Produced and developed, Abigail Steinberg 
Videographer, Director and Editor, Adam Wiseman 

Many small merchants across Africa work 7 days a week and over 12 hours a day. Typically, they work in cramped huts with tin roofs and a small merchant window for transactions with customers. These shopkeepers sell items with prices from 1 shilling to a few hundred shillings, depending on the store’s size and inventory, the shopkeeper’s business acumen and access to credit, and family support. 

Often, these shopkeepers don’t even have space to sit, so they are forced to stand for much of the day. They conduct business through a small window which serves as their access point to the many consumers who purchase their products and services. Small children purchase sweets at the shop window for 1-2 shillings, while women purchase maize, flour, milk, bread etc. Others, some of whom might be extended family or neighbors, come to chat with merchants throughout the day.
These small merchants may have low incomes, but they do hundreds of transactions a day with their suppliers, wholesalers, cash and credit customers, banks, money lenders, family members, friends and helpers. 

This 360 video project provides a glimpse into the life of a small merchant in a village in Kenya. This shop is like thousands of village small stores around Africa. Filmed in Virtual Reality (VR or 360), you can explore two shops, and feel the claustrophobia, the inventory, and the clutter. It immerses you in the daily experience of a shopkeeper who provides critical products and services to the community. (When watching on a cell phone you can shift what you are viewing by moving your finger on the screen.)

Two merchants from Kibera in Nairobi, Kenya ‘invite’ you into their world — to transport you thousands of miles away, to feel their existence as lifelines in communities. As you look through their eyes, imagine ways -- tools and services -- to improve their livelihoods. 
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