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FunTimes Magazine

Holiday Hustle: Street Vendors and Seasonal Sales in Lagos

Dec 23, 2023 10:00AM ● By Gift Joe

Just like several cities across the world, Lagos, Nigeria, comes alive during the festive season. Malls and other big shopping centers engage in Black Friday deals, giving mouthwatering discounts that attract customers. It’s a season of spending as most people just want to have a memorable festive experience and also have a good time to mark the end of a year that may have been very challenging.

While the malls and other shopping centers are cashing out, small businesses are not left out. From Balogun market to Tejuosho, Yaba, the streets of Lagos are a vibrant commercial hub during the festive season as everyone is trying to engage in the holiday hustle. Street vendors set up makeshift stalls, showcasing their goods ranging from Christmas decorations to local cuisine, hoping to make some money this season.

December is known as a busy shopping season in Lagos, with people buying new clothes, gifts, and other items. However, the festivities will not be complete without the influx of those we call the IJGB (I Just Got Back). These are Nigerians abroad who have returned home for the holiday season filled with nonstop parties and all-night concerts – a period otherwise known as ‘Detty December.’ They are the “big spenders” as they have got spare foreign currency to lavish. It’s a win-win for street vendors who get to make some extra money due to their influx.


As the air gets thick with festivities, and the streets get filled with the IJGBs and other Lagosians, the vendors play a vital role in bringing the holiday spirit to life. They become the unsung heroes, meeting the needs of both locals and visitors at every corner.

Let’s take a look at some of the holiday hustles by street vendors in Lagos.

Clothing, Footwear, and other Accessories for Children

Growing up, our parents used to get us Christmas clothes and shoes. On Christmas Day, we would strut around town in our shiny new clothes with shoes and bags to match. We would also compliment the look with toy watches and plastic glasses. Though things may have changed a bit over the years, children still wear Christmas clothes in this part of the world. The street vendors have already started displaying cute colorful dresses, tiny-heeled shoes, and other accessories because they know parents must purchase new clothes and shoes for their children and wards, no matter the economic challenges.


Christmas Accessories

Christmas trees, lights, hats, and other decorations are top of the list of things that sell this season. Everyone wants their houses and offices to have a Christmas look, causing a high demand for these items. Most people get to patronize street vendors who sell at affordable prices in comparison to the popular malls and stores.

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Christmas hampers are part of the tradition of Christmas celebrations in Nigeria. It is that time of the year when you find hampers everywhere you go. Not everyone likes the store packaged hampers which are mostly filled with biscuits and other sugary items and are also expensive. Some prefer to get the hand-woven basket from street vendors, filling it with hand-picked items such as foodstuffs.


Street Food and Beverages

Detty December is full of music, beach parties, and nightlife. People are bound to become peckish after partying. Thank God for street vendors who are always available with different delicacies. From shawarma and small chops to suya and other local snacks and pastries, you are sure to find something to satisfy your cravings. It’s also the harmattan season which can leave you feeling thirsty every minute. The street vendors have got you covered as they have a variety of drinks – water, soda, local drinks like zobo and kunu, and other treats.

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Rice Sellers

Christmas is all about sharing and caring. Rice is one of the gifts Nigerians give out during the season. Organizations and individuals give out bags of rice to staff and clients. People also eat a lot of rice this season. So, street vendors have high sales during this period because of the high demand.

Chicken Sellers

What is Christmas without chicken? This is an important part of the festive meal. For some struggling families, this is the only time of the year they get to buy live chicken. So, yes, it is a big deal. As much as Nigerians complain and cry over the economy and scarcity of cash, they are still going to celebrate with their chicken, even if they have to buy just the part.

Poultry farmers are already gearing up for the sales. Chickens of different sizes are going to be on display for sale. Others who also benefit from the sales are those providing killing and dressing services which come at a small price.

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