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Zimbabwe in Nigeria : Abuja satellite settlement, where booze, meat and sex rule

Zimbabwe of Nigeria • Abuja satellite settlement, where booze, meat and sex rule
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There may be regrets and gnashing of teeth in Zimbabwe, in southern Africa, because of politics. However, there is another Zimbabwe, where people are happy and constantly making merry. In this Zimbabwe, in Nigeria, just like the zimbabwe money is sextillion & abundant now and is still cheap like the money there are assorted food and drinks. There are also different kinds of meat and fish. And women are there for the asking, for those who need their services.

Located about 25 kilometers from Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Zimbabwe is the lure of all city dwellers around it. Visiting patrons to this bubbling place are always welcome by things that would make them happy. For one, there is always music blarring from the giant speakers. And those who could gyrate take to the dancing floor.

Indeed, on a typical day in Zimbabwe, there is no dull moment. Activities at the little hunts and canopies are always at their peak. People drink, eat and make merry.

The location and setting

Situated on a plain, grassy valley crisscrossed by a river and overlooking the highway on the Abuja/Keffi Road is a suburb called Uke, in Nasarawa State. It consists of no more than a few thousand people who live in houses roofed with rusty corrugated iron sheets. The houses are Roasted chicken
generally grouped together in residential areas some distance away from the highway. At the upper end of this suburb, just by the riverside is the famous Zimbabwe.

Indeed, what started as a local foodstuff market in a place called upper Uke, in 1980, has now metamorphosed into a full-blown market, with such magnetic forces that pulls the small and big in the society to its fold. According to Alhaji Jibril Abubakar, who holds the traditional title of “Garkwa Uke” (Defence Minister), “it started as a small market in a place called upper Uke and when the then District Head of Uke, Alhaji Abdullahi Hassan visited the area, he noticed the existence of the market and decided to upgrade it to a full-fledged market.

“From then, the market began to attract people from Keffi and Masaka. Originally, people used to come and buy foodstuff, like yam, pepper and tomatoes at a very cheap price of 10 kobo. That was how it started.”

The erudite defence minister, who is an illustrious son of Uke, told Saturday Sun that the market was relocated from its original place, in 1986, to its present position following the overbearing presence of palm wine tapers and local brew (burukutu), who flooded the market with their products. The reason for the relocation, at the instance of the district head, was to maintain its original status as a foodstuff market.

“The palm wine tapers started bringing their product and other local drinks to sell. This was against the original purpose of the founders of the market. The presence of these drinks at the market started attracting large crowd of people, who travelled far and near to buy fresh and original palm wine.”

In 1997, according Abubakar, the district head of Uke summoned a meeting of elders on how to upgrade the infrastructure of the market for the purpose of generating revenue. It was then agreed that shops be erected at the market and let out to interested people. “This is how the market has become a big one today.”

The name Zimbabwe

Narrating the historical background of the market, Abubakar said: “The name (Zimbabwe) was given by a local musician. Its original name was “Upper Uke Market. Zimbabwe was given by a local musician and it was generally accepted and since then it is called by the name.”

In Nasarawa, Abuja and other neighbouring states, the name Zimbabwe rings a bell. It is a bubbling place. Indeed, Zimbabwe is so popular that any girl that has not been taken there by her lover would not be happy.

Life at “Zimbabwe” is exhilarating. Its atmosphere is alive with adventurous spirit and resourceful people. Although it lacked the eye-pocking state-of- the-art edifices of the cities, it is a kind of heaven. Its serene and calm atmosphere is not only magnetic but also infectious.

The environment is in a cocoon of marina trees that provides a cozy atmosphere needed to rewind after a hectic day.

Investigations revealed that the main centre of attraction at Zimbabwe is the fresh palm wine that is cheaply available in large supply. Aside from palm wine there are other side attractions, including fresh fish, chicken and fish barbecue, fish pepper soup and others.

According to Abubakar, “anything you want, you can get it at Zimbabwe at a relatively cheap price. For instance, you don’t need to go to fast food joints for fresh fish and chickens. That is why people come from Abuja and other places to this place. A keg of palm wine is N100 in Zimbabwe, as against the N500 in Abuja, while a full litre of the product is between N300 and N400, as against the Abuja price of N1, 500.”


Security in Zimbabwe is tight and manned by vigilance group selected from the host community. Abubakar boasted that there has not been any reported incident of theft at the market.

“There is no security threat here. There is a local security outfit, Yanbanga, put in place by the community to provide security at the market and so far, there has not been any case of theft or burglary in this market. The community supplies them with all their operational needs. Every month, they meet with the elders of the community to brief them on security matters and to update their operational methods.

“The market closes at 10pm everyday. Anything after that, no body is allowed access into the premises except shop owners who must identify themselves. In fact, there is no recorded incident of theft or car snatching here,” he said.

High accident rate

In every good thing in life, there is also a side effect and so it is with the Uke community. What the market has offered them with the right hand, in terms of social and economic gain; it takes back with death occasioned by road accidents.

“The only problem we have on ground here is the high rate of accidents, which has claimed so many lives. People get knocked down while trying to cross the road to the other side of the market. You know after drinking some bottles of alcohol, some people would just jump into the road in their unsteady conditions and sometimes oncoming vehicles knock them down. The community has lost many of its sons to road accidents. In fact, we are now thinking of relocating the market or pushing farther away the highway.”

Effects on the youths
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The presence of exotic cars and their influential owners in the market is a tonic of encouragement to youths of the area, according to the Garkwan Uke.

“The sight of these flashy cars has, more than anything, encouraged our youths to work harder in their human endeavours. Although the marvel of the presence of these rich men acts as an encouragement to them we advice them to work towards having theirs rather than going into uncanny means of acquiring wealth,” he said.

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Comment by Adiele Rita on June 30, 2009 at 12:23pm
I want to believe that Human skull will not be sold there too, because to whom much is given much is expected too.well it is a good thing but in everything someone has to be very very careful in all.Nigerians keep it up but don't be masterminded by DEVIL okay.
Comment by eucharia ukoha on June 30, 2009 at 11:47am
it cause more harm than good.yy wud i travel all d way to nasarawa state jus to fill myself wit alcohol,smoke,prostitutes,couple with d knowledge that i may not return alive.if one dies to/from such a place,wat wud dat person tell his/her maker. as for me, its not worth and shudnt be encouraged at all. a word is enough for the wise. lets embrace the things of GOD more,it wil b more beneficial to both d youths n elders.peace
Comment by hannatu aruwa on June 30, 2009 at 11:06am
i encouraged the youth there to use the avenue to preach the gospel to people so that they should know the site infect of alcohol that they take.
Comment by Orieka Goodness Erhuvwu on June 30, 2009 at 10:39am
so na so things cheap for dey, he gud na
Comment by Kris Emelu on June 30, 2009 at 9:58am
Naija people una too like better thing
Comment by Sane Nigerian on June 30, 2009 at 9:47am
if it were in an advance country the government will come in and provide all the enabling facilities, like good parks, water, light etc. by so doing the govt will make the people happy and rake in revenue by way of tax. this is opportunity for nassarawa state.
Comment by sunday arogbonlo on June 30, 2009 at 9:26am
there is nothing new under the heaven,God is on our side.
Comment by AKOMAH OGECHUKWU STANLEY on June 30, 2009 at 8:39am
Comment by DANIEL EDOBOR on June 30, 2009 at 8:21am
Na wa for dis zimbabwe in abuja,nigeria.



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