Nyushera, labako, sima, mogni nimdi: The singing food hawkers of Sang
Upon entering the main township, one is welcomed by women and children with a yell; "Nyushera, labako, sima, mogni nimdi, kofi korigi, chichinga", literally meaning roast meat, peanuts and yam are available.
Incidentally, the name of the town can also pass for the simple past tense of sing, which is sang. It is no wonder, therefore, that a visitor to the town is always greeted with music by women and children trying to eke out a living, who call out patrons by mentioning the food they are offering for sale.
Crispy roast and fried bush meat, guinea fowl, kebabs, yam and other local food staples welcome everyone to Sang, the capital of the Mion District in the Northern Region.
In fact, the Sang town, which is located along the main Tamale-Yendi highway, is noted for the sale of the roast meat and other local food staples.
It is the main source of income for most women in the area as they roast the meat and yam and neatly display them by the roadside at pocket friendly prices.
On a usual visit to the town, one would see the roast food staples neatly packaged and displayed on tables by the roadside in the centre of the town.
The hawkers rush to every vehicle approaching the trading spot to solicit customers.
In fact, aside from the usual yelling, the sight alone, which is a beauty to behold, attracts patrons.
Major patrons are passengers travelling to the Yendi, Eastern Corridor and Tamale.
Undoubtedly, the display of the roast food staples has become a centre of attraction to most passers-by and travellers.
With as little as GH¢10 or GH¢20, one can get a piece of roast yam, meat and some groundnuts for lunch.
Source of income
For decades, most residents, particularly women, have engaged in the trade as their main source of livelihood.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic, a hawker, Mariam Adam, said she had been trading in the food staples for the past decade and that she had been able to take care of her children through the vocation.
"On a good day, I make about GH¢200 as profit through the sale of roast yam and groundnuts, but on a bad day, I make like GH¢100," she said.
Another hawker, Rafia Seidu, who sells roast bush meat, said "although the business is very profitable, my main challenge is that I sit in the sun to sell, which is very difficult."
She, therefore, appealed to the assembly to erect structures at the trading spot for them.
Some customers, who spoke to the Daily Graphic, said the roast yam and groundnuts was always their saviour anytime they were transiting the area.
"I have been passing through the town to trade in Yendi and Bimbilla markets, so anytime I get to Sang, I get myself roast meat and yam, top it up with water and I am good to go," Samuel Bukari, a trader said.
The Assemblymember for the Sang Bayanwa Electoral Area, Amadu Hamza, said the community was noted for the trade which was improving the livelihood of the people, especially women.
He, therefore, called on the government and non-governmental organisations to support the women with soft loans and machines to enable them to scale up their businesses.