Tonight I shall be a witch. Like I am every year.
This week its Halloween and my friends and I dress up as witches every year. Although we are weird witches wearing tight mini skirts and low cut tops. I don't think the fashion police will come knocking. ..in London anything goes.
Halloween in Nigeria though, has become a big money maker for entrepreneurs recently. These small business owners have cottoned on to the idea that if you re - brand paganism, witchcraft and voodoo as something fun and a little naughty, you can pull in the big bucks! Its funny that in the ever popular Nollywood movies, these Halloween characters are portrayed as evil and from the darkside, but some savvy folk know that you can sell anything.
All you need is the right location, timing and presentation. On the road besides the popular 'Play ' bar in abuja a few business hustlers are selling thier wares. Scary masks, cloaks and various other Halloween accessories. Sell! Sell! sell!!! All available for one night only. The bar itself holds a halloween - themed night of naughtiness. Patrons who haven't bought thier outfits from wuse market or one of the popular shopping malls can grab a last minute alter ego at the door.
In Lagos, competition for the most creative outfit causes a shortage of specially imported costumes in the shops. Small businesses are sprung to fill the gap of supply, I have unwittingly been one of these....rushing to the pound shop to send home some cheap masks for a friend. The services industry also gets boosted. After all, you have all theses people dressed up. They need somewhere to go! Bars, clubs, cinemas and even churches ( this is another post for another time ), all cash in on the ' Halloween traffic '.
As a result millions of naira worth of sales are generated from the unconventional ' holiday ' ( its only a holiday if it falls on a weekend mind you ;-)) The halloween business boom in Nigeria is proof that you CAN sell ice to an Eskimo and sand in a desert.
All you need is the right 'PACKAGING'