From BAMIGBOLA GBOLAGUNTE, Akure
THE popular Oja-Oba market located in the heart of Akure, Ondo State, may have turned to a market patronized by women. This is because the sales of “bend-down” clothes in the market has increased with many women patronising the market. The market, which is as old as Akure itself is equally easily accessible.
A survey by Daily Sun revealed that the prices of “bend-down” clothes at the market are cheaper compared to other markets in the state. A single women cloth sells for as cheap as N100, a development, which makes it centre of wholesale and retail for “bend-down” clothes.
The state government now generates money through the sales of the goods. The section of the market, which is for the “bend-down” clothes, is always the centre of attraction daily. The attractions were not limited to buying and selling. Other activities including religious and social also take place at the market.
The rate of sales of bend down clothes, findings revealed, made many traders developed interest in the business. They are now into the sales of the clothes with good proceeds.
One of the traders who specialize in selling “bend-down” clothes, Mrs. Ayobami Olowookere, said she changed to the sales of the clothes when it became clear that many people now buy the clothes: “I sell more ‘bend-down’ clothes than the new ones because many people demand for it. Young ladies patronize us more than others.
“I decided to change to the sales of ‘bend-down’ clothes when everybody was demanding for the clothes and the demand for new cloth was low. Since I started this business, things have been moving on well with my business.
“Many of our customers are female students, while a few others also patronise my shop. People are comfortable with the goods and the response has always been positive because the shop is always flooded with customers daily.”
Also, a man who sells the clothes who identified himself as Mr. Olu said there are profits in the business as the goods are often sold unlike new clothes that take longer time to sell: “Oja-Oba Market is now known for ‘bend-down’ clothes and people come here from both within and outside the state. There are some of my customers who are from Osun and Ekiti states. Some of them buy in wholesales.”
A traditional chief of Akure, Adesina Adedipe, stated that Oja-Oba Market is as old as Akure itself, stressing that the market is for all kinds of goods and businesses, with people from all parts of the country selling and buying.
He said the market, like other Oja-Oba in Yoruba land is located close to the Akure Central Mosque and the Palace of the Deji of Akure: “There is nothing brought to the market that will not be sold and the traders make reasonable profits. The present economic situation of the country occasions the sale of ‘bend-down’ clothes in the market. It was not the situation before now. But, the business is welcome in the market.”