The 10 People You Meet in Nigeria – Part 5

Who are the people in your neighbourhood? If you live in Nigeria, you probably run into all sorts of characters on a daily basis. Of course, where you live and what your social status is influence the type of crowd you run with, but regardless of where you’ve been and who you are, if you live or are in Nigeria, sooner or later, you will run into all of the following people.

The Aboki (mallam mallam)

General Characteristics:
On every street corner on nearly every street is a little yellow kiosk that houses the friendly neighbourhood Aboki. Thousands of years ago, The Aboki migrated to street corners all over the country from his home in northern Nigeria and has supplied Nigerians with cheap snacks and soft drinks ever since.
The Aboki’s little shop is full of myriad treasures, delicious treats, and all sorts of necessary conveniences like sachet detergent and matches and candles, but beware. Anger The Aboki and quickly discover that his shop also hides a wide variety of sharpened daggers tactically positioned for easy reach. These come in handy often since The Aboki is a known stockist of mysterious, rare, and possibly banned items, for those who know to ask.
Natural Habitat: Streets, Closes, and Crescents. Always within walking distance of wherever you happen to be.
Notable Habits: Hiding numerous sharp and dangerous sabers in the folds of his robes. 
Natural Enemies: The Sisi Eko (who never buys from The Aboki) and The Igbo Trader (his main competitor)
Related To: The Alhaji and The Aje Pako Pastor


  • Reply January 26, 2013


    We all have or once had that Aboki friend. :)

  • Reply January 26, 2013


    The aboki is not missing from our street, at least there is one on every street in Lagos.

  • Reply January 27, 2013

    Northern Girl

    Ahahaha love the way you described and drew Aboki…really interesting obaervations Sugabelly :)

  • Reply January 27, 2013


    hahaha you are so right! Man when are you drawing me???? lol

  • Reply January 27, 2013


    loool… this is soo true..

  • This might be my favorite drawing by you.

    Random: I don’t like the way Nigerians now use ‘Aboki’ derogatorily forgetting it simply means ‘friend.’ Blame BH

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