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Pambe Ghana Global Market to open for holidays

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Alice Iddi Gubbels at a previous market.
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OKLAHOMA CITY – In recent days the somberness and silence of a formerly vacant store located at 6516 N. Olie off of the intersection of Northwest 63rd Street and Western Avenue in Oklahoma City has been broken by the frequent arrival of people carrying a variety of boxes and containers into the structure.

Small wooden giraffes were seen protruding from the top of one of the boxes that were being moved in.

That site will soon be hosting the annual Pambe Ghana Global Gift Market that offers holiday gifts from around the world.  

In accordance with tradition, the market will commemorate its opening with a party that will be held there on Nov. 5.  

The market will be in operation from Thursday, Nov. 3 through Dec. 24, noon to 6 p.m. On Thursdays it will remain open until 7 p.m.

The proceeds from sales at the market will be used to support the L’Angum School in the West African nation of Ghana. That school provides instruction to students in the northern part of Ghana where it is located, and was founded by Alice Iddi Gubbels who is a native of Ghana and a graduate of Oklahoma City University’s Graduate Education School.

The opening event will include food and drinks, as well as live musical entertainment.

Iddi Gubbels will be in attendance at the gathering, and will speak about her school’s accomplishments that include fostering the growth of literacy in Ghana.

The attendees will also view the amazing folk art that is for sale there that includes paintings small sculptures made from metal, wood and other items. 

This will be the ninth year that the market will be in operation, and many customers are said to be looking forward to expanding their collection of the art that they have purchased from it in previous years.

Images of white skulls and nativity figurines from artists in Mexico and other Central American nations are expected to be available as well as small animals that have been created by African artisans from pieces of scrap steel.

The Fair Market Guidelines ensures that artists receive fair compensation for their work and be given the opportunity to improve their working conditions, and all the work offered at the market having been prepared in accordance with them.

The market will be manned by volunteers who share a commitment to the work being done by Iddi Gubbels and the L’Anglum School.

Longtime volunteer Jane Wheeler reports that many of those volunteers have journeyed to Ghana in recent years to see firsthand what that school has accomplished, and that those visits have strengthened their commitment to that institution. 

In addition, many of those volunteers have developed friendships with some of their customers and look forward to seeing them again at the store during its hours of operation.

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Bill O'Brien

Bill O'Brien is an attorney based in Oklahoma City.

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