The Lion’s Food

Okpa is a meal made from Bambara nut. Bambara nut looks like giant bean seeds and is not as easy to cook as normal beans; it takes a really long time. In a city like Abuja where the cost of living is really high, some people can’t afford to eat lunch at a restaurant, if you want to make that a habit you should budget at least N1500 (about $5) which is high for an average Nigerian to spend in 5 working days. That amounts to N7500 (about $24) this can be the salary of an individual in other parts of the country in a month.

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So average individuals patronize women like the ‘Okpa Woman’ as she is usually called by her customers. Once she arrives at a particular office, the one who notices her announces her presence to others and they all rush to buy before it finishes. Even if you are not ready to eat you need to buy it and keep it because before about midday, Okpa is all sold out.

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This meal costs only about N50 ($0.16) – N150 ($0.48) depending on whether or not she included egg while preparing it. So if you buy two wraps of Opka at say N100 ($0.32) then you spend N1000 ($3) every week on lunch in Abuja. That’s if you don’t mind eating Okpa every day for lunch but that is how a lot of people survive in a city like that.

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