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‘I have been selling and consuming Moringa for 30 years’

These days she is very busy attending to customers and sometimes taking orders for the supply of Moringa to different groups in Kaduna. Some want…

These days she is very busy attending to customers and sometimes taking orders for the supply of Moringa to different groups in Kaduna. Some want the Moringa water, some the fresh leaves, some need the cooked leaves ,while some want the seed of the now highly demanded Moringa.
This elderly citizen’s name is Salamatu Shuaibu popularly known as Maman Ladi, she resides in the North-side of Abuja Road in Rigasa. But the point where she markets her wares, is the ever busy Ahmadu Bello Way, and she is always under the tree in front of the Alhaji Y.A. Ahmed House.
Maman Ladi said she started the business in the New Nigerian Newspapers premises, and later at the gate of the Mosque. She said when the number of staff  was reduced in the company, she then moved to the front office of the then Nigerian Airways building, and then moved to her present selling point being the  Y.A. Ahmed House building, where she said she has spent more than ten years selling under the mango tree.
She said the demand was not much years ago, as it was then considered to be the food of the down trodden, especially in the times  when the economy was booming. But with the changes in government policies when the New Nigerian was taken from the ownership  of the Northern states by the Federal Government, many people lost their jobs in the New Nigerian. She may not have been an economist, but she was ingenious and had then decided to diversify her business front.
That led her to transfer to the Nigerians Airways building where the demand was a bit better.
But what motivated her most was during the regime of General Muhammadu Buhari when the War Against Indiscipline, WAI brigade clean-up illegal trade on major roads, she remembers that when soldiers came pursuing road side Hawkers and Traders, they always told her with respect “Mama sit down and continue your trade.”
Salamatu Shuaibu or Maman Ladi said she used to buy the Moringa from Dealers who source for it from some markets in Sabon-Gayan, Monday-Market, Maguzawa Market and Kasuwan-Magani,all within and around the metropolis

She said she was surprised when people started coming to her wanting to buy the water used in cooking the leaves. She said when they met at the market they all discussed about the new rising demand which made them to respond to the consumers by packaging it inside used table water bottles. The bottle is sold for between 350 to 300 Naira, while the small bottle is sold for between 150 and120 Naira  at retail price.
She said they used to throw away the water before the present, but now they make profit from selling the water.
She said Europeans  used to patronize the commodity. Some want it raw, some want it as the Hausa prepare it with garnishing of onion, pepper, Tomato, groundnut oil and ground groundnut powder.
The meeting point – commodity exchange centre-for the dealers and buyers is in Bakin Dogo near the Sheik Abubakar Mahmud Gumi Central Market.  
She said some people book for the commodity in advance, especially those who want it in large quantity.
She said they then used to buy the Black and Yellow polythene bag at the cost of 400 Naira ,and it was cheaper during the raining season then.
But the price has now gone up when the demand increased. She said the price  has since remained high due to the scientific discovery of the leaves and products derivable from Moringa.
She takes a motorbike from her house to the market, buys the commodity, and pays a known Okada rider to take it to her selling point, while she shops for the tomatoes and other garnishing materials used in preparing the trade.
She said she has been using the front office of the Alhaji Y.A. Ahmed  house since when he was alive to keep her plates, buckets and other necessities of their business. She said he used to buy the goods for his wives and that up till now as YA Ahmed is late ,the children are buying the Moringa, and she is still keeping her goods in the office for free.

But the only regret of Maman Ladi is one occasion when some bad elements came and complained to her that they only have 30 naira and that they are hungry. She gave them a hundred naira worth of Moringa and left them to go and observe her prayer.But when she came back they had scooped her money from the day’s sales. She said she has since learnt her lesson not to leave a kobo when going to observe her prayers.
She said she doesn’t bring her younger ones there ,because she doesn’t want them to be exposed to money. I want them to study.My granddaughter is schooling in Maimuna Gwarzo Secondary School ,and the others ones are in Askolaye in Primary school. I don’t have anybody to come here with.
 Mr Samuel Ojo, who drives a Briton,  said he used to buy the commodity for his boss and when he asked him what is the benefits, he told him that it can cure about ninety ailments, Mr Ojo joined the league of Moringa consumers in earnest.  
Mr Ojo said Mr Arthur used to tell him to buy the Moringa as it is prepared with the garnish including the powder of the grounded groundnut. The sale of Moringa has truly become  a big trade today.

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