Thursday, 4 October 2007

Liberia's Wheelbarrow Boys

Chris Herwig.

"All day, every day, they come streaming across the Monserrado bridge in both directions, carrying everything from fresh baked goods to soggy trash. Policemen direct the wheelbarrow traffic like cars. One wheelbarrow rolls by with a load of bras of all sizes, hawked by a young male entrepreneur talking on his hands-free mobile phone. An older teenager pushes a load of dried bushmeat, the legs and arms of small furry animals sticking out in all directions. One guy has decorated his rig with an old telephone and walkie-talkie, and a row of cheerful stuffed animals.
The use of the 'wheel', as its known among operators, is by no means unique to Liberia's capital, but nowhere else are wheelbarrows so plentiful, and so much a part of the economic life of the city. "


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