Yaba is a suburb of Lagos. It houses some of the best institution in the county and has one of the busiest market sites in Lagos, known as Tejuosho Market, Nigeria.
The Yaba market often known to offers items that are less priced and a shopping ground for second hand clothing and the long mouthwatering display of pairs of jeans that you can’t keep your eyes off.
So if you are new to the market, here are things you should know about the almighty Yaba Market.
1. MALLAMS AT THE ENTRANCE
The mallams at the entrance of Yaba Market ALWAYS thinking you are there to change naira to dollars in this unstable economic environment. I can’t even remember the last time I held a dollar.
2. YOU CAN’T HAGGLE PRICES
Yaba traders are known for their ferocious tongue. They’ll smile & ask you to state a price for their wares and if you under price them, they’ll curse your future, present and past generation. Before I price any item, I usually say.”Promise me you are not going to insult me when I state the price I have.”
3. NO FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT
Once a particular trader notices you’ve passed his shade more than thrice without stopping, he’ll inform his fellow traders and they’ll all take their turns to throw jabs at you.
You can’t go through a trader wares for more than five minutes without picking an item. Stay longer and you’ll start hearing nonsense like,
“See, looku looku why you dey scatter my market. Disappear olosho.”
“Oya, commot for here useless girl.”
There was a time I was going through a bail of skirts and after 5 mins, the trader impatiently said. “Abi you dey find the new skirt style wey get legs for my market?”
4. THEY DECIDE WHAT YOU BUY
I was ransacking a stock of tops and the trader asked what I was looking for. I told him I needed a black crop top and the guy raised his head to say I am very stupid. That he had a bail of nice tops and rather than pick a decent one, I wanted a crop top so I can roam around Lagos naked.
I quietly left.
5. LIARS EVERYWHERE
A trader would swear on his ancestor grave that he has the midi skirt you are looking for then make you walk the length of the railway with him only to produce an ugly dinner gown that is totally unrelated with what you asked for.
And then the ones that would say you need to shop with them cos Omotola just left their shop.
Majority are illiterates
I also asked another trader for a kimono.
“Kimo wetin?” He said.
“Kimono!” I repeated, “Don’t you know it?”
He replied, “See your mouth like kimimi? E be like say you don drink come market. Common commot for here!”
6. YOUR HAIR IS NEVER NICE ENOUGH
The hairdressers at the railway will always beckon at you to change your hairstyle no matter how new or nice your hair looks.
7. SILLY PET NAMES
My colour, my type, miss world, agbani, Genevieve, Omo sexy, my wife, ashawo etc. And the very annoying traders that would ask in all seriousness how your mother and father are doing. Or how you look so much like their sister in the village.
8. YABA AFFILIATES TRADERS
These set of people are very annoying. They have no stock but spend their time sourcing for customers to take those they have “deals” with so they inflate the price of wares and get as much as 30 percent commission in some cases.
9. WATCH OUT FOR CROOKS
I walked into a shop and asked if they had a black dress. The trader told me to sit that they had very nice dresses if I was patient enough to wait. Moments after, he went into an inner room and emerged with a bottle of maltina. I told him it wasn’t necessary but he insisted he is usually very nice to customers and opened the drink. I collected it and placed it on the ground beside me. After waiting for an eternity, he threw the most ugly navy blue dress I have ever seen in my life at me. I told him I don’t like it & I need to leave. He said I was very stupid that he would make me regret entering his shop if I don’t drop N150 for the free malt.
10. THEY ASSUME EVERY GIRL IS A UNILAG STUDENT
Even when you look like you are in your late 60’s or you arrive in a Ferrari, they keep promising to give you ‘student price’ if you shop with them or how you will look good if you wear a particular dress to school.