Thursday, 18 October 2012

Nigeria's 'Gbogbonise' brew peddlers: Healers or killers?

The busy Igan Iduganran is a ghost of itself on an early Friday morning. The hub of traders who usually dominate a greater part of the area are nowhere to be seen with trading yet to start. In the meantime, their space has been taken over by Alagbo sellers.
Iya Alagbo, as she is named after her trade, is a frail woman in her 40s although she is more shrunken by hard work rather than age. The fold of overlapping flesh on her forehead is puckered in a furrow as she serves a customer a steaming cup of the herb mixture.
"Mama, I want Agbo Iba," says a man who ambles over lazily from a bus parked across the road. He has just woken up, his eyes are still muddled with speck. Iya Alagbo, like the "doctor" she is, dips a blue coloured cup into a boiling pot of herbs on an open fire; pours the hot content into another cup and hands it over to her "patient" without any previous medical check up.
Popularly called "Awo Igba Arun" in Yoruba, a native language (that which cures hundreds of diseases), it is also known as "gbogbonise" by its users because of its claim to cure all manner of ailments including inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and rheumatism, malaria, typhoid fever and piles among others....Read...

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