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Street Food: Why Nigerians Can’t Do Without It



Whether it’s ‘Iya Basira’ amala joints or the local ‘akara’ (beans cake) seller, Nigerians love for street food can never be quenched. ANTHONY ADA ABRAHAM takes a look at the reason why Nigerians can’t do without their street food.

Street food is ready-to-eat food or drink sold by a hawker, or vendor, in a street or other public place, such as at a market or fair. It is often sold from a portable food booth, food cart, or food truck and meant for immediate consumption. Some street foods are regional, but many have spread beyond their region of origin. Most street foods are classed as both finger food and fast food, and are cheaper on average than restaurant meals. According to a 2007 study from the Food and Agriculture Organization, 2.5 billion people eat street food every day.

Nigerians are very hardworking and busy people, from January to December they work none stop. There is no time for people to engage in some activities because of the need to make a living. In the morning , some families don’t even prepare breakfast for their children because of they want to catch up with something.

They rely on the woman next door who wakes up earlier than them to prepare meal for her road side shop so they could  buy and eat and even give to their children or ward to take to school. When the children return home, it is same usual routine buying from the road side street food Sellers.

In the evening, the parents come home tired and before they could prepare meal for the children ,time would have gone, so they buy bread and ‘akara’ ( bean cake) and they day ends. The only time the children may have something fresh and nutritious  might be sunday when their parents are at home.

Aside that time, it is difficult for some families and individuals to do without streets food.

21year-old Abubakar Usman is a young energetic Mai Suya based in Dutse Alhaji Abuja. His smiles and calmness are some of the qualities he possess in welcoming his numerous customers who flocked around after a hard days’ job.

Young old stand in from of him as he barbecue slicing the meat with professionalism like someone who has attended the university of Mai suya.

Aside that, many who wait to buy the meat either eat it on the spot or take home for a relaxed consumption.

Around him were other food sellers, roasted fish , shekpe joint (kpomo included)  and other stuff.

The Akara joint is packed with people who queue to get a feel of the bean cake because they either couldn’t cook at home after a hard days job, or they just want something different from what they have been eating.

The food sellers are everywhere at night as the queues reminds one of the popular Style Plus song ‘Iya basira’ where you see people on suit and tie, queuing with plates like beggars to be served.

Up till date, there has been no convincing reason why people would line up to be served at ‘iya basira’ Amala joint and yet pay after eating.


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