Ashiaman This is what being a market queen is about

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Lawrencia Tetteh sits comfortably in her shed at the Ashiaman market settling disputes and resolving petty squabbles between market women and even those who would want to get a space in the market.

When I met her she was trying to resolve an issue where one market woman had taken over the space of another and Her verdict was one week ultimatum for the current occupier of the space to leave.

play Lawrencia Tetteh , market queen of Ashiaman

Being a market queen is not an easy job but Lawrencia does it gracefully.

The Ashiaman market is a big one with traders coming from Accra, Ada and Volta region to selll.

After over 43 years of selling cassava and plantain she now runs an eatery in the market where she sells fufu, banku, Ghana jollof, pastries and almost every local meal you can think of. The market is a big one. Most women from Accra, Ada and parts of the Volta Region come to trade there.

Becoming a market queen

To be called a market queen comes with a lot of prestige. The number of years you have spent trading in the market count’s for a minute bit of the whole process of selecting a queen.

play Ashiaman market in Accra

Leadership and the ability to get things done are key to lead the market women at Ashiaman and Lawrencia knows this. She fondly remembers the actions she took to secure the space now referred to as the Ashiaman market.

“I remember when we came to this market, we did not have a specific place to sell and we were constantly harassed by this ‘abayie’(ASHMA taskforce),I stood tall and headed towards the Tema Development Cooperation (TDC) and insisted they give us a place and here we are today.”

To become a market queen “you also need to have self-respect, you must be very active in the market affairs, and you must also be very understanding.” These qualities are very essential because market queens once installed cannot to remove until they die.

Since Lawrencia became queen mother ten years ago she has ensured that sheds are provided for the vendors to protect their wares from rain and sunshine.

This is one of many things she has done including resolving disputes on a daily basis.

 

She has one rule in the market this election period. No market woman should be seen actively engaging in politics in the market.

“If you go and vote you either come to the market or go home. This is the market no politics here if you are home you can do your politics but when you come to the market we are one…”



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