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I left Kano 25 years ago for Ibadan and 've been selling kainkain since then

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18 May 2022
4 minutes read
I left Kano 25 years ago for Ibadan and 've been selling kainkain since then

My name is Mohammed Abdullahi.

I am from Gwale Local Government in Kano State. 

I come from a polygamous family with fourteen siblings. My own mother had four children. 

I attended primary school in Warure, there in Kano State, for about four years.

I came to Ibadan, Oyo State, about twenty-five years ago. I know, because this is my twenty-fifth Ramadan in Ibadan. 

It was my mother's older sister whom we called Hajia that I came to meet in Ibadan.

She is dead now. She lived in Sabo where many people from the north live. I live here too.

I do not know my age but I was a young adult when I arrived here in Ibadan.

Since my arrival, I have been involved in the sale of kainkain. Nothing else. It took me about one month or so of following my master, Shehu Adamu, to know the business, inside out.

We get the kainkain in bulk from several places including Oranyan Market, after Beere, here in Ibadan; Ikire in Osun State; and Omi Adio and Akanran, both on the outskirts of Ibadan. At the Oranyan Market, one Yoruba woman is well-known as a major supplier.

When we buy them in any of those places, we bring them to our stands here near the Ibadan Recreation Club, Adamasingba, to split them into small sizes which can be used as body sponge or in the kitchen to wash dishes. Many people would rather scrub their bodies with kainkain than use the foreign-made ones; because they scrub the skin better. 

I can tell you that people who travel abroad, to London, to America, come here to buy the small sizes.

I only resell in bulk unlike my colleagues who break them into small sizes and sell each for a minimum of fifty naira. I do not sell the small sizes. I am just not used to it.

It is possible to get about one hundred small sizes from this bulk one that I am working on. 

If I buy in bulk for about three thousand naira, I can make like two thousand naira gain. I often buy like thirty thousand naira worth in a month.

It appears to be a good business? (Long laughter). Let us just say that we are getting by.

I am working for my family who are based in Kano State. My wife is not involved in any trade. She is in the village taking care of our children, two boys and one girl. 

I have been going back and forth to my home town where I also have a small farm. Sometimes, I spend like two months or even three months. 

We do our business here peacefully without disturbing the Club. Their members too are good people. 

We also do not get disturbed by Council officials because we are on the roadside.

I believe that kainkain will continue to be used by people because it is good for the body. 

It is what I use, so I am talking from experience.

 

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