Stella Dimoko Korkus.com: Origin of Mammy Markets in Nigeria

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Thursday, 12 January 2017

Origin of Mammy Markets in Nigeria

It was in 1959. Mammy Ode, a young girl from Jericho-Ugboju in the present Otukpo Local Government Area of Benue State was married to Anthony Aboki Ochefu, a young Non-Commissioned military officer who had just been posted to Enugu from Abeokuta.


MAMMY

They were quartered at the Army Barracks, Abakpa, Enugu. To beat idleness and perhaps earn some money to support her young family, Mrs. Mammy Ochefu established a soft drinks business. She prepared gruel, which is called umu or enyi in Idoma, or kunu in Hausa, for sale to soldiers. She soon became popular with her stuff as soldiers trooped to her house to buy enyi. Some of her best customers were officers, who always sent their batmen to buy some of the gruel for them, Monday through Friday.



Somehow, one of the Non-Commissioned Officers, the RSM, did not flow with the enthusiasm, which Mammy’s gruel generated among other military men in the barracks. He complained that the stuff was attracting flies into the barracks and ordered Mrs. Mammy Ochefu to stop its production and sale. Though surprised and disappointed at the order of the RSM, she stopped the production and sale of enyi. Her husband, not being an officer at the time, could not challenge the order of the RSM.



For weeks, Mrs. Mammy Ochefu agonized over the fate of her business, just as officers and men of the Nigerian Army who enjoyed her enyi because of its freshness and nutritional value lamented the situation.



From several quarters, pressure mounted on the RSM for a reversal of the order. After a while, he succumbed to the pressures and directed that a section of the barracks be reserved for Mrs. Mammy Ochefu to produce and sell her enyi. Her joy knew no bounds.



Few days after, a section of the barracks was given to her. She built a small shop and soon, her business began to boom. Most of her customers booked for their shares in advance. Before noon, she would have finished selling the available enyi for the day. Soon, other women in the barracks tapped into her fortune and started selling other items. It was not long before that portion of the barracks became known as Mammy Market. It also became a policy to establish markets inside or near military barracks in the country, initially for the exclusive use of officers and men.



Today, no visit to Abuja, the Federal Capital City, is complete without a taste of fresh fish in one of the Mammy Markets, especially the one attached to Abacha Barracks. Similar markets attached to paramilitary barracks are also called Mammy Markets.



After the coup that overthrew General Yakubu Gowon, Anthony Aboki Ochefu, then a Colonel, was posted to East Central State as Military Governor. So Mrs. Mammy Ochefu and her husband returned to Enugu as the First Family; she sometimes visited the site where Mammy Market started about sixteen years earlier It must be stressed too that in retirement, Colonel Anthony Aboki Ochefu and his wife incorporated a company, Mammy Markets, which was into haulage and trading.



Mrs. Mammy Ochefu is alive and lives in Otukpo as one of the prized legends of our time."


from onlinenigeria:by Major General Kaleosho (Rtd),
Former Comdt TRADOC

 

92 comments:

Beloved said...

Woooow

STARRY LARRY said...

I love History



*Larry was here*

Loveme Jeje said...

Wonderful. Just wondered how the name mammy markets came about

Esther Okoro said...

Interesting, Mammy will be very old by now. Hardworking woman






God Bless Everyone.

Bee10 said...

Nice

Uniq Gem said...

Wow. This is great. Never knew.

Beautiful Mammy God bless you.

Chinelo said...

Wow wow wow im shouting here!

Geraldine Ogwe said...

I enjoyed NYSC Mammy market days.

Anonymous said...

Wowwwww!she broke boundaries. Moral of the story don't wait for the government to do everything for you kapishh

Intelligentsia princess said...

SDK, leave matter for Mathias
The present day mammy market is
Where should be renamed Sodom
And Gomorrah, you need to see the
Kind of atrocities going on there.
Infact,we call it Ashewo headquarters in bk.
Madam mammy inagesheki...dooo..

Anonymous said...

Wow! I never knew. Being a proud Benue woman and going to a paramilitary school.Good to know.

NORTH DAKOTA SIOBHAN (foot loose and fancy-free) said...

Boy!
Did I enjoy this story? I love reading about history et al..
Mammy market! I can't forget the grilled Crocker fish and fries in abacha barracks,A.Y.A, in a hurry.
Madam mammy, I'm pretty sure your children and grandchildren are mighty proud of you..




Dum Spiro spero.

Vixen said...

That is awesome!!!! Thank you for bringing this beautiful piece of history Stella. Imagine the number of jobs people have because of Mammy? God bless you Madam.

Anonymous said...

WOW! I never knew! This is informative! Kudos to mammy!

Daveen Laundry and Dry cleaning Services, Ajah, Lagos. 09072092853. Free pick up and delivery. said...

She made history with her petty trade. Good one!

DoppelgΓ€nger said...

Wow we learn everyday, who would have thought mammy market was named after someone. Fantastic!

ego lag said...

Wow!!!!!!

White Diamond said...

Ahh! Finally.

I always wondered why camp markets are called 'Mammy' markets. Now I know.

Thanks,Stellz.

#WhiteDiamondOut

Tetrina said...

Enjoyed reading this.

Ikechukwu Sunday said...

Legend through kunu making....

TRIUMPHANT ZION said...

Now,this is what I call being a star.

My dear TGW,Nwanyi oma,I am fine,happy new year to you and family. May the year bring good tidings our way and our life continue to be more beautiful in Jesus name,Amen. I hope you and yours are good?
Iphiee dearie,my regards and more beauty to our lives.
My sweethearts on Sdk,I love you all and you all are in my prayers,la fresh,la Katie and so many of you there,I love you all.
May our stars shine even brighter.

Anonymous said...

Yes o! Another proud Idoma moment as a full blooded Idoma that I am,Idoma ol'adam eh! The Ochefu's are a popular family in Otukpo & i happen to know her family quite well especially her children.

ifeoma tundeasolo said...

Wow!!! Now I know

missylynn said...

Wow!atrue legend

The Lifted said...

wow,sweet story

Barr. Oma said...

Nice one
I love history like this

iyke david said...

Wonderful!
I so much appreciate this history!

Anonymous said...

That's nice..l'v known the origin of mammy market.tnxxx Stella

The Boss Lady said...

Such an interesting read

Lepa shandy is back said...

Lovely! She must be very old now

Ed said...

Interesting!

Better pikin, fine geh said...

Wonderful story....i knw of one mammy market in sea school apapa lagos because Ryla usually organised by rotary club takes place there....it is also a military arena

Emilia Peter said...

Wow wow, so dat is how mammy market come to existence.

Anonymous said...

Wow, there is actually a story behind mammy market

Anonymous said...

Beautiful

Amysweet said...

wow! nice read

THELMA'S CAKE WORLD said...

Wow!!!!!..... beautiful story!!!

Bcutie said...

Wow!!!!!

Ammy Bee said...

Very informative. Now I know.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful history. More of these kinds of stories pls SDK,thanks.

GORRETI BAE said...

Wow.. Power of doing what u know how to do best

Inimitable said...

I love such historic stories. Chai

Miss Inquisitive said...

Legends are being made from time immemorial.

Anonymous said...

It's at times like this I'm really proud to say I'm from otukpo.

Reva's cakes said...

Nice

Anonymous said...

Proud idoma πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘ Abole my people on SDK?

Wendixx said...

Very informative. God bless all industrious mothers worldwide.
Thanks Stella.

Maame Esi said...

Wow, She is a very enterprising and industrious woman.

Ijeoma said...

Wow! Kudos to her.

Christy Odoo said...

Wowwwwwwww....

becky naka said...

Lovely, it's not too late for you to start that dream, you lead, others follow.

Ada Onyema said...

Oh nice, may we be remembered for good!!!

Nwanyimakarisia said...

Wow good story

Maame Esi said...

Wow, She is a very enterprising and industrious woman.

Nnukwu Nwanyi said...

Woooow,interesting.

Kendra Hitchcock said...

Waow!!!!!!

Jasmine said...

She's still alive? Wow!!!

Fidel Castro said...

Savagery

PL THE GREAT said...

Are you kidding me?! Amazing article! Was waiting to read if she's still alive and voila! She is. People like this deserve to be celebrated. Their stories need to be told. God bless all those who have contributed immensely to this great country.

Asa nwa said...

Wow interesting

Anonymous said...

AMAZING

nmacalabar nmacalabar said...

wow!!!!. the power of small beginning. God bless our hustles

Chuks Bruno said...

So that name of the market was coined out of someone's name? How informative

Ldf said...

Wow! Teach a girl child to be empowered and the nation will grow

Nonye Inspired (James Bond's Girl) said...

Hmmm There is really history in every part of Nigeria..#uplifted

Sweet Mother said...

Are you sure we haven't met there? The crowd in Abacha barracks no be small. I guess I hate fish today because I ate too much at Abacha barracks. Plus that pepper sauce make sense no be small.

Nne nwa said...

And I thought mammy meant mammy water during my NYSC.
So that place I used to eat grilled croacker fish at abacha barracks was mammy market. Hmmmmm
We learn everyday

BLOGLORD said...

Good to know how the name "mammy market" originated

On the other hand, a name on this blog came to mind- Maami; the fairest and whitest of them all' & her tales of her son. What's that his name again? Hazard abi ki lo ru kor Γ¨? I hope she is doing good.

Gbonju said...

Wow! Now I know how mammy market came about. Thanks Stella

Ify Lovie Lovie said...

Wow!!
Beautiful, knowledge is power!

Bekee-Bekee said...

I had butterflies reading this.

Loves it.

sweetness said...

wow.thank u stella.i never knew.

Anonymous said...

what a great information. Wooow nothing ever exist in vacuum just as no writer writes in a vacuum

NORTH DAKOTA SIOBHAN (foot loose and fancy-free) said...

Lol @ are you sure we haven't met there? I tell you @sweet mother, that pepper sauce is everything.it took me a while, but I learnt how to prepare same.

Iphie dearie said...

AKA Mogadishu barracks.
After the bomb attack there,several people got scared of going there.
Thank God people feel safe enough now.

Iphie dearie said...

Amen!!
God bless you.
I look forward to your comments here,i have learnt a lot from them too. You and Mystique.... Your love for God shows here.
😘😘😘😘
Regards

Manna Bee said...

Inspiring!

SWAG LAFRESH said...

Are you sure we haven't met too. The first day I went to that abacha barracks I was like "this kind place dey this abuja" and my house no far from AYA.

SWAG LAFRESH said...

We love you too.

Amen

charitybino said...

Wow

SWAG LAFRESH said...

Informative

The General's Wife said...

Same here.
I always wondered.

What a nice read.

The General's Wife said...

Sweetie!😍

Amen to your Prayers.
Hope you are good too Dearie.

Chinny Baby said...

What a nice story, now I know where the name mammy market was curled from

koko insurance said...

Beautiful. I am going to mammy market today in abacha barrack because of this story.

Anonymous said...

Very informative, enlightening and entertaining.

lvahstherapy.blogspot.com said...

Amaze ball. This history has a nostalgic feeling to it.*hands akimbo.

Classic Chic! said...

This is really nice. Wow!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Good to know.

Homeo Stasis said...

Wow! good to know. What about "mammy water?"

Chikito The Professional Fire for Fire said...

These are women who should be celebrated. Women who don't give up in the face of controversy. Women who are innovative and do something different In their lifetime.

I'm glad I read this.

Amacastel said...

Wow am so happy to read dis story

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