Food before fashion: Women now sell off kitchen decorative ornaments

Food before fashion: Women now sell off kitchen decorative ornaments

The era where women took kitchen decorative ornaments more important and as a display of fashion has disappeared.

Then, some women get various kitchen ornaments as bride’s gifts which they use to decorate their homes.

Those women whose husbands are not financially buoyant enough to afford these ornaments save money (popularly called ajo in the Yoruba language) which they use to buy kitchen utensils in order to fit into the fashion trend.

However, the financial difficulty in the country coupled with an increase in responsibility have made most women forego fashion and concentrate on how to put food on the table.

Economy & Lifestyle discovered that these kitchen ornaments are now being de-cluttered online or sold on the roadside by these women to raise money for food and other bills.

Mrs. Fatimah Arowolo, a bread seller said: “When I got married in 2010, I was given sets of pots and plates, especially those with covers they call (Ajase plates). I was also gifted ceramic plates of over 40 dozens of different types and sizes.

“When we started experiencing this economic downturn, my bread business was not moving as the prices increased and sizes followed suit.

“I looked at these kitchen items knowing that it is not in vogue anymore and wasting on the shelves as many have been broken and stolen during parties. I just brought them out on the street and started selling them in pieces for N500 per one.

“The covered plates sold for N800 while I sold the trays which had begun to rust for N300. The income I realised from the sales will be used to pay my children’s school fees, which I made part payment for last term and the remaining proceeds will be used for feeding.”

For Mrs. Helen Momoh, she had to de-clutter her kitchen ornaments online as meeting up with feeding has been very difficult due to low business patronage.

She said: “Life has been very difficult these days. Business is not booming as usual while the prices of everything are skyrocketing. I had to de-clutter online many items that are just lying idle in the house.

“The kitchen ornaments I bought with the money I saved nine to 10 years ago when things were still good were among the things I de-cluttered.

“Most of these kitchen ornaments were bought by people who were into the food business (catering). Some had even stopped buying ceramic plates ,which were the order of the day years back.

“This is due to their high prices as one is now sold for N1, 500 to N2,500 depending on the quality which was as low as N250 a few years ago. It made selling my kitchen ornaments very fast.

“Even nowadays, women no longer value these kitchen ornaments especially plates and pots because they just lay useless on the shelves for years rusting away.

“I used the money realised to buy food stuff and other home needs.”

Mrs. Lola Salami, a kitchen utensils seller in Idumota told Economy&Lifestyle that people no longer buy ceramic plates but unbreakable plates and cups which now come in different designs.

“People no longer buy ceramic plates like before. They now go for unbreakable plates which now come in different designs.

“The high cost of ceramic plates has led to such abandonment. Even those caterers and event planners now prefer using unbreakable plates and cups to serve guests in events.
“Some households now even go for less expensive beautiful plastic plates instead of the usual ceramic plates.

“A 12-piece of ceramic plates, which were less than N10,000 before now cost N18,000 to N20,000 depending on the brand. Even the unbreakable plates are expensive too but affordable when compared with the price of ceramic plates.

“Some persons who had stored kitchen gadgets like toasting machines, blenders and plates, which have not been used since they were bought do bring them for sale here, which I in turn resell.

“Many of these people sell kitchen wares at ridiculous prices just to get money for feeding and to pay other necessary bills. That is the state of our country now.

“Even the plate business is not blooming anymore. Nobody saves money to buy many kitchen utensils like before where members in meetings buy coolers and plates among other kitchen ornaments as gifts using their savngs.

“Those contributions are now used to foot bills and restock businesses.
“Many of my friends have left the business for other lucrative ones. Those who have connections with owners of big hotels and eateries are the ones recording better sales.”
Mr. John Obasi, a fairly used kitchen wares seller in Lawanson, Surulere confirmed that some women bring cartons of ceramic plates and cups to him for sale.

“I have been selling fairly London used items for eight years now; no woman has brought their kitchen wares for sale because they hold them very dearly.

“You know every woman claims that the kitchen belongs to her. But I was very surprised recently when a woman brought three cartons of unused ceramic plates for sale. She said they were not useful anymore and took up space in her kitchen.”

“Another brought yam pounder, toasting machine, microwave, blender, and mugs unused in cartons for sale. I was very baffled and afraid they were stolen goods.

“My wife cleared my doubts when she told me most of her friends were doing the same to raise money for other important things.

“I felt bitter because this was what the country is turning people into. Apart from women, men too now sell their gadgets and other home appliances to meet up with feeding and other expenses.”


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