Mwanza has it’s first shopping mall.
It was being built before we came, but was virtually finished not long after we arrived. In the early part of 2015 it was rendered and painted, the insides were constructed and the outsides landscaped.
Rock City Mall finally opened just before the elections back in October. I say opened – the building was opened but few shops opened at the same time.
Today we paid a visit.
The mall will cater for all your needs provided those needs are phones, banking, clothing and jewelry. Indeed banks and phone shops seem to dominate the allocated floor space though most remain as yet unopened.
The phrases ‘Opening Soon’ or ”Coming Soon’ are very prevalent. In fact very little is currently open.
The pictures below were taken of the only stores that could be said to be open though even two of these were locked up!
A supermarket will apparently open soon and the shop has been partially fitted out but as yet there is no stock on the shelves.
The mall echoes and we wondered as we wandered why it had been opened before it was ready.
There is some activity as workers fit out some of the shops, and in the two phone shops there were customers, which could not be said of the three clothes stores or the jewelry store. The banks are as yet not open, save the odd ATM. Most plots remain unallocated and unfurnished, rubble strewn concrete floors and bare electrics behind the polished glass windows.
It is sad that the mall is so devoid of shops and you have to ponder whether it ever will be truly full. We saw no sign of a place for a cinema which personally would be a great bonus. Maybe the opening of the supermarket will draw more custom, we will come back ourselves then, but for now it’s a place where tumble weed wouldn’t feel out of place.