Kumasi Shopping


Atinga Junction
Atinga Junction

While anticipating Amy’s visit to Kumasi, one of the things I looked forward to the most was introducing her to the fine art of shopping in Africa. I couldn’t wait to bring her to the markets overflowing with produce and the little shops we’ve come to love for their selection of Obroni offerings. At the top of my list was Nadville, a little shop on the south side of Atinga junction that I began calling “Radville” after my first visit last July. At that time, my discovery of this well-stocked little store booted my quality of life from “pretty good” to “radical!” Here is the account from my journal entry:

“Do you stock flour?” I asked the lady of the baking aisle at the Melcom the other day. I was nearly out of flour since I began making fry bread to have with our meals. “No have. Try Natville.” When pressed, she told me it was a store up the road at Atinga Junction.

Determined to find a shop in our neighborhood that sells flour, some place I could walk to without having to take a taxi, and pleased with myself for knowing where Atinga Junction was, I strode off with purpose.

The Radical Store, faded sign and all

What was the name of that place, I started asking myself right away – Nedmart? Redville? Oh well, how hard could it be to find a shop?

When I arrived at the junction I looked closely at every store front and stall for signs of a grocery store but found only fruit vendors, chemists, dog food and electronics. After inspecting all four corners of the junction, I approached a shop keeper and asked if he knew where I could buy flour. He smiled and pointed to a florist shop a few spaces down the street. “No,” I said, pulling out the loaf of bread I’d bought at Melcom, “I’m looking for flour.”

“Oh!” he said and pointed south past the junction. Stepping outside he explained that it was past the two coconut trees. “Me’ da ase pii” I thanked him very much and resumed my journey in the direction of the coconut palms.

And there, across the street, past the palms, shining like an oasis, was my new Mecca! The store that would double my shopping expectations. A little shop tucked behind the neighbor’s bougainvillea with a faded sign that read “Nadville.” I would have missed it if I hadn’t been searching.

Camille and Amy comparing soy milk labels.

Once inside I found flour, couscous, soy milk, flat bread, a great selection of fruit juice and wine, the good beans I’ve been getting on our weekly (taxi enabled) water runs to the Palace Hypermart and much, much more. I was careful not to buy more than I could carry but couldn’t stop myself from picking up potatoes and spinach from the two old men selling produce outside the store.

I arrived home in a state of elation. The next time Bob and I were out and about I introduced him to the joys of the rad little store. We bought a case of ginger beer, roasted peanuts and cashews, juice, more soy milk, sweet chili sauce and oh my!

Radville is our new favorite little store and the shopping ace up my sleeve. Unlike many of the other local shops, they open at 8:00am rather than at 10:00 (11:00am on Sundays!) and as Isacc, the friendly manager happily says, they are the “best shopping in Kumasi.”

Six months later, I happily revealed our shopping secret to Amy, reliving my initial joy at discovering Nadville.



By Camille Armantrout

Camille lives with her soul mate Bob in the back woods of central North Carolina where she hikes, gardens, cooks, and writes.