Msasa Market Brings the Tastes, Colors and Sounds of Africa to Stapleton

By Petra Goldner Jan 26, 2024

What if you could explore another continent without ever leaving your neighborhood? That’s what Stapleton resident Maxwell Ishmail hopes to do with the inaugural Msasa African Market.  The market is named for a type of acacia tree found in Africa, which is known as a place where people gather and share knowledge.

Maxwell was born in Zimbabwe, which is located in southern Africa. When he moved to the United States in 2003 and later settled into Stapleton with his wife and two children, he wanted to share a piece of his homeland with his Colorado neighbors.

“As a resident of Stapleton for eight years, I’ve gotten a lot of questions about Africa. The market will focus on the vast continent made up of many cultures; it’s hard to grasp how diverse it is without really seeing it for yourself,” Maxwell says.

He added, “I also want to showcase the diverse community of Africans in Colorado. We have a rich tapestry of African cultures here,” he says. “The market will celebrate the woven fabric of the multiple colors and designs of the people of Africa. We will feature the colors, the tastes and the music at the market – so this will be very educational.”

The stage will feature entertainment by Chiara, a family from Zimbabwe that will play traditional Shona tribal music.  Food trucks and food tables will sell food from countries including Ethiopia, Congo DRC, Senegal, Kenya and South Africa.

There will also be African artisans including an artist that makes Shona tribal stone sculptures, a designer from Uganda, and a variety of other wares and goods for sale.

Maxwell adds, “The market will be a place for all ages and cultures to come together. I want to spark a curiosity in people to become interested and learn more about Africa.”

Petra Goldner

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