At some point in your life, you must have heard these words: “You do not open a woman’s bag.” But what’s so special about those things that makes them a danger zone? And why do men keep wondering what’s inside? A woman’s purse is such a mysterious thing that there are several deep dives into it.

For the Nigerian woman or mother, a bag is more than a fashion statement. It is weapon for fighting erring partners and a tool for disciplining children. It’s the thing that holds the answers to all of life’s secrets. And currently sits somewhere between Amala and wrap dresses as some of the greatest inventions in the world.


Nigerian mothers keys

It’s either a key holder with several keys you’ll never be able to identify, or several different keys with non-existing locks. Hello ma, are you trying to unlock the gate to heaven?

A ton of medicine aka your local pharmacy.

Heap of medical pills in white, blue and other colors. Pills in plastic package. Concept of healthcare and medicine.

If you mistakenly get a headache next to a Nigerian mother, be specific with what medicine you ask for, because she’s about to present you with panadol, paracetamol, ibuprofen, chloroquine and a ton of other drugs you didn’t know existed. And they all came out of that tiny compartment in her bag or a tiny purse.

Warning: Do not ask them if they’re on drugs.

Safety pins

To save the day when someone pops a button.

Needle and thread

Because you never know when your cloth will disgrace you. Nigerian mothers are always one step ahead.

Tissue or wipes

Nigerian mothers tissue

Because the world is hot.

Sanitory products

Sanitory towel for Nigerian mothers

Because even Nigerian mothers answer when Aunt flo calls.

Rubber band

Rubber band for Nigerian mothers

Not just to pack their hair, but to pack everything packable. Nigerian mothers know that you just never know when you need these things, so they always have not one, not two, but thousand, handy.


Brown powder for Nigerian mothers

Also known as brown powder. Every woman literally has this in their purse.

Robb balm

Robb for Nigerian mothers

Need we say more? Nigerian mothers probably think that Robb will cure their daughters heart that was broken by a Nigerian man because any small thing, robb.

All kinds and sizes of combs and hair brush

Comb for Nigerian mothers

Even if they’re on braids, they always have hair combs.

A match box


Because they dunno when they’ll need to quickly prepare Jollof rice. They need to be ready, you know.


For items she bought since year 2000. They’re usually super crumpled and hard to read, but they always think that they’ll go back to it — especially if it’s for an item their child bought. We are all guilty here, sha.

An old phone book

Nigerian mothers diary

Or a notebook or diary. This means they usually have a thousand pens.

Ata gungun or chilli pepper

Ata gungun in Nigerian mothers bag

This is lowkey bants, but someone told me they have seen a Yoruba Nigerian grandmother casually whip grinded pepper from her bag like it was no man’s business. At first I was like Mama why now now, but didn’t Beyoncé say “I’ve got hot sauce in my bad?” (if we’re taking her literally). Ride on Grandma.

Sweets and snacks

Everything from tomtom and gum to gala. You know that sweet that your mummy seized from you when you were in primary two? It’s in her bag.

Old jewelry

Nigerian mothers missing earring

They haven’t worn it since they lost the second piece., but they’ll never throw it out.


Nigerian mother sunglasses
Specifically this kind

Because the sun must not spoil their slay.

Creams, perfumes, lip balm and hand sanitizers

Hand sanitizer inside Nigerian mothers bag

Because it’s important to stay fresh and fight diseases while at it. We stan.

Safe to say Nigerian mothers carry the world in their bags and purses. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen in a Nigerian mother’s bag?


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