Beatrice Oyewole, 50, is a successful black soap maker, who has achieved in her early life with her chosen work, “Ose Dudu”, (black soap) making which she has ventured into since the past 30 years.

With joy in her heart, Beatrice explained that some of her children have been sponsored out of tertiary institutions through the soap making business, and excitedly adding that she was able to build a mansion through the work.

Revealing how soap making has liberated some people from poverty, Beatrice disclosed that no one will dabble into the business and will not be successful, even if bewitched.

She noted that those that are worthless in the business are those that indulge in backbiting and steal from the properties of their counterparts in the work, explaining that there’s no way someone can be unfortunate in the business or else she’s taking what doesn’t belong to her.

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Black soap making in Ada It’s Process, Falilat Olayiwola

Black Soap making is an indigenous work of Ada residents, a town under Boripe Local Government, Osun State.

According to an aged woman who narrated the etymology, black soap making originated from Ada by a woman called Ibiyeju.

Ose Dudu, as it is widely called is peculiar to Ada people, Yoruba, and some other neighbouring towns have also learnt how to make the soap, making them also contributing and benefiting in the business, distributing it to different towns where they supply it to people.

The soap making business has been a prevaling trade in Ada for some decades past.

According to an aged woman, Mrs Falilat Olayiwola who explained how  “Ose dudu” (Black Soap) is made from the scratch explained that Ose dudu (Black Soap) is made up of ash of locally harvested and dried cocoa peels to make the “Aro” which is therefore used together with “Adi”, Coconut oil  to make the soap.

Aro is made from dried cocoa peels, which will be burnt and the ashes will be cooked with water to form the “Aro”. On the other hand, the “Adi agbon”, Coconut oil is made with dried grounded palm kernel.

Different forms of ashes can be used to produce “Aro”, either from burnt cocoa peels or burnt palm trees.

She explained that there is white soap that is also gotten in the process of making black soap but depends on how it is done

A white soap can also be gotten through the process of making black soap. If the intention of the maker is to make white soap, the coconut oil will be thoroughly filtered to get rid of the particles that might make it black, but if it is black soap, the reverse will be the case.

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Falilat explained that the soap making process is stressful, adding that it takes a whole lot of time. 

She explained, “Initially, we’ll put the “Aro” on fire, the measurement solely depends on the quantity of soap we intend to make. A stirring stick will be used to stir it together till it becomes thick. 

There will be little light under the drum until the substance in the drum swells up and changes to the desired black soap and if it is white soap, it become white’

“Then we’ll check if it’s has become solid, and we’ll check if it is well-cooked or not, we will now put it inside mortal and pound it. After that we’ll take the ash, sweep the floor and put it there, and also put the ash in the drum, we’ll  make sure there’s no dirt in it, and we’ll continue stirring it till it melt, we will put the melt one is inside a bowl or any container then after it is cold, it will now become solid then it is ready to be used”

 

Black Soap Makers React.

 

Black soap can be used for different things, ranging from bathing, washing of clothes and for skin care.

Funke oyedokun, a black soap maker who explained that the soap can be used for bathing, also noted that some uses it for skin protection.

She noted that black soap making has been for long, explaining that Ada is the origin of the soap, she said “it is an indigenous work of Ada, that’s how our mothers have been doing it and it has been helping in times of financial needs”

Funke revealed that she was sponsored through the black soap making business, and she has also ventured into it right from her youthful age.

She explained that soap making business is very stressful, starting from making the coconut oil, and to when the soap is cooked on fire.

She noted that she has been in the work right from her primary school days, adding that she inherited the work from her late mother

“I started this soap making work personally after I got married and it has been good times and bad times, but we thank God for the good times”

While explaining how tough the work has been, Funke revealed that most times the expected profit is not what is gotten from the work but it has always been her life saver, stating that she has accomplished a lot through the soap making work.

“The profit sometimes is not what we expect, the jerrycan of coconut oil is now 25,000 and even the “Aro”  is now expensive.

Soap making takes a whole day, it takes like 10 hours”

In her own explanation, Victoria Owoseni, 16 year old girl met while helping her mother in the soap making noted that the job  is what her mother has been using in sponsoring her and her siblings to school.

She said,”This is the work my mother is using to cater for us and I have been assisting her in the process right from when I also know how to do it’

Soap making is very stressful but we still do it because there are profits that accompany it, sometimes there will be rain and sometimes the firewood will not be ignited on time”.

Omoniyi Opeyemi, a user of the black soap, noted that there is white soap and there is black soap “There’s nothing we cannot use the soap to do, the white one can be used to wash cloth, and it is used to cure rashes, pimples and generally for skin care” 

“Black soap freshen the body and cure some skin disease, it prevents spots and others “

Also, Olasunkanmi Ramota noted that black soap is what she uses to bath and her family also uses it

 

Boluwatife Adedokun is a passionate journalist, who writes to ameliorate societal ills. As a young journalist, she aims to have a society devoid of corruptions by righting the wrongs with the power of pen. Her enthusiasm towards speaking for the masses has engendered her publication in different national dailies and she wish to be more impactful through her stories.

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