Daily Trust

Meet 55-year-old visually impaired butcher

Unless you watch very closely, you might hardly notice when Mainasara slices meat into pieces for customers or prepares fire for his Suya (roasted meat) business, that the butcher is visually impaired.

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Mainasara, a resident of Kofar Taramniyya in Sokoto, has been in the suya business for three decades and according to him, he has never injured himself despite his visual problem.

He told Daily Trust that he took up the business 30 years ago at the age of 25, though it was not a family business.

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“It is something which I learned and it is paying,” he said.

Mainasara added: “I have two wives and 14 children and I take good care of them, feeding them and training my children and even some children of my relatives.”

“Two of my children are reading Medicine now, with the son of my younger sister who I brought up and trained before he got scholarship to read Medicine abroad.”

He said some of his children are at the Shehu Shagari College of Education while others are still in secondary school.

Mainasara, who was preparing fire for his business when our reporter visited him, said he started having an eye problem at the age of 35 when he was 10 years in the business. But this didn’t deter him.

“I still manage to do my business despite my condition and there was never a day I sustained a serious injury in the course of my work,” he said.

When asked if he sought medical attention   for his eye problem, he said he relied very much on herbs. When asked why, Mainasara paused for a while before whispering to our reporter: “I am afraid of losing the two eyes as my colleague.”

He said one of his colleagues experienced a similar problem and he went to an eye clinic he lost his sight completely.

“That is why I don’t want to consult a  doctor because I don’t want what befell my colleague  to happen to me,” he said.

After being convinced by our reporter to go and see a good doctor in a good eye clinic, he complained of the cost as he said he now buys rams on credit and pays back after selling the roasted meat.

“I used to go to village markets to buy like 10 rams before but now I cannot afford a single ram. What I do is to go to the Kara livestock market to buy one or two rams on credit and pay after selling the meat because I don’t want to be a burden on anybody,” he added.

He however, appealed to the state government and kind individuals for assistance, saying the business was his only means of survival.

He praised his older children who he said had never turned their back on him.

“They come here and assist me after returning from school and they are very obedient and hardworking,” he said.

His childhood friend, Malam Abdulmumin Abubakar, recalled how Mainasara’s family tried to persuade him to leave the business without success.

“His parents and relatives were not happy with his decision to join the business and there was pressure from his friends but he remained resolute and undeterred. Now we are very proud of his success in the business, our only worry is his state of health because he is losing his sight and this may force him out of the business,” he said.

Abubakar said they met and advised him to see a doctor but he was not willing to do so.

He described Mainasara as hardworking, patient and very jovial, and believes in himself, which could be why he stuck to his job despite his challenge.