Kano: Kilishi is ev
Agadasawa is a famous quarters in Kano city. It is renowned not just because of the number of rich people who reside there, or the beautiful structures erected in the area by the occupants. Rather, it is famous because of the name the inhabitants have made for themselves through the processing of Kilishi. For about 200 years, Kilishi processing has been the famous business of the traders of Agadasawa, Daily Trust gathered.
Visitors to Agadasawa need not be told that the area is a home of Kilishi. The moment one steps into the area, he will be greeted by varieties of Kilishi that are stocked in transparent boxes along the busy road that cuts through the area.
Alhaji Magaji Yusuf Zakari, Chairman of Agadasawa Kilishi Processors MultiPurpose Co-operative Society, explains “my late grandfather Alhaji Zakari was a Kilishi maker and he died when he was over 100 years. His father (my grandgrandfather) Alhaji Audu Mai Wuya was also into the business. This is to tell you that this business has been in existence in Agadasawa for a very long time. I am sure a man of my age cannot trace the actual history of Kilishi in this area.”
Kududdufin Kilishi, as the name implies, is a location in the heart of Agadasawa quarters where people converge on daily basis to process Kilishi. In the day and night hours, you will find a group of young men or adults conducting one aspect of Kilishi processing or the other at Kududdufi. All the activities taking place at Kududdufi are carried out by males, Daily Trust, observed.
However, women do contribute their quota in the processes from their respective matrimonial homes. They are the producers of ingredients of Kilishi which include spices, pepper powder, grinded groundnut and Tiger nut powder ,among others. They are also the processors of Dambun Nama as well.
Daily Trust learnt that Kilishi was said to have been initiated for emirs and warriors. It was being processed for them as a reserve meal whenever they are going to war. It was done in a form of beef steak. The processes included slicing of the beef to sizes, mixing it with powdered groundnut and other ingredients , that were already mixed with a small quantity of water, and then this is dried under the sun. Once, it dries, it can be preserved for a very long time without showing any sign of decay.
The Agadasawa Kilishi, if kept in a dry place, can be preserved for one year without decaying, Daily Trust gathered. In a bid to meet the demand of their customers, the people of Agadasawa process various types of Kilishi, which includes sugary Kilishi, salty Kilishi and Tiger nut Kilishi. They are also producing another type which is neither salty, nor sugary for diabetes patients.
In Agadasawa, Kilishi is processed with cow beef, according to Zakari “In Agadasawa, we make Kilishi with real beef, largely sourced from the following parts of cow; Chuck, Round and Brisket. Even at that, we only select tip steak, rump roast, round steak, top blade steak and pot roast for Kilishi. These are the suitable portions of beef we the Agadasawa are using to make Kilishi.”
Alhaji Amadun Baita Mai Kilishi Agadasawa, 65, is also among the processors that have spent years in the business. He said initially Kilishi was thicker than what it looks like now, adding “but gradually, people began to reduce its size to its presence form .Only the Almighty knows what it will look like in the future ,because our children and grandchildren might come with new innovations that will change its face again.”
Unlike before when it was only meant for emirs and combatants, Kilishi is now for everybody that wishes to taste it. It is being sold to any interesting buyer irrespective of his/her status in the society.
According to Zakari, nowadays Kilishi is being transported to various African and western countries. He said their forefathers started taking it to some African countries such as Togo, Ghana, Cameroon, Niger and Chad among others. It is also being exported to UK, USA, China, India, Japan, Bubai, Argentina and Germany, among other countries across the globe.
Zakari said he started the business of Kilishi at the age of eight. Thus far he has spent over 30 years in the business “Kilishi means everything to me; through it I obtained my Diploma certificate and I am sponsoring my children’s education. I have depended on this business right from my childhood. So all I have obtained in life, I got it through the business of Kilishi.”
Kilishi is mixed with other ingredients to form a delightful dried meat.
Magaji Yusuf Zakari says Agadasawa Kilishi can last for a year.