Residents of Shere community aptly fit into the definition of culture being the summation of life of a people. They move around their domain almost nude all in the name of keeping up with their culture.
Shere is a village which shares a boundary with Sabo Piko, both located in Bwari Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja. Here, the men wear wrapper round their waist which passes in between their ties and exposes part of their buttocks .
The villagers, who are predominantly farmers specialize in growing millets, beans, rice, yam, guinea corn and cassava and equally mould native pots. They speak English, Hausa and Gbaygi.Those who cannot farm deal in firewoods . They sell the firewoods to residents of Mpape.
But the women do not expose their buttocks like the men. They only tie wrapper around their chest. They also do not carry anything on their head describing it as calamitous . They believe that doing so could lead to an untold calamity. Rather than carry on the head , they place such loads on their backs.
The sound of a gun does not rattle them because sizeable number of the villagers are hunters. Dutsi Hussaini, 40, sells firewood. He told Daily Sun how he came and met the tradition, stressing that he, also, will transfer it to his children. Abdul, who deals in firewood said the culture will not die in his hands although he could not explain what it symbolises.
Apart from extolling the culture, he pleaded with the Federal Government, through the Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, who commissioned a water project to assist provide road leading to Mpape, where they take farm produce for sale.
Zainab Magari, narrated the joy she derives in flaunting her culture of wearing only wrapper, boasting that her culture superseded others: “I love my culture. But it is not as bad as people are making it look that we do not wear clothes. We wear clothes. It is just that we try to project our culture irrespective of where we find ourselves.”
The District Head, Dakwoi Sabon, who advised his subjects to preserve the culture, added that it was a show of respect. He explained that, though the culture given the advent of civilisation has been twerked giving room for people to wear full clothes but should clad in their cultural attire during festive season:
“Everybody has a culture. And it is only fair that we we uphold our tradition and pass it on from one generation to the other. It has no fetish inclination and nobody is punished when he or she refuses to dress like that.”
He appealed to the Federal Government, especially the Federal Capital Territory Administration (AMAC) to provide roads linking the community to other nearby villages, specifically, Mpape: “That is where we take our goods to sell.
“Apart from the water project being commissioned, we lack good roads. It is difficult for us to transport our goods to anywhere. And people find it difficult to come here to buy, and even if they do, they price our foodstuffs poorly because of the roads.
“Another challenge is the lack of electricity. We do not have it. Year in year out, and especially during electioneering, government officials visit us with a promise to step down light but we have not seen anything. What we have here is a primary school, which is not even enough. Our people trek to Sherikoro which is miles away to attend secondary. It is sometimes scary and frustrating.”
On the issue of safety, he advised the government to consult a police station, adding that they sometimes dominate themselves to watch over their community, one after the other.