Kayan Mata has evolved from the traditional herb that helps new brides from northern Nigeria heighten their sexual desires to a lucrative commodity marketed on social media by wannabe entrepreneurs.
Self-acclaimed sex therapist, Hauwa Saidu Mohammed, popularly known as Jaruma, typifies the life of a successful aphrodisiac merchant and Kanya Mata advocate.
Jaruma flaunts her ‘wealth’ right in your face on Instagram. She is either showcasing her latest Fendi handbag or Dolce & Gabbana heels or displaying wads of foreign currency and bundles of notes ostensibly made from the business of packaging local aphrodisiacs. She is essentially living the life of a multimillionaire aphrodisiac entrepreneur.
According to one of her Instagram posts, she studied the Kayan Mata product for over three years and sent it for trials in 36 states before officially releasing it to the general public on April 23, 2017.
Jaruma leads the pack of several entrepreneurs making it big in Nigeria’s sex enhancement market. Her mannerism when sensually describing the female anatomy contradicts the conservative nature of a typical Hausa woman.
It is also in sharp contrast to Nigeria’s traditional stance of keeping sex discussions private. Nigerian parents rarely talk about sex with their children; it’s taboo in many homes. However, the millennial and baby boomer generation is changing the narrative. But whether that’s a good or bad thing is debatable.
The big question in all of this is, how did the aphrodisiac industry in Nigeria become a multi-million naira market in a country that seemingly espouse sexual morality?
Although comprehensive data is scarce, Technavio predicts that the global sex market will post a CAGR of over 9% between 2019 and 2023. This is amid rising demand for lingerie, contraceptives, condoms, lubricants, sex toys, etc.
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) also recently acknowledged this when it drew the attention of NAFDAC to the potential health hazards of these local aphrodisiacs due to their unregulated nature.
Regardless, Jaaruma and others like her belong to a camp increasingly making local herbs and spices that serve as sexual enhancers, with Kayan Mata being a major crowd puller. With good branding and the power of social media, the vendors are cashing out of the niche market.
Kayan mata is a multimillion-naira industry
Sex toys and sex enhancement products (condoms, contraceptives, and other pharmaceutical sex products) may be booming globally, but the market for Kayan Mata is undoubtedly in a class of its own.
Hugely popular in northern Nigeria, where it originates from, Kayan mata is especially popular in states like Sokoto, Katsina, Kebbi and Zamfara. It is, however, now gaining traction even in the south, with several wannabe sex therapists and merchandisers leveraging its popularity and efficacy.
Kayan Mata literally means “women’s things.” It refers to herbs and spices used to enhance the sexual experience of women and also make men enjoy them. Different types of Kayan mata exist, such as the Simi, Gindin Ayu, Turaren Wuta, Dan Mannau, Goron Tula (Silky kola), etc., depending on what is desired.
A check on Jaaruma’s recent price list on her Instagram page shows that a high-end product goes for as much as N500,000, while the lowest goes for N30,000. Other merchants are said to make between N200,000 and N300,000 in monthly profit.
Why is the Kayan Mata sex enhancement market booming?
It’s a no brainer. Millennial women and men are more intune and inclined to sexual adventures than their parent’s generation. More importantly, Kayan Mata is proven to help new mothers and women above 40 get their groove back.
When asked, a PR practitioner says she does not believe Kayan Mata works as such, even though she hasn’t had a personal encounter with the herb. She, however, gave her thoughts on why some women patronise these enhancers:
“In Nigerian and African society, women are heavily dependent on men. Having a man, especially being married, is regarded as one of the greatest achievements for a woman in this part of the world. As a result, it is expected that they go the extra length to keep a man and possibly win him over as their spouse. So they resort to different kinds of strategies to achieve this; some pray, others use kayan mata, etc.”
Another observer who pleaded anonymity said the market is booming because many ladies have put their trust in it and are glued to it.
“The market seems to be booming because a lot of ladies have put their trust in it. One thing they fail to realise is that the reason why men seem glued to them is the enhancement in the concoction. And not juju.”
Speaking on the efficacy, she said, “Kayan Mata works, and it will continue to work. It is like using paracetamol for a headache. Definitely, the paracetamol will go. That’s the reason many of them are glued to it. But one thing is that Kayan Mata is for married people and not for singles.”
Another lady, who preferred to be identified simply as Adeola, also mentioned that the Kayan Mata market is now divided into two categories.
On the one hand, she says some have been mixed with diabolical concoctions, and on the other hand, some are the original aphrodisiacs meant to increase sexual desire.
“These days, the so-called Kayan Mata are being ‘spelled’. So I think it has gone just beyond the Kayan mata kind of enhancement because the main originators, who are the northerners, basically use it as a bait to get their wives, who are married off at an early age, sexually aroused. It is supposed to help heighten their sexual drive so that when the man comes close, it will not be a difficult ride but a mutually satisfying activity. But that has really changed as most of what you have around now are “spelled aphrodisiacs” used by the ladies to tie men down.”
She went on to say that the raw materials used are mostly sourced from Lagos Island.
“The ingredients needed are usually sourced cheaply from the central mosque in Lagos Island. That’s where you’ll find the mallams who sell the original Kayan mata, but for those who sell the spelled ones, they have their own ritualists or alfas who spell these things for them. “
On why women adopt Kayan mata, she opined that this is mainly due to the rate of infidelity among men.
“Most women (not all) use Kayan mata because of the high rate of infidelity. They believe that men cheat a lot and women feel entitled since they put so much into the relationship, either as a wife or even a girlfriend. And so they believe they should be relaxing and enjoying themselves with such a partner. They therefore use Kayan mata as a way of constraining or holding down their partner. By doing this, no other person will be able to share their partner with them.”
One is certain; the Kanya Mata business has just begun. With the power of social media, more people will embrace the trend, and more merchants will continue to explore this lucrative market.
Jorn Lyseggan is a serial entrepreneur, investor, philanthropist, and founder of Meltwater…