Growing up, I had the mixed opportunity of accompanying my mom to the marketplace on many occasions. I call it a mixed opportunity because sometimes it was a great way to get out of the house, other times, not so much.
It started out as an interesting way to feed my curiosity until I got older and grew weary of the hustle and buzz of the market.
One of the vivid images I remember, as a child, was seeing a woman stop at each market stall to request for the market woman’s monetary ‘contribution’. These women always walked around with squeezed jotters or sheets of paper which they either handed to the market woman to sign-off as proof of payment or took the liberty to tick off themselves on behalf of the market woman.
It was always interesting to see the market women reach into the seam of their wrappers to bring out wrapped notes of Naira and hand these Naira notes over to the collector. It took a while but I eventually learned that these women were collectors for the traditional savings contribution scheme known as ‘Ajo or Osusu’ (in some cultures).