Most schools in Cameroon recommend that pupils and students wear white socks and black low shoes while going to school.
Some schools strictly apply the requirement and oblige students to always dress as such.
At the Franky Comprehensive Secondary School at Biscuiterie Biyem Assi, Government Bilingual High School Etoug-Ebe and English High School Obili, students wearing assorted coloured socks and shoes are systematically sent back home.
Three days to the start of the School year, vendors are happy they are making brisk business. “Many parents purchase socks alongside school needs”, a vendor at the Mballa II neighbourhood, Emmanuel Nguekeng Mapang said with a smile. “The demand for white colour socks are in high followed by black socks”, he added.
Emmanuel Nguekeng Mapang who sells brand new and second handed socks for six years now says his business witnesses affluence during back to school and festive periods.
He sells a pair of brand new socks at a price range of 200 and 500 CFA francs depending on the quality and colour. A pair of second handed socks is sold at 150 francs or 100 francs depending on the customer’s bargaining power.
During the peak season his turnover can vary from 25 – 40 thousand francs when clients buy in bulk to resell.
Adamou is also a socks vendor and says September and December are the periods where the business boosts a lot given that it is the moment parents come to buy for their children.
He also emphasises that during the rainy season he does not gain much as business is slow and at times he does not sell for a day.
There are days he says he can gain from 20-45 thousand francs without putting other money collected for the week.
To some parents, socks are just as important as any other school item because it helps keep the child’s feet warm especially during the rainy season.
Ekane Metuge Mesode (Intern)