Each December, the National Stadium hosts Tangains, a trade fair that can be seen as a microcosm of Sierra Leones’ entertainment and consumer culture. Tangains is a fantastic place to experience the vibrancy and liveliness of Salone culture.

Tangains runs for the entire month of December and is open every day and night.

Companies and organizations sell, promote or offer their services in one of the many booths on the trade fair. The result is a colourful cacophony of sights, smells and sounds. Speakers blast out different afro-beat songs after every 10 meters, the fumes of roasting chicken legs invade your nostrils, shisha pipes are offered in countless flavours and a myriad of Africana prints are spotted at stall selling dresses, tops and trousers.

There is so much variety that every time you go to the Tangains you can discover something new. You can find the Negril Bar, a beauty saloon, a children’s playground, Ghanaian and Nigerian cuisine, beautiful jewelry from different African countries and much more. An absolute recommendation is the Correctional Service shop. Here you can buy handmade products created by the Pademba road prisoners. Among other things, they sell coconut shell earrings, leather sandals and furniture for soft prices.

A second recommendation would be the Freetong Players stall. They are a music/theatre collective that have set up a small history museum. You can see old leone bills (there used to be a 1 leone note), photographs of historical Freetown and traditional masks.

Tangains is not just food and products, you can also dance at various bars that are set up in the space. You can buy beers and hard liquor almost everywhere and for cheap. If you want to enjoy yourself this way it is recommended to arrange private transport and a driver.

If you want to see how Sierra Leoneans enjoy themselves and are looking for an inexpensive way to enjoy your afternoon or evening, Tangains is the perfect place to visit. As always, watch out for pickpockets, as thefts can happen at the National Stadium. But apart from that, there’s no need to worry about your safety. So dress up, and get ready to enjoy Tangains this year.

Where: the National Stadium, Brookfields, Freetown
When: the entire month of December
Price: 5.000le (0.80$)

Esther Kamara

Esther Kamara is a Dutch-Sierra Leonean that was born and raised in Amsterdam. After finishing her bachelor Media Studies from the University of Amsterdam she moved to Freetown, where she now works as a freelance writer and artist manager. Her brainchildren are otherworldly short stories and peculiar drawings of non-existing characters.

Her contributions to the blog do not necessarily reflect the views of Visit Sierra Leone. Although she tried to be as accurate as possible, these observations are always momentarily and therefore subject to change.

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