A Week In The Life Of A Kayan Mata Seller Focusing On Sex Education

May 5, 2020

“A Week In The Life” is a weekly Zikoko series that explores the working-class struggles of Nigerians. It captures the very spirit of what it means to hustle in Nigeria and puts you in the shoes of the subject for a week.

Today’s subject is Maryam Usman, a Kayan Mata seller from the North. She talks about the challenges that come with her business and more importantly, the need for sex education amongst Northern women.


I wake up around 4 am. I pray until it’s time for fajr. Then, I make breakfast for my children before going back to sleep. My househelp prepares the children for school so I don’t have to worry about that. By 8 am, I leave the house to drop the children in school, after which, I go for my own classes.

I am currently running a Master’s program in Pharmacognosy and Drug development at Ahmadu Bello University. It’s not like I am an unserious person, but school is not really my priority. I don’t even know why I am going to school. I remember last semester when I was about to write a test, and a client called me for a job of N500,000. That’s how I didn’t write the test again. For me, there are priorities and I have to chop life.

I have a 9-12 am class today. I am moody and sleepy throughout the class. By 11 am, I give the lecturer an excuse about my children. I pack my bags and leave for home.

The only reason I even went to the class is because I don’t have anything to do. Thankfully, my husband is not at home, so I don’t have to cook.

I settle down to read a Lindsay Lohan book in peace before the kids return from school.


I run multiple businesses. I sell Ankara, female wearables like bags and clothes. I also sell natural skincare products with a focus on traditional ones. In addition, I offer Gyran jiki services and this is the category that kayan mata falls under. 

Kayan Mata literally means “women properties.” The products are natural herbs in everyday use which help to boost various things. For example, there are different things that are considered as Kayan Mata. There are herbs that boost female wetness like watermelon. There are sweeteners like pineapple which helps with a nice aroma. Tiger nuts help to enhance libido. For infection, we use pure henna and cloves in measured quantities to steam the vagina. All these are called Kayan Mata.

Kayan Mata

Today, a client calls asking for the infection kit. This contains cloves, pure henna, and other ingredients which are a trade secret. I spend the whole day preparing, and properly labelling her package. I take my time because I don’t want to hear stories from anyone. I have a clear no refund policy except in the rare case that you are allergic to any of the ingredients. This is rare because I ask for a list of things people are allergic to before making anything. Also, people who return their orders intact within 24 hours are eligible for a refund.

After I finish her order, I go for a walk with my husband to clear my head. This helps me feel refreshed.


I am very angry today. My problem with people who purchase my products is that they are looking for jazz – sharp sharp. 70% of customers ask for jazz because no one is patient any more. Other sellers lie that their Kayan Mata products have jazz and sell to them, but I don’t. I tell them that these are herbs and they take time, but no one listens.

There is a product I offer known as tighteners. This is for people who want tighter vaginas. It is made up of incense and some other ingredients that help tighten from the outside. You mix these ingredients and use it for a sitz bath. You then drink some herbs along with it to tighten from within. 

Kayan Mata

Sitz bath.

Three days ago, a client bought tighteners which are supposed to be used for seven days. However, she has been calling my phone. She’s probably calling to ask why she hasn’t seen any miracle. 

Today, I wake up to over 20 missed calls from her and I am not even exaggerating. A day after delivering her order, she was now telling me that she’s a new mum and she has vaginal tears. And that she wasted her money and she wants a refund. I am annoyed that she didn’t tell me about being a new mum before I delivered because I would have given her a stronger dose. I am also annoyed that she thinks this is magic and the tightening should just occur immediately. I am not going to refund her because my terms were clear. She withheld information and was somehow expecting magic. Mschew.

I leave the house to get some air. In the compound, my two-year-old is playing in his water pool. He loves to play with water so he’s splashing around – He looks genuinely happy – So, I join him to splash around. Not long after, my husband joins us. By now, all of us are completely soaked and laughing.

This distracts me from the annoying customer for a while.


Some Arewa women come to me for Kayan Mata when what they need is sex education. Most of them act like kunu. For instance, many of them are not comfortable in their body; They don’t know what they like or don’t like. A lot of them lack sex education because their parents didn’t teach them. 

Sometimes, I have to teach them sex education before giving them, Kayan Mata. I have a 19-year-old client with two kids who comes with her husband. After a series of questions, I realized that it’s not Kayan Mata she needs but proper sex education. She has no idea that sex is to be enjoyed even after two kids. She lacks the basic knowledge of sex so I have had to teach her what to do and what not to do – how to dress, how to walk, how to initiate sex. Having to teach an adult these things can be tedious.

Today, I am dealing with another client like that. She thinks a lot of things are haram. There was a day I went to her house and her husband came in, and she ran to wear a hijab. As in, to cover up for her own husband. If she can’t sit with her husband without a hijab, then bedroom affairs is zero. So, I have to teach her what to do. 

She consulted me because she overheard her husband talking to another girl over the phone. I don’t blame the husband. If I was the husband, I would also talk to other women. Thankfully, we have made progress with the hijab issue. My biggest issue today is that she’s not listening to me. I am advicing her to initiate sex in the evening but she’s refusing. She says she’s not supposed to do it in the evening, that it’s only a nighttime routine. For her, sex has to be in the dark with the lights off. 

What is happening? What is she doing? This is frustrating for me because they are newlyweds – The marriage is barely 6 months old. 

I am tired, so I leave for home. With the kind of day I have had, I just want to sleep.


Fridays are my best days because I get to do my skincare routine. The first step is to wash my skin. For cleansing, I use Clean and Clear cleanser. I sometimes use the detoxifying one or the brightening one, it depends on my mood. Then, I exfoliate with my Essence by MKJ scrub. After exfoliating, I use Khalta powder as a mask. If I want to have the sunlight glow, I use Curcum

Kayan Mata

I naturally don’t have spots on my face, but on the rare occasion that I do, like my period which causes hormonal imbalance, I use Spirulina on the dark spots.

Then I drink a lot of water and mind my business. 

If I am doing only facials, it takes me 10 minutes. If it’s the whole body, it takes me 45 minutes. 

Today, I do my skincare routine. I make sure I do it in the morning because it’s not good to do skincare routine when the sun is bright. This is because you might have sunburn as the sun tampers with the skin. You don’t want to expose yourself to the sun after refreshing your body.

After finishing my skincare routine, I spend the rest of my day making videos for my Youtube and IGTV channels.


I wake up tired today. It’s not easy juggling motherhood, business, and school together. Sometimes, I need a break. I normally just switch off my phone and travel to either Abuja or Kano when I need to rest.

While I am away, my business doesn’t suffer because I have managers and distributors. They make sure it’s business as usual. I drop my kids and house help with one of my sisters who lives nearby. It’s usually just my husband and I on a trip. 

I remember my last trip to Abuja with my husband where something embarrassing happened. 

Naturally, I am afraid of elevators and heights but I love wearing heels. On my last trip to Abuja, my husband “bullied” me into using the elevator. As I was entering, I missed a step and almost sprained my ankle, but I didn’t. From that day onward, I decided I had to learn how to use an elevator. After that incident, I  stopped being scared of elevators. However, I am still scared of heights.

I spend the rest of the day daydreaming about my next trip. I look forward to making new memories to replace that embarrassing one.


Today, I am thinking about how to move my business forward. I have a long term plan for it, but some customers can be badly behaved. They want to ruin the brand that I am struggling to build. Some customers stress me because they don’t read simple instructions before using products. 

There was a client that I gave some herbs for a sitz bath and she went ahead to drink it. I was so scared because she started to complain of serious stomach ache. At some point, I thought she was going to die. I was just so confused because I called her over the phone to please read the instructions before using the product. I am grateful that she survived.

I don’t know why these clients stress me. I am trying to build a brand that is a household name like Coca-cola; a brand that you feel safe using. I want a lot for my business. I want to be a global leader in what I do. I want to be known for the quality of my products. and I also want to be very very rich. I know school will not make me be rich the way I want to be and that’s why I am building this.

Some women come to meet me saying I should give them something that would make their husbands love them more. I tell them to assess the situation – is he a man that wants to be kept? Because no matter what you do, some men don’t want to be kept. So, don’t waste your time. If he wants to be kept, I am usually honest with them because I am trying to build a long term business.

I tell them that they don’t need Kayan Mata.

For a man that wants to be kept, I tell them to just kill him with kindness and prayers.

If you enjoyed reading this, you should definitely read this: Sex Life: Using Kayan Mata Aphrodisiac To Improve My Sex Life


Fajr – The Fajr prayer is the first of the five daily prayers (salah) performed daily by practicing Muslims

Gyran Jiki – Traditional spa.

Act like kunu – To be sluggish or slow.

Haram – forbidden or proscribed by Islamic law.

Arewa – This is a Hausa language term for north, one of the cardinal directions. Its popular usage in contemporary Nigeria sometimes suggests a northern Nigerian.

Check back every Tuesday by 9 am for more “A Week In The Life Of” goodness, and if you would like to be featured or you know anyone who fits the profile, don’t hesitate to reach out. Reach out to me: hassan@bigcabal.com if you want to be featured on this series.

You'll like this

March 9, 2020

Congratulations! You finally got selected for an interview after the many days of submitting applications all over Nigeria. You are prepped to answer their numerous questions and blow them away. However, interviews are not a one-sided conversation regardless of how grateful you feel for the invite. It’s also a chance to ask your prospective employers […]

August 6, 2020

Finding someone of the same sex attractive is more common than you think. More often than not, we get curious enough to explore that option Today, 6 Nigerian women share their first time experience with a woman. 1. Favour, 20/ Lesbian It was in secondary school. The first time I noticed her laugh, I felt […]

Hassan Yahaya

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.


Now on Zikoko

October 26, 2020

Body dysmorphia is a mental health disorder that makes you obsess over your physical appearance. You constantly try to fix or hide these perceived flaws that may not be noticeable to others but yourself. We spoke to five Nigerian women about what it is like hating their body in a way that makes them obsess […]

October 26, 2020

Babatunde Fashola, former governor of Lagos State, now Minister of Works, Housing and Power (we should have known this guy had some serious powers; how else could he be the head of not one, not two, but three crucial ministries?) yesterday miraculously discovered a camera at the scene of the Lekki massacre, conveniently perched by […]

Recommended Quizzes

November 25, 2019

We already guessed how many people you’ve slept with, and y’all were out here denying the truth. Anyway, we won’t hold that against you. This time, however, we’ve created a quiz that predicts who you’ll sleep with next — so you can either prepare or try (unsuccessfully) to prevent it. So, take and see:

November 1, 2019

Twitter is buzzing right now, bringing a new conversation to the concept of cool vs not-so-cool, especially in relationships. If you’ve been thinking about how much of a red flag you are, why don’t you let this quiz help you decide once and for all?

October 30, 2019

Kemi Adetiba’s King of Boys movie got a lot of things right, especially casting, so yes, it was a monster hit. Now, we know you may not have put much thought to this, but the personalities of some of the characters closely match yours, and we would like to help you find the perfect match. […]

how much of an ajebutter
February 12, 2020

Are you an ajebutter or not? Well, if you’ve gone through life blissfully unaware of its harshness, then you probably are. Now, we want to know just how high you rank on that ajebutter scale, using your food preferences as a (very accurate) measure. Take to find out:

December 11, 2019

In the past month, we’ve made quizzes that guessed the last time you had sex, how many people you’ve slept with, and just how good you are in bed. For our latest attempt, we will use your taste in Nigerian music from the 2010s to ascertain what you’re like in bed. Take to find out:

More from Hustle


Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.
February 6, 2020
Who doesn't want to find love? In our bid to help, we paired up a bunch of single Nigerians, sending them on an all-expense paid date, and interviewing them before and after they met.
January 27, 2020
Nigerians Talk is what happened when a motley crew of young Nigerians were put in front of a camera and asked a bunch of apparently random questions about life, love, money and more.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.