Repair Café has made its way to Sub-Saharan Africa! On September 24 seventeen volunteers came together in the town of Mankoadze in Ghana. The repair event was held in the open-air under canopies.
Between 8am and 4:30pm, over a hundred people visited the event. They brought broken food blenders with them, irons, mobile phones, dresses, bulky televisions. Damage from lightning and overvoltage was common and several items already showed evidence of very resourceful repairs.
The repairs were free. There were caterers who made rice, tomato stew and pastries for sale. And there was loud music.
Initiator Chris Moller says: “Loud music really helps to make it an occasion in this environment – even if it does make it difficult to think and converse.” Chris also organizes the Repair Café in Cottenham, United Kingdom. Since he is in Ghana to support the Mankoadze Vocational College, he thought: why not try a Repair Café over here?
Repairing in the bright sunlight
As a Repair Café expert, Chris noted all the successes and areas for improvement. He noticed that outside, in the bright sunlight, it was hard to read the LED displays. And screws are impossible to find in the grass. “So we provided every repairer with a bowl to keep screws in”, he wrote, “but in their excitement, they weren’t always used until it was too late.”
Chris and the other volunteers are ready for a second Sub-Saharan African Repair Café. “There is certainly no shortage of things to repair”, he says.