(Intones in Dumbledore’s voice) There comes a time in everyone’s life where you have to make tough life choices- the university to attend, the spouse to marry, how many children to give birth to. Oh, and where and how to shop. We might not know the cheapest yet quality shoe salesmen in Dugbe but we can at least give you tips on how not to get scammed in Dugbe market:


  • Dress “well”: You literally cannot afford going to the market well-dressed, with your shiny brogues and trendy sweatshirt. You have to go looking like a “struggle”. You have to give an image of having saved months on end just to be able to afford the little clothes you want to buy. It is best if you go in a faded T-shirt and jeans with your most-tattered pair of slippers. This gives off an image of being one of them and makes it likely for them to charge you lesser.

  •  Separate your shopping money and your transport money from other monies: Odds are that you might go to the market with more money than you plan on spending. Separating them really aids your cause. “Why?” you may ask. When the traders start saying you have more money than you claim, you can then triumphantly brandish your wallet and then say in your most pleading voice “Egbon, see my wallet! Na only transport fare and the 2k wey I get, I swear to God Almighty!”

  • You must speak Yoruba/”conc” pidgin or take a native-level speaker with you: The importance of transcending the language barrier cannot be under-emphasized. The traders would most likely inflate the price by more than 150% when they hear you speaking your tush UCH English. But with your Yoruba intact, the following would ensue:

                                    “Bros, how much are you selling your T-shirt?”

                                    “Because say I like you, take am for 6k”

                 (in mock outrage) “Egbon, kilode? Se nitoripe mo tin so gbogbo Englees lataro?! 3k ni mo ni o” loosely translates to (“Bros, why? Because I have been speaking English since morning? I have only N3000)

                                    “Oya, e ma binu, e mu 4,5 wa” (Please don’t be angry, bring N4,500)

                        You can then start normal negotiations hereafter.

  • Facial expressions and body language: On getting to the market, DO NOT SMILE OR LOOK LEFT AND RIGHT AT ANY SHOP. This is very vital to survival as the instant any trader sees you looking at their wares with interest, they come and start shouting and/or pulling while shouting “Bros, I have stock jeans. Quality T-shirt dey here. Packing shirt dey too. My pikin never eat, abeg come buy”. Really irritating stuffs. Looking around is a sign of weakness in the jungle that is Dugbe. You need to have an air of self-assuredness while communicating with your body that “Don’t come near me o! I have killed many people with a toothpick” while meandering through the market. This might not stop them but it would surely reduce your horde of attackers.
    DUGBE 3
  • Avoid Body contact: This is very important! I REPEAT, AVOID BODY CONTACT!! In a market filled with unsavoury characters, someone mistakenly touching you may imply that really important valuables would vanish eg phones, wallet, watches, even genitalia (yes, the family jewels!). Well, a word is enough for the wise. Do not say we didn’t warn you o!

  • Have an insider, a mole, a contact (or whatever description you want): This really comes in handy especially during bulk purchases. Having an inside guy you trust really reduces your stress levels as he knows where to get amazing deals at cheap prices and at the end of the day, you only have to part with about 1k extra. I have a contact in the market. His name? Bobo. Yes, you heard me right… Bobo!

Happy shopping,

The O.C

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