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Why Butchers Are No Longer Hawking Suya

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The age-long practice of hawking roasted meat, popularly known as suya, is fast going into extinction as butchers are rarely seen going about in the towns doing the business. 

Daily Trust reports that the majority of the butchers that are into the roasted meat business in Birnin Kebbi are now stationed in their shops with their stock in display waiting for customers.

In the recent past, hawking of roasted meat across the North was a common sight as butchers could be seen hawking roasted meat on their heads from one street to the other looking for customers. 

Mu’azu Bala, a retired civil servant, told Daily Trust that in his young age butchers were known to be hawking their wares around from street to street in towns and villages.

He further said in those days, one could only see them in the markets roasting the meat and ready to go into town to sell. 

He said some people prefer to buy at the market because it would be fresh, warm and hygienic. 

“The beauty of it all is in those days is you don’t have to look for them, they are always available on the streets. They look for their customers. But modernity as in any other aspect of life has changed the mode of hawking by butchers. Majority if not all butchers that are into roasted meat business are stationery now. This is in complete contrast to what is tenable in the past.” 

Muttaka Magawata, a butcher that has been in the business for the past 30 years said, in those days not all people could afford to eat meat frequently as it is the case now.  

He said it was for this reason that a butcher must to go out to hunt for customers or risk having left over. 

Magawata added that their profession is an integral part of the society and has to move with the modern trends. 

“When a lot of butchers now are university graduates, when the elite take over a profession it is bound to undergo a series of changes. 

“We don’t hawk these days because it is no longer the order of the day. Things are changing and so is the  occupation. Selling roasted meat is less stressful as it was in the past, where you need to go round the town perhaps, twice in a day depending on its size hawking.  

“You should also note that those days, if you are not that aggressive going for customers, you will always be left with left over. If you allow that to continue over time your business is bound to collapse,” he said.

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