In Nigeria, the increased popularity and sale of local energy drinks like Opa Eyin, Jedi, burantashi, among others, have become a major trend. In Lagos, more men and women have joined in the consumption of paraga as they can be seen virtually on every street having a drink binge.
Meanwhile, the consumption is not restricted to commercial bus drivers and conductors alone. Paraga consumption is now common with young and old, men and women. The emotional attachment customers of the numerous paraga drinks have for the product can’t be quantified as many believe it’s the best sexual enhancement drink.
Meanwhile, as the recession gets tougher, lovers of these concocted paraga drinks and sellers lament the effect of the economic situation on their business. In this chat with ENCOMIUM Weekly, paraga sellers speak on how the economic crisis has forced them to reduce the quantity of paraga shots and how they are coping with the situation.
‘This business is still profitable…’ – MRS. FOLAKE ALAGBO
This business is still profitable because people run to us to treat common ailments. I have concoctions here that treat malaria, typhoid, body pains and even sexual enhancement, among others. As a local herbal mixture seller, if you can give buyers what they really want in herbal concoction, then, you should expect alot of profit.
This business is just like those selling food. People who want to eat healthy will always patronize the best canteen. Same as those who want to drink original natural gin herbal concoction will always go for the best like what I have here.
The cheapest is N100. For instance, if you want Jedi and Opa eyin, then you will pay N150. Before the recession, you could buy different mixtures for N100 but not anymore. Everything is expensive now, and we are not left out.
‘People patronize us more these days’ – GRACE OKON
Herbal mixture sales is still valid. People patronize us more these days and I don’t disappoint them. Though I have reduced the quantity that I sell per shot, my customers understand the situation. My mixture starts from N100. Some customers prefer to make special order.
The economic situation has not in any way affected my business, though I’m not left out of the struggle we are all facing today. My business is really doing fine this time. Now, I sell even more because my customers understand the benefits of my mixture.
They are always here to drink a shot or more and even take home for their families. I have concoctions that are alcoholic and non alcoholic. They all work for both young and old, trust me.
‘Everything is expensive now in Nigeria’ – MAMA NGOZI
Everything is costly in Nigeria, even paraga. If you want a good herbal drink like Mama Ngozi’s own, then you should be able to spend good money. My mixture starts from N50. The ingredients are very active and good for the body but it has reduced in quantity. What I used to sell for N50 is no longer what I sell now. The country is hard, help us beg the government to do something and let us start buying things cheap again.
‘Prices of paraga drinks vary’ – MAMA 2SURE
The prices of paraga drinks vary depending on what you want to buy and what you are using it for. You can get a shot for as low as N50 to N500. I can mix a cup for someone for N200 and I will also mix the same cup for another person for N500.
The ingredients inside the two will be different. The rate I sell depends on customer’s budget. The more you spend on my mixtures, the faster it works.
Kazeem Ajewole (customer)
I can’t stop drinking paraga, I can only reduce the rate at which I consume the product because the situation of the country has forced a lot of sellers to mix chemicals which might be harmful to health. Though I can easily identify the mixtures that contain such dangerous chemicals.
Herbal mixtures have really helped me, I must tell you. I don’t disappoint my wife whenever I take Sobontone or Aleko but we now buy them expensive. N100 for a shot is now smaller to what I used to take before.
‘Paraga will always sell’ – RAPHAEL (customer)
No matter how serious the economic situation is in this country, paraga will always sell because people can easily relate to it compared to medical care. A friend of mine was having erection related problem sometime ago, we went to a clinic to seek medical advice. After several tests, the medical practitioner told us to go get some drugs from the pharmacy.
At the end of the day, my friend spent over N30,000 and there was no change. It was just like a waste of money. We went to an herbal doctor and she was able to mix concoction that worked perfectly for just N2500. So, no matter how expensive the paraga drinks becomes, those who know the value will always go for it.
- OLUWAFEMI SOEWU