Shops in Brazaville use Murals to Attract Clients
They say that a picture speaks a thousand words. This is very true in the case of the use of murals and drawings by small business owners in Brazzaville, Congo to advertise their services to potential customers. Brazzaville is the capital of the Congo Republic where the official language of communication is French. Its citizens also speak four different national languages: Swahili, Kituba (or Kikongo), Lingala and Tshiluba, although there are an estimated 242 languages spoken in the country.
Because of the diversity of cultures and ethnic groups in the Republic of Congo, small business owners turn to the use of murals and paintings on their walls and fences to show what type of services are rendered in their shops. This way, the language barrier problem is greatly reduced and almost non-existent. Potential customers can easily locate these shops (depending on what service they require). For example, a tailor’s shop would have paintings of clothes and/or sewing machines on his walls; a barber would have murals of clippers and a pair of scissors neatly positioned beside a figure in a chair. Same thing applies to a hair or nail salon where the paintings would show either a female figure’s head under a hairdryer or a hand with a nail polish close to it.
Also interesting to note is the fact that this phenomenon has created a market for artists, painters or just about anyone with a passion for drawing or sketching images. While it may not be relied upon as a steady means of income, it certainly helps to add some additional cash to the pockets of these artists and painters.