Experts estimate that Moringa cures at least 300 diseases and that it has hundreds of other health benefits, thanks to its more than 90 nutrients, 46 different antioxidants, and all eight essential amino acids. No wonder more and more people are going into the business due to its profitability, investigations by Daily Trust revealed.
Hajiya Habiba Abubakar, who has been into the Zogale business for about 20 years, says she has achieved from selling and expressed joy she decided to go into it. She said the trade of Zogale is very profitable because it has both human and health benefits.
“Zogale is very good for the human body because it has the tendency to remove all the bad things in the body. You will realise that a person who takes Zogale very often hardly falls ill and is always very strong and agile. That is why most of my customers are people who hard jobs, like labourers, bus and taxi drivers, wheelbarrow pushers, and water vendors amongst others.” The 55-year-old woman added that: “The leaves can also be consumed to stimulate your metabolism, thus aiding in weight loss, this is possible because Zogale provides energy without sugar, the leaves can also be used to beautify the skin and they are commonly taken as supplement by women looking for healthier skin.”
She stated that: “So far, I have not come across a person that has told me it has disadvantages and it is very cheap. I sell the cook leaves from as low as N50 to as high as N200, depending on how much Zogale my customers want and the whole bag of the fresh leaves costs about N6, 000 with very little efforts used in the preparation.” All she needs to sell her boiled leaves of Zogale is ground ‘Kuli Kuli,’ Hajiya Habiba explained, adding that some customer like to add onions and pepper for garnishing.
“I simply boil the leaves for a few minutes, then I squeeze out the water and put the leaves in a bucket … I also sell ground ‘Kuli Kuli’ along with the leaves, kind of a two in one business,” she narrated.
Explaining what she has achieved from the business, Hajiya Habiba said: “I have gone on holy pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, trained my seven children in both Islamic and Western education and married them off with the proceeds of this trade.”
She urged the Kaduna State government to empower small businesses like hers as they are capable of tackling unemployment the state is faced with.
Another Zogale vendor, Shafa’atu Alhassan, described the business as wealth in health because she is making money from the business, she is also helping people live better and healthier lives.
“I started the Zogale business barely two years ago when I lost my husband, and since then, I and my children have been using the proceeds to survive. A lot of people eat the leaves, while some eat it for the medicinal values, others just like the taste, Shafa’atu stated.
“I get over 30 customers a day, which all has to do with location, as you can see, I am PHOTOS: Shehu K. Goro surrounded by local people like me, who are into one menial job or the other and Zogale is what about 90 percent of these people eat for two reasons, affordability and energy,” she said. “It is better for one to eat Zogale leaves than to eat all the flour containing foods rich people eat, especially at those expensive restaurants because while those kinds of foods are doing harm to the human body, Zogale does only good to the body, thereby allowing people that consume it to live a healthy life style rather than the so called rich people,” she added.
Speaking on the business aspect of her trade, Shafa’atu said she makes about N5, 000 on daily and N20, 000 monthly, after removing the amount she uses to buy 10 bags of Zogale every four weeks.
“As long as you know how to prepare the meal, you will have customers because what people do not like is eating sand in the leaves, so you have to wash them very well before cooking and one has to get a container with a lid in order to keep the leaves free from dust and sand while selling. I can assure you that with that, a lot of people will patronise you, Shafa’tu explained.
“It will interest you to know that some rich people send their drivers to my shade to order for the cooked leaves because some of them do not know how to cook the leaves, so instead of wasting their time, they rather come to me and I make the quantity they require for them., So, I can say Zogale is a very marketable commodity because more and more people are realising its amazing potentials for a healthy life,” she said.
A customer at Hajiya Habiba’s spot, Muhammad Ibrahim while consuming a plate of Zogale he bought for N100 said: “I take the leaves because I realised that whenever I take them, I have very good bowel movement and I feel very light in my stomach after eating them.” He added that: “I have even initiated my wife into eating the leaves because I feel it will help her lose some weight since you know women are prone to gain weight due to child birth. She even testified that she feels better and lighter where she takes the leaves and has vowed to learn how to prepare them herself at home.”
Another customer, Mustapha Ahmed, said he takes Zogale as a snack in between meals, adding that he does not regard Zogale as a proper meal: “I do not consider it as a proper meal even though some people take it as a proper meal because it is very affordable.”
On her part, Maimuna Bello, who takes Zogale on a daily basis, said: “I eat the leaves for the nutritional value it contains and because of how much I take, I hardly fall sick.”