Connect with us


‘Afrikan Son Durak’ store in Istanbul treat for homesick Africans



An Istanbul-based Nigerian entrepreneur is alleviating the homesickness of Africans living thousands of kilometers away from their homeland by establishing a store in Istanbul, where a fusion of local African products and Turkish items can be found.

Mark Kendrick Imafidon established the “Afrikan Son Durak” (“African Final Destination”) market in Şişli, Istanbul and shared his journey that began in 2013 when he relocated to Türkiye after graduating from the University of Benin in Nigeria in 2012. Initially, he engaged in trade by selling products he sourced from Türkiye back in Nigeria. Under the banner “Istanbul’s Last Stop,” he successfully opened three shops in his home country.

He has become a vital link between Africa and Türkiye, providing a haven for African expatriates seeking a taste of home. The market boasts an eclectic array of offerings, including food products like plantains, a banana family member; taro, reminiscent of oversized potatoes; dried catfish; dried shell shrimp; injera bread; and a variety of local spices. In addition to culinary delights, the market offers traditional clothing, cosmetics, and household goods.

Imafidon expressed: “Every African can buy what they need from my market. We offer local products from Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana and beyond.” He noted the joy and satisfaction his customers experience when they discover products from their home countries on the shelves. He emphasized that Nigerians, in particular, exhibit a strong preference for food items like plantains, even though transporting fresh produce from Nigeria to Türkiye presents logistical challenges. However, Imafidon and his team ensure that these products are readily available for customers.

After settling in Istanbul, Imafidon married an Ethiopian woman he met in 2016. The couple now has two daughters, who attend Turkish schools. Imafidon shared their initial linguistic challenges but highlighted their subsequent adjustment and success in their studies. He expressed pride in their positive relationships with their Turkish classmates and emphasized his strong bonds with the Turkish community, stating, “All the people I am friends with are good.”

Despite occasional homesickness, Imafidon finds contentment in Istanbul, describing it as his home for the past nine years. He expressed his love for the city Rize and revealed that while he misses Africa, he always feels like a native of Rize.


The Daily Sabah Newsletter

Keep up to date with what’s happening in Turkey,
it’s region and the world.

You can unsubscribe at any time. By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Source: Daily Sabah


Follow us on Google News to get the latest Updates