Oyingbo Birds Market – Where Women Drive the Economy

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In one part of Lagos, women are in charge. They are busy selling, slaughtering and removing the feathers of chickens in popular bird markets.

Movement in and around Oyingbo market in Lagos state could be difficult at times, particularly within the section of domestic birds, which is home to hundreds of chickens, ducks, pigeons turkeys and the like. Here, dozens of people troop in to buy the birds.

Constructed in three lanes with wooden and zinc sheets, the market has been in existence for ages, according to information gathered by our correspondent. It is a stone throw to the aged train terminal at Iddo, that has been in existence since the colonial era.

As early as 7:00 am, people within the domestic bird market , start making their presence known. Some are carrying chickens to the slaughtering section, while some ensure they get the attention of their prospective customers.

Except in a few cases, the entire operation of selling, slaughtering and preparing the chickens or turkeys and other consumable birds, is carried out by the women folk.

In many parts of the country, especially in the North, the women folk or the community may consider this as solely the activity of the men, but the situation in the South largely differs.

“This is because, one has to have an income for himself, that is why we engage in this kind of job.” 35 year old Sekinat Ogunsuyi, who sells and slaughters chickens in the market tells Daily Trust.

She added “besides, a family that has different sources of income, is likely to be better off than one that has only one source.”

Lagos indeed is a place where many families will prefer multiple sources of income rather than one, considering the series of challenges of living in the fast growing city, where housing, transportation and other essential needs are hard nuts to crack.

No wonder jobs that might have been considered as odd for women to engage in, would have women of different ages engaging in them. For instance, it is common to see women in Lagos carrying heavy loads for customers in the market. The watch word as far as Lagos is concern is “survival.”

About author

Kemi Wale-Olaitan

Kemi is a retired broadcaster from the service of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria; while in service, she had her interest in women issues and had interviews with several notable women in the course of her duty as a producer in the service of the Federal government. Her interest in broadcasting was informed by her creative writing prowess; she has been very active in creative writing since her undergraduate days, and she has written a few fictional works in form of short stories and novel. Some of her short stories have appeared in anthologies of Short stories. Kemi was also very active in the establishment of the Women Writers Association of Nigeria (WRITA) and she served on its first Executive Council.

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