Growing up, I remember going to Balogun market on Saturdays with my mum and it was always soooooo rowdy. She would say "If anyone pushes you, push them back". lol..Mummy do you want these big people to fling me? I remember fainting in the market during one of those trips with my mum. She haggled the price of this particular necklace for almost one hour..jeez! I leaned on the woman's table, unfortunately it wasn't hers but for the woman in the store next to her and of course market biff she shouted at me "ejo ejo" in a very harsh tone meaning please please. I was already on my "last life".
I opened my eyes on the floor, sat up and felt water dripping from my head. I saw so many heads and unfamiliar faces, then I saw my mum and remembered what happened. I had fainted after the woman shouted at me. I took a can of malt and guess what, we continued the walk of life in Balogun market.
I always wondered why she won't shop elsewhere or go to boutiques like some of my friend's mums back then.
Fast forward to 2011, I was working in Ikoyi and staying with a family friend in Lekki so I had some free Saturdays and decided to take a tour of the market. After two trips I figured out why my mum wouldn't shop else where. Balogun market is the best place to get great bargains on different fabrics: laces, ankara, shoes, kids clothes, wedding dresses, souvenirs e.t.c.
I figured out so many corners in the market(after several trips of course), those corners are "veeeeeery"tight trust me and some of the stores/stalls were built on gutters **rolls eyes**. There is even a particular street called "gutter". There are also some stores you walk into and the owners are so unfriendly both with their words and looks (some have bleached off their epidermis and dermis) that you wonder why they even sell in a market, but they still make a lot of sales because of the good deals.
All the hard work from my numerous trips paid off when I was planning my wedding, I got extra super cool deals on a lot of items, souvenirs, clothes, my wedding dress e.t.c. I became a consultant to some of my friends who got married after me. "Odunola you have to go with me to the market" they would say.
As much as I went to the market, I never ever enjoyed the rowdiness. I was there again today with a friend who is getting married soon and little Stacey (who thankfully slept almost all through). Trust our Ibo brothers, Angel what do you need? Angel, you need stock jeans? You need children wears? (guess this was cos of Stacey..lol) You need cotton shirt for Mandilas? Lepa?....lol
The market however has gone through a lot of revamping compared to those days so you can actually take a tour too, find some really cool deals and save some cash. You will be surprised at the caliber of people you would see in the market, no forming at all.
I have put together some tips that would help you during your tour.
1. Please eat before you leave the house and have some loose change for a bottle of Lucozade boost, so you wont faint..lol
2. Avoid carrying a big hand bag with a lot of cash in it cos some brothers or sisters ( i don't know if they are men or women or even hermaphrodites) can carefully get the money out.
3. Try not to look clueless because those brothers can spot that easily and wont let you breathe.
4. Please don't go if your budget is open-ended because you will end up buying all sorts and finish your money. :)
5. Dress Comfy please.
6. A pair of sunglasses will come in handy ;) .
7. If you have a lot to carry after buying, please watch the "alabaru"or "alabo"as they are called in the market closely, that's those that help you carry stuff to your car or the bus stop.
Hope you enjoy your next trip.
Have a great night peeps.