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Published On: Fri, Jul 4th, 2014

Fulani women and modernized ‘nono’ milk boom in Abuja

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Fulani nonoBy Mashe Umaru Gwamna

With the world becoming a global village,several businesses are been modernized with constant repackaging of products and services, to make them more appealing to customers. And the popular ‘nono milk’ (Fulani’s cattle milk), a nutritious fresh liquid milk, is not left out in the trend.

Before now, notably most Fulani women can easily be identified by the ‘fura da nono milk’ inside a calabash on their head, with long braided hair, painted blackish lip and their unique dressing attire. They hawked the commodity around towns and villages, with small bowels and spoons for dispensing to customers.But this is fast becoming rare attributes of this ‘nono milk’ business, because those engaged in the trade are doing it in a trendy way, as things are changing so fast in the society. So, it is not out of place to say that the web of modernization has caught up with the Fulani women.

In the Federal Capital Territory(F C T), an average Fulani woman in the business of ‘nono milk’ appeared to belosing her interest in carrying the commodity in calabash around, as she prefers carrying her goods in a packaged used bottled water plastics in a bowl with ice block for cooling. While some simply display the ‘fura da nono milk’ in a busy place, others still keep the tradition of moving around waiting for customers.

This is now more pronounced in inside the FCT. But the question is what could have been the reason behind the Fulani women leaving their calabash for bottle packaged Fulani milk business?

The ‘Nono milk’ business is very conspicuous at the markets, bus stops, motor parks, and along the corridors of express ways as well as traffic gridlocks within the FCT.

The price of the milk ranges from N100to N150; and even upward depending on what a given customer wants.

The interesting thing about the nono milk is that it’s an all seasons’ product, which most often is served with ‘fura or dambu’ (millet). Some take it to relief hunger, and travellers buy the product as welcoming gift for their families, while others buy for its nourishing nutritious value.

One of the dealers, Kadiatou Diallo, who resides in one of the suburbs of the FCT, said that started the milk business at the age of nine.

According to her, using calabash and dishing out the milk insmall rubber bowl with spoons to customers is an old fashion for sales in Abuja.

She said they (Fulanis) have understood that the method of marketing their traditional products extracted from cows has to be changed. Hence, Fulani women decided to move with what is happening- trendy packaging of things.

“It has made the fresh milk business to move faster in Abuja; that is why you see so many of under this tree selling our productson the streets and markets to people, just to earn something with which we feed our family.

“A bottle goes for between N100 and N150, but also depends on how an individual wants the product.

On the volume of daily sales, she says: “Depending how the market goes; I can sell 15 to 30 bottles per day and can get N3,000or less some days.

“Most of my customers are from the northern part of the country,” she said.

Similarly, one Binta Shargari, who said she has been engaged in the Fulani milk business right from early age, added that the business is a heredity business, and she loves it.

“We do not sell fura da nono in calabash again, because selling it in plastic bottles is better and comfortable to carry unlike the calabash or aluminum basin that can pour out if one is not careful.

“In this nono milk business there is no day; one cannot realised a little amount of money to take care of your needs and be happy,” she said.

Also, a trader, Musa Garba, said nono milk is an everyday thing to him even when he is busy with his business, he tells his customers (Fulani women) to keep it for him.

According to Garba, he just enjoys taking it (Nono), at times when he doesn’t take it,he feels he is not satisfy.

Another consumer of the milk, Helen Ibrahim, an engineer says:”I as a person loves ‘nono milk’ anytime, anywhere whether morning or night.

“The repackaging has made it easier for me to buy ‘nono milk and fura as much as I can and put into my refrigerator, and taking it for me is so delicious especially when it’s cool, it leaves hungry for more” she expressed.

According to a cobbler, Zubs Maigari , who hails from Bauchi state, he often takes nono and dambu as his lunch, because it is cheap and affordable .

He added that more so, that taking the milk always reminds him of his home town.

However, a Fulani woman, Laraba Mamado, who hawks the nono milk and fura, said it is a choice, not all Fulani women are engaged in the trade.

Checks revealed that the major challenge facing these women engaged in this modernised aged long business among the Fulanis, comes from the task force team of the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), who constantlychase them out of the city. A development, the women said they are not easy to deal with. According to them, whenever, they see those (AEPB officials) they will have to run away, and sometimes leaving their products.

A Nurse, Mrs. HelenLoyo , emphasised that people who buy the nono milk should be cautions of the fact that some of the milk may be dangerous to their health.

“Most of these Fulani women use water from the rivers in processing the nono milk. It is unhygienic to our health; these women don’t have portable water, some even wash their feet with same water and still use it to rinse their bottles or bowls. In such case there are orally transmitted diseases such as cholera, typhoid, diarrhea and other communicable diseases,”she noted.

She warned that people should be responsible to their health, what they buy and be sensitive to what they consume.

She added that at times they ( Fulani women) add processed milk and mixed them with the cow milk before selling it to people.

Similarly, one Umma Nasriu, says: “I used to be a fan of nono milk, until one day I took the wrong nono milk, and after taking it for a while, my stomach starting aching,and before I could understanding what was going on within my stomach ,I started vomiting and having diarrhea and I was hospitalised.

“From that time I stop taking nono milk, I usually buy my yoghurt then get fura from the Fulani women and blend it with the yoghurt, it is better for me.”


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  1. Raymond says:

    I will like to start the business but I don’t know where in Abuja I can get nono milk to buy.
    If you have idea please reach me via email:
    Or phone: 07089399279.
    Thank you if you know you can help.
    I have gotten the needed tools but I can’t get the nono milk in Abuja.

  2. Raymond says:

    I will like to start the business but I don’t know where in Abuja I can get nono milk to buy.
    If you have idea please reach me via email:
    Or phone: 07089399279.
    Thank you if you know you can help.
    I have gotten the needed tools but I can’t get the nono milk in Abuja.

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