A 24-year old Nigerian man who wears a suit and tie to sell kolanut on the streets of Abuja has gained the spotlight on BBC.
In the lengthy interview he granted to BBC Pidgin, the young man says he swags up to give a good account of himself in order to draw people to patronize his merchandise.
“People ask me why do I sell kolanut and wear suit and tie. Like this I am happy, abi am I not happy? I’m happy, because everything is clean. My own kolanut is clean. Me myself am clean. My clothes are clean, I have ironed it. If I have perfume, I’ll put it on.
My name is Zubairu Ibrahim Sulaiman from Kaduna. I’m 24 years. I dress like this and sell kolanut inside traffic on Karu Bridge. I’ve been selling kolanut for 3 years. Every morning, I must swag. I carry my socks, put it on my leg. Carry my shoe, polish it, then put it on my leg. I iron my clothes, shirt, tie, and suit. I wash my hair, I brush it. I carry my face mask, my eye glass. Then I go and sell kolanut.
I respect the suit even though the heat is worrying me or not, I don’t care, I like it. People tell me I dress too much for someone that is going to sell kolanut. I tell them okay, if you don’t like my kolanut selling business, no problem – give me another work that will be better than this one. What I have is good in my hand. If you don’t like my business and say it’s too small for you, then give me something better so I can change the work to something that will give me more money than my kolanut selling.
I have a girlfriend in my village and it’s remaining one year till I’m finally able to marry her. I want to marry her one year from now, that is in 2022. My girlfriend likes this suit too. Me I like it, how will she not like it? If she doesn’t like my dressing then she doesn’t like me. She loves my dressing and she loves me too.
I left my village and came to Abuja. Before I came here, it’s cow work I used to do. I used to follow cows into the bush. I came to Abuja to find money so I can send it back to my father and brother. That way, they can use the money to buy more cows and continue to follow them. I just want to find money in Abuja, then go to school again. If I go to school now, I’ll like to be a banker.”
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