A 24-year-old has captivated the heart of many with his unusual mode of dressing to hawk kola nut in the streets of Nigeria.
Unlike most hawkers who just throw on simple wear covered with an apron, Zubairu Ibrahim Sulaiman takes quite some time to prepare his outfit just as he prepares his wares.
He constantly rocks a neatly ironed suit and tie, with a well-polished shoe as well as a name tag.
In an interview with BBC Pidgin, the very optimistic and cheerful trader explained the outfit gives him a sense of comfort and professionalism.
Read his full explanation below:
People ask me why do I sell kola nut and wear suit and tie. Like this I am happy, abi am I not happy? I’m happy because everything is clean. My own kola nut is clean. Me myself am clean. My clothes are clean, I have ironed it. If I have perfume, I’ll put it on.
My name is Zubairu Ibrahim Sulaiman from Kaduna. I’m 24 years. I dress like this and sell kola nut inside traffic on Karu Bridge. I’ve been selling kola nut for three years. Every morning, I must swag. I carry my socks, put it on my leg. Carry my shoe, polish it, then put it on my leg. I iron my clothes, shirt, tie, and suit. I wash my hair, I brush it. I carry my face mask, my eyeglass. Then I go and sell kola nut.
I respect the suit even though the heat is worrying me or not, I don’t care, I like it. People tell me I dress too much for someone that is going to sell kola nut. I tell them okay, if you don’t like my kola nut selling business, no problem – give me another work that will be better than this one. What I have is good in my hand. If you don’t like my business and say it’s too small for you, then give me something better so I can change the work to something that will give me more money than my kola nut selling.
I have a girlfriend in my village and it’s remaining one year till I’m finally able to marry her. I want to marry her one year from now, that is in 2022. My girlfriend likes this suit too. Me I like it, how will she not like it? If she doesn’t like my dressing then she doesn’t like me. She loves my dressing and she loves me too.
I left my village and came to Abuja. Before I came here, it’s cow work I used to do. I used to follow cows into the bush. I came to Abuja to find money so I can send it back to my father and brother. That way, they can use the money to buy more cows and continue to follow them. I just want to find money in Abuja, then go to school again. If I go to school now, I’ll like to be a banker.