particularly kinspeople and neighbors, place a huge burden on local entrepreneurs; this explains why shopkeepers in Africa are often ‘strangers’–immigrants from other regions.

Ugep market

The motor park in Ugep (Cross River State) on market day.

Used clothing vendor


Used clothes (imported from Europe) are sold at auction in Ugep.


Motorcycle taxis picking up passengers in Ugep.  These bikes, known in Nigeria as okadas, will carry as many people as can safely fit and then some.  In an environment where threats to physical safety (infectious disease, criminal and political violence, traffic accidents) are omnipresent, people become desensitized to risk.


In Ugep, wrestling is a sport for men and women alike (especially during special occasions such as the annual leboku or new yam festival).  This image exemplifies the hybrid nature of many cultural forms:  while the wrestling style these young women practice is “traditionally African,” their match takes place on a mat and in a ring modeled after American-style WWE wrestling, which is popular among Nigerian television viewers, especially children. (Unlike in the WWE, though, this referee isn’t just for show.)

Vendor girls

Ambulant vendors in the market, Patani: there are many forms of child labor in Africa, some more benign than others. Thanks to Steve Halvorsen for this shot.