By Rukayat Adeyemi
Lagos – Some visitors at the ongoing 2019 Lagos International Trade Fair on Tuesday rushed to get a taste of a free porridge meal offered by a Japanese woman married to a Nigerian, Mrs Umi Opara, at one of the exhibition stands at the Tafawa Balewa Square venue.
Many others were also sighted at another exhibition stand where free braiding of hair was offered by Kanekalon Beauty Consult, Japan.
Opara, Manager, Uma Curry Mix Seasoning Paste, said the porridge she was offering was prepared using the seasoning in a bid to introduce it to the Nigerian populace.
The manager, who is attending the fair for the third time, said that the seasoning, made with natural ingredients, contains vitamins that sharpen the brain.
“The curry mix seasoning contains tomatoes, thyme, pepper, onions and other seasoning and it is sold for N5000 for a pack, ” she said.
Opara said that she was enjoying the ongoing fair better than that of last year because it had given her the opportunity to connect with more people, as more companies were participating in it than previous year.
Mrs Ronke Farouq, a Nigerian who tasted the meal, described it as tasty and palatable, promising to buy the seasoning for her home use.
Also, at the Kanekalon Beauty Consult stand, a group of young ladies were seen competing to have their hair braided free by the Japanese company.
Mr Hiroshi Seko, General Manager, Kanekalon Africa Liason Office, said that the ladies started trooping in early.
Seko said following a lecture about the product and a question and answer session, the top eight winners were picked to have their hair braided free with the company’s products.
He said that the company was exhibiting to introduce the product to the market and not to sell.
“If anyone desires to buy our product after sampling, we will direct them to our retailers’ office,” he said.
According to him, a raffle draw will be held later in the day and two winners will get free meals or go home with wigs for free.
The General Manager said the company also introduced a new shampoo and hair moisturizers to the market and the free offer would continue daily till the end of the fair.
He commended the organisers of the fair, which he said, was getting better yearly.
Meanwhile, Mrs Lucia Awodipe, a caterer of Party Sweet Finger Restaurant at the fair complained of the turnout of customers and participants at this year’s fair .
Awodipe said activities were boring at the ongoing fair and the ban on musical bands by the organisers could be responsible for the development.
“Activities are kind of boring at the fair this year compared to previous years, maybe because of the ban on musical band.
“Before, we would have different companies entertaining us with music on stage, but this is not so this year ,” she said.
According to her, influx of people and foreign participants into the fair was also lower, compared to previous years.
“Maybe it is because of insecurity issue affecting the country or the bad economy, because things are not as they used to be, compared to last year and previous years.
“At least, this is my tenth year of attending the fair, so I can judge better ,” she said.
Awodipe advised the organisers to introduce innovative events that would attract more people to attend the fair.