It is very common nowadays for Nigerian men and women, boys and girls to patronise imported fairly-used products. Nigerian markets are flooded with all kinds of these materials. They include kitchen utensils, building materials, electronics/electrical materials, foot wears, clothing materials and bags. The commonest of all these are wearing apparels. In the early 70s when the economy was buoyant in Nigeria, not so much was heard of fairly used materials otherwise known as “second hand” but today, the economic downturn has forced so many Nigerians to go into buying second hand materials, Ironically, not only the downtrodden ones are involved in the purchase of these items, those believed to be “classical ladies and corporate young men are also involved.” Some of them would not personally go to the sales points, they asked for supply in their homes or offices to avoid embarrassment. Some notable boutiques are also in such business of dealing on second hand materials mixed with new ones. The choice is now left with the buyers. Unfortunately, the second hand materials in the boutiques cost more than some substandard new ones. The commonest and most dangerous of all the second hand wears are underwears. To some ladies, there is nothing wrong with putting on fairly used pants, it is as good as the top wear and trousers. But to others, those who buy such materials are ignorant of the dangers inherent in wearing them, particularly pants. To those who prefer them, they claimed that they are more durable and make one look fit and smarter. Others claimed that such second hand materials cost less and the cost of one new pant is enough to acquire about five of the fairly used, the same goes with bras. Another group of ladies who claimed they dread wearing second hand undies, especially pants said it is unhealthy to use pants that somebody not known has used. Apart from the odour oozing from the pants, it is not possible to know how fit or the health status of the original owners. “For instance, the first user might be a call lady or someone that had been infested with veneral disease, though not in all cases, how do we know and determine the true health condition of somebody you do not know or the so-called white ladies or men? “Our minds are so narrowed to the fact that whatever comes from Western countries are better, this might not be totally correct especially with ladies undies, but top wears and trousers are still better in that wise,” she said. She said the type of chemicals used to preserve the pants and other materials gives her a big concern, adding that no matter the hours spend to wash the pants, one still perceives the offensive odour. Some, however, claim that the antidote to offensive odour is detergent soap and hot water, to avoid any infection that may come up as a result of wearing such undies. The materials are expected to be soaked for almost 24 hour or more before such chemical could be washed off. A university lady said except care is taken one might risk his or her health by contracting veneral diseases. She noted that some virus can survive in such a condition to make somebody uncomfortable. Medically, wearing of another person’s pants or cloth has been condemned except if certified safe by a medical personnel because there are a lot of viruses that can not be easily contacted. Another lady who deals on fairly used materials, said ladies prefer second hand wears because of its durability. The lady who gave her name as Ngozi, said people believe that second hand wears are for low cadre people” but I tell you that classical girls and young officers with financial institutions also patronise me, some of them prefer grade one and we often take them to their offices or private homes” Ngozi said that in most cases, some ladies will buy in bulk and take them to their various campuses to resell. She would not believe that fairly used undies could cause any veneral disease. “All you need do is to soak it with detergent and hot water, if the undies are white, you can use chemical like bleach to make it cleaner,” she said. But medical experts have in the past warned against wearing fairly- used materials, especially female undies, from the Western countries.
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