“The ‘change’ mantra has made our lives tough” – Food Vendor
Happenings Magazine correspondents, Kikelomo Onigbanjo and Odunayo Adeneye were out and about again to meet and interact with street vendors. They had a chat with Hajiya Fatima, a Hausa woman who sells tuwo in Victoria Island on her business, life and the economy. Excerpts,
HAPPENINGS MAGAZINE: INTRODUCTION
My name is Hajiya Fatima. I sell Tuwo on Oko Awo Street, Victoria Island. I am from Jigawa State. I have been in this business for a very long time. I got to Lagos 23 years ago. I am married with kids. My husband is in the village.
HAPPENINGS MAGAZINE: HOW HAS YOUR PROFIT MARGIN BEEN?
People used to patronise me very well before now, but presently sales have been kind of slow. The people that patronise me are Hausa people. I think it is because of the economy; sales have been slow. Everything is so expensive. The ‘Change’ mantra of this present government has really made our lives very tough.
HAPPENINGS MAGAZINE: HOW IS TUWO MADE?
If I want to prepare tuwo I use rice. I mix the rice with water and I keep stirring until it forms a thick paste. We use okro soup to eat tuwo. There are also other soups we eat tuwo with but I do not cook those soups. Only okro.
HAPPENINGS MAGAZINE: HOW DO YOU COPE WITH THE LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES e.g LAWMA?
No, we do not get harassed. The only ones that come are the LAWMA officials. They tell us to clean our environments and we contribute to it.
HAPPENINGS MAGAZINE: HOW DO YOU PAY FOR RENT AND OTHER UTILITIES?
We do not pay for this place. The owner of the space gave it to us as a gift provided we keep it clean and neat.