Walking along the crowded, sun bleached street through the centre of Mauritania’s capital, one could easily miss the tiny record store of Ahmed Vall. Nestled between a camera shop and a restaurant, a pair of double metal doors lead into the cavernous interior. It takes a moment to adjust to the change in the light.
The shop is crammed full of records, lining the walls from floor to ceiling. Dusty stacks are piled on the floors. From ancient Senegalese salsa bands from Dakar to ephemeral Malian kora instrumentals and fuzzy electrified Nigerian rock, it is a collector’s dream. In the centre of the store are some large plush chairs where Ahmed Vall tends to a bubbling teapot. This is the Saphire D’Or, the first and last vinyl record store in Mauritania. +