(…that I know of, at least.)

1. Horse cart driver

This is my son’s dream job.

Merging right in with the brightly colored taxis, brand new but banged up SUVs and little European cars are the horse carts. And every cart needs a driver. And often a co-pilot. Depending on the day, they may be hauling off a load of trash or tree cuttings, or maybe taking bags of cement to a work site. During the really bad water shortages, they delivered water to homes in 55-gallon drums. If you need to move some furniture at a cheap price or have something hauled off, these are your guys.

2. Phone card vendor

Coolest phone card vendor on the block. He taped a bunch of cards together in the shape of Africa.
Coolest phone card vendor on the block. He taped a bunch of cards together in the shape of Africa.

Nearly everyone in Senegal has a cell phone. And on nearly every corner of Dakar there is a vendor selling prepaid credit you can enter in your phone. And yet somehow, no one in Senegal ever seems to have phone credit. (Self included.) But again, this is not due to a lack of vendors! If you buy a phone card from a vendor by your house on Monday, the odds are good he’ll be selling on that same corner on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday… A couple times a month, you may see him holding a sign announcing a PROMO, which means that if you enter credit into your phone that day, you get bonus credits of 25, 50 or even 100%.

3. Traveling tailor

You’ll know he’s coming by the sound of his giant sewing scissors snapping together. Traveling tailors are not as common in Dakar as in other parts of West Africa, but you do occasionally see a man walking down the street with a sewing machine on one shoulder and a pair of scissors in the other. The snapping sound of the scissors (you’d be amazed by how loud that sound is!) lets potential clients know the tailor is on their street, so if they have any repairs or sewing tasks to be done, they can come out and hire him.

4. Nescafé cart barista

Someday we’re going to finance one of these carts and become franchise owners. Someday…

What’s your morning drink? Nescafé granules dissolved in hot water with loads of sugar? Or is it loads of sugar dissolved in hot water with Nescafé granules? Either way, this guy can make it for you.

5. Broom salesman

Not the same as a street sweeper, but I could see where you might confuse the two.
Not the same as a street sweeper, but I could see where you might confuse the two.

Balaibalaibalai!” Much like the traveling tailor, the broom salesman lets people know he’s in the neighborhood by announcing his presence. But instead of snapping scissors, he chants/hollers, “Balaibalaibalai!” (Balai = broom in French.) And anyone who needs to buy a broom head, broom handle, dust pail, broom duster, etc… can just walk out their front door and buy one.

6. Lime vendor
There are fruit vendors all over Dakar, and all over the world for that matter. But for some reason that I have yet to understand, some guys in Dakar stand on the street corner selling limes. Just a basket of delicious Senegalese limes. Nothing else. (I also don’t understand why there is such a concentration of these vendors in the Fann Résidence neighborhood. Anyone able to explain this?)

7. Car guard/car washer

Very eco-friendly car wash... hardly any water!
Very eco-friendly car wash… hardly any water!

No sooner have you put the car in park than this guy is standing at your door. For a couple hundred cfa (under $1) he’ll watch over your vehicle and keep it safe. (In theory.) Throw in another 500cfa ($1) and he’ll wash your car while you run your errands. Note that ‘wash’ may or may not include actual water, probably will not include any kind of soap and will definitely include an oily rag.

8. Raapide guy

Public transportation, Dakar-style.
Public transportation, Dakar-style.

He spends his days hanging off the back of a smoking, rusted raapide (public transportation). As the raapide approaches a stop, he yells out the destination so that passengers can get on if they are going that way. As they get on, he takes their bus fare and communicates to the driver when to stop/go by tapping sharply on the side of the raapide with a coin.

I know there are many more that could make this list. Which jobs would you add?