The Society of Putting on and Dry-Cleansing Fits in Yaounde


Any eager observer in Yaounde, a social scientist, a journalist, or any researcher would discover that Cameroon`s capital metropolis revolves close to the notion of “thirty day period-conclusion”. Close to the 23rd to the 27th of each thirty day period, prolonged queues can be viewed in front of banking institutions and other fiscal institutions of people eager to obtain their salaries. The arrival of the automated teller devices has not eased the lining-up system. Even a taxi driver can explain to you that civil servants have been paid out mainly because abruptly there are site visitors congestions in the metropolis provoked by the lots of much more non-public cars and trucks in circulation. The rationalization is that when salaried employees obtain their shell out, they run their cars for two or a few times prior to parking them to proceed likely about in taxis which is reasonably much less expensive and inside the get to of all metropolis dwellers. Such seasonal non-public car or truck motorists use taxicabs till the up coming thirty day period conclusion comes.

One more peculiarity of Yaounde, which goes outside of the civil servant, is the custom of carrying fits. Western type fits, a legacy of the colonial administration have stayed back again 50 decades after independence to epitomize the civil assistance, or business office and white-collar get the job done. Employees in governing administration ministries (solutions centraux), state firms, non-public companies, commercial banking institutions, and diplomatic missions gown formally by carrying fits irrespective of sex or obligation submit.


1.    Nature of Occupation and Do the job Ecosystem. Employees in workplaces or solutions that relate with the basic community are essential to wear formal dresses and by implication fits in get to express an impression of seriousness. Max Weber`s Forms is also depicted in the way people gown.

2.    Local weather or Environmental Temperature. As compared to other Cameroonian towns like Douala and Garoua, Yaounde is reasonably colder so people have to have to wear heat clothes to maintain heat. For instance, for the duration of doing the job hrs, the typical temperature in Douala reads 35 degrees Celsius, Garoua hits 42 degrees Celsius, even though Yaounde fluctuates close to 19 degrees Celsius.

3.    Affordability. As a formal apparel, a new accommodate can cost as minimal as 25000 CFA francs. Imports from China have brought down the selling prices of textiles and lots of much more tailors are location up store in Yaounde. Fits, as formal attires are much more cost-effective than African standard regalia. For instance, even though just one can get a new accommodate for 25000 CFA francs, the Bamenda robe is not much less expensive than 50000CFA francs, even though Nigerian and Senegalese dresses are even much more expensive.

4.    Availability of Second Hand Attire. Second hand fits are regularly imported from Europe, the Usa, and even from the South East Asia. Some of such fits have been nick named “Mokolo” mainly because of the second hand marketplace from where by they are bought. Such second hand fits offer for as minimal as 10000 CFA francs or even much less expensive.

5.    Obligatory Apparel in Some Qualified Educational facilities. College students of some professional universities are essential to wear fits each day as section of grooming for their long run professional roles as administrators and diplomats. This is the circumstance with the National University of Administration and Magistracy ENAM, and the Intercontinental Relations Institute of Cameroon IRIC.

Assertion OF THE Trouble

The society of carrying fits in the metropolis of Yaounde specifically sales opportunities us to the issue of dry-cleaning them. Specified that fits demand skills in managing and cleaning. This delicate undertaking is usually executed skillfully by dry cleaners that now have much more shops than consuming spots in Yaounde.

Study Questions

1.    Does the carrying of fits in Yaounde count on the availability of dry cleaning solutions?

2.    Does the carrying of fits in Yaounde count on the affordability of dry cleaning solutions?

3.    Is the proliferation of dry cleaning shops in Yaounde a perform of the society of accommodate carrying?

Objective AND Speculation

The aim of this examine is to take a look at dry cleaning solutions in Yaounde. My speculation is that the dry cleaning of fits is a business enterprise or financial activity that serves a social perform in perpetuating the society of accommodate carrying in Yaounde.


The layout is the cross sectional survey investigate especially a descriptive layout that includes just one time observation. I opted to do an ethnographic survey by observing and interviewing employees in dry cleaning companies.

Specified that the various dry cleaning companies have shops in lots of neighbourhoods in Yaounde, I chose just one avenue and focused my consideration on all the dry cleaning companies positioned in it. I walked the avenue numerous periods to note the strategic spots of the dry cleaning companies, look at them with other business enterprise functions in the similar vicinity, note their opening and closing hrs, the peak durations for prospects to appear contacting and so on and so forth.

As an observing participant, I frequented the various dry cleaning stores as a shopper, and then interviewed employees and also compared the assistance made available in every agency.


On the avenue from Marché Biyem Assi to Biyem Assi Lycee, a distance of a lot less than 400 meters there are 8 dry cleaning stores particularly

1.    Fratenité Categorical Urgent

2.    Perfection Urgent

3.    Mister Thoroughly clean Urgent

4.    Fiesta Urgent

5.    Reference Urgent

6.    Fusion Urgent

7.    Promo Categorical Urgent

8.    Listel Urgent

On the total, there is an typical of 1 dry cleaning store each 50 meters. There are much more dry cleaning stores on this avenue than consuming spots (6), provision shop (5), hair dressing saloons (4), barbing studios (3), tailoring workshops (3), bookshops (3), Chinese stores (2), car or truck wash (1), and revenue transfer agency (1).

The only activity featuring much more that dry cleaning stores on this avenue is the mobile telephone contact box (12).

All eight companies claim they can dry clean fits inside 1 hour but it turned out that the shortest time taken to supply a clean accommodate back again to its owner varies from 2 to 3 times.

Of all 8 companies, only 1 has washing and dry cleaning devices on the spot. All the some others obtain dresses and acquire to some other section of town for dry cleaning.

The cost for dry cleaning a accommodate, that is a jacket and a pair of trousers, ranges from 1800 CFA francs to 3500 CFA francs. Individuals who charge much more than 2500 CFA francs claim that these who charge a lot less do not actually use any present day devices to dry clean fits, but acquire them to some washer male refugees from Chad, Niger, Mali or some other West African country who was them in a stream prior to ironing them domestically. But all the companies insist they do but present day dry cleaning in which they hire starch and other chemical compounds to renew the cloth.

The selection in the high quality of assistance also varies from these who dry clean torn dresses and return them in their torn affliction irrespective of the revenue gathered even though some others even inflict damages on healthy fits prior to returning them to the proprietors. Such bad assistance final results in conflicts which may even drive the dry cleaners to entirely replace the torn dresses.

All the dry cleaning companies hire young women to provide at the reception counters, and shell out them salaries ranging from 30000 CFA francs to 100000 CFA francs dependent on the longevity of the employee and the prestigious impression of the agency.

Even even though the dry cleaners go to to various sorts of dresses, they all have much more prospects with fits than other dresses. There are also much more specific than corporate consumers.

Specified that competitiveness is slice-throat, lots of companies test to entice prospects by providing cost-free cleaning discount coupons after dry cleaning a quantity of fits. Some open very early, as early as 6:30 AM and near close to 9:00 PM. Other folks contact the consumers or mail telephone text messages to alert the prospects that their dresses are all set for collection. Still some others like to continue to be ahead of the competitiveness by accumulating and delivering fits from door-to-door.


Likely only by the findings of this survey, it is not straight away clear whether or not lots of people in Yaounde wear fits much more mainly because it is effortless to dry clean them or mainly because of some other social pressures. The profile of the prospects recorded in the various companies nevertheless provides the hint that the availability of dry cleaning companies and their ingenious means of engaging prospects can motivate people to wear their fits.

The cost range for dry cleaning is inside the get to of these who can find the money for to buy fits, which is a motivating component for them to dry clean the fits regularly and as a result wear them.

The dry cleaners by themselves justify their existence by the have to have to assistance accommodate wearers to acquire far better treatment of their dresses and the have to have to supply work to these who are used by this activity.


The pursuing problems and shortcomings had been encountered with this examine.

1.    The time out there for the survey, just one thirty day period, was way too short to carry out any meaningful Anthropological investigate to entirely take a look at the troubles.

2.    A survey of dry cleaners by itself are not able to categorically explain to us whether or not these who wear fits wear them much more mainly because it is less difficult to clean them. A survey of equally dry cleaners and accommodate wearers can best validate this.

3.    The use of interviewing in surveying a business enterprise activity is very hard mainly because lots of companies do not comply with taxation or social coverage requirements and are adamant to have their staff speaking to researchers. The fear of opponents doing industrial espionage did not assistance matters.

4.    The researcher with inadequate capabilities in the dry cleaning activity and not enough time to set up rapport could not simply infiltrate the activity. As such it was less difficult to participate as a shopper, an observing participant, rather of as a participant observer which could have created much more dependable and valid facts.


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Supply by T. Snowsel Ano-Ebie

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