Sunday, January 29, 2017


'STOP BEHAVING LIKE A MARKET WOMAN!' These words are usually used by Nigerians to cuss out people. I have not heard any Nigerian cuss out, with;'STOP BEHAVING LIKE A MARKET MAN! Why? It is because,men-traders are called business men! These words are used derogatorily because traders are loud, calling out to customers to patronize them, they quarrel with their neighbours if they tried to lure a customer away from them, and when offended they curse out using expletive words! And I wonder how this is different from what I read and see everyday in social media, amongst politicians, neighbours, friends and work places huh?

The Nigerian market woman is not respected ! But, many are mothers to graduates, millionaires, billionaires. celebrities,that  people wish to meet or marry! And some successful children are ashamed to mention their mothers sell/sold in the market! I see such children as ungrateful! Many have built successful business from scratch and are employers of labour! Many families today, are living off the legacy left behind by their mothers! An elderly woman in her 70's has a company that distributes goods, with graduates as accountant and sales reps! She said, she started selling under the bridge by 7up-Ijora (people living in Lagos will know there).

Nigeria markets are very busy and noisy because people from all walks of life visit there and you expect it to be without drama? WHOSAI! Even in boardrooms, quarrels do arise! Some clients or boss will download your life's history for you, if they are disappointed with your service or lost money in a business transaction! HUMPH! A friend said she visited her husband and he was in a meeting with his business partners, so she waited for him. She was surprised to see them shouting at each other, having a big quarrel, that she became worried, thinking the partnership was over! After a while, they came to an agreement and business continued as usual! How is that different from what we see daily in the market place? OH! Is it  because the market woman is not dressed spiffy and in a fancy building? I hear! With the flowing gutters, muddy ground, garbage strewn here and there, flies and rickety vehicles pumping out black smoke?  

Yes o! Even that tomatoes seller is someone's mother whose child can be a president tomorrow! INFACT! In this time of recession, the market woman is 'bae' now! She determines the price she wants to sell her goods, and you will buy by force by fire! You will be the one begging her to reduce price sef! She is the reason some homes can boast of a meal a day, because she sells on credit to them! She is a therapist to many women who feel comfortable unburdening themselves to a stranger who might not see them again for a while. They are more enlightened about the realities of life because they deal with all kinds of people and learn a thing or two from them.

The Nigerian market woman is a hardworking individual who against all odds strive to ensure her family don't go hungry and her children either learn a skill or get a university education to pave their own path in life. Hence, they should be accorded all respect because it is not easy all! 

My favourite market woman was the lady who sold soup ingredients. While grinding my ogbono/egusi or slicing vegetable, we would gist, together with other women waiting for their items. So tell, who is/was your favourite market woman and what do you talk about while waiting for your items? Infact, It was from a market woman I knew that 'the rich also cry!' (who remembered this old soap opera in the early 90's?😄)  Gracias!