Continuity and Change in Indigenous Beer Entrepreneurial Activity of Women in Jos Metropolis, Nigeria: 1909-1995
Menmak, Nimlan Rabi
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Studies on women entrepreneurship in Jos focused on women in tomatoes enterprise and on the challenges of women entrepreneurs. Therefore, there is little knowledge on women in indigenous beer enterprise. This study examined the continuity and change that occurred in indigenous beer enterprise of women in Jos metropolis from 1909 to 1995. The study discussed the factors that led to the entry of women in burkutu enterprise and its transformation during the colonial period. It also focused on ho w developments like Nigeria’s independence, Biafra war, United Nations Women Conference of 1975 and Structural Adjustment Programme, influenced continuity and change in burkutu enterprise during the post-independence period. The changes that happened in the process of brewing and marketing burkutu by women in Jos were examined. The theories used in this study were the Women Agency and Social Capital theory. Qualitative design based on historical approach was adopted for this study. The data was collected from primary and secondary sources. The primary sources included archival materials and oral-interviews. Secondary sources comprised articles, books, and theses. The data was analysed qualitatively. It was presented based on themes and chronology according to the objectives of the study. This study revealed that burkutu was an indigenous beer that was brewed by women mainly for socio- cultural purposes during the pre-colonial period. However, during the colonial era, it was transformed to an article of trade due to monetization of the economy. Burkutu which was used for religious rite became a source of relaxation for tin labourers. Restriction on the consumption of burkutu diminished. This was because burkutu consumption was tied to purchasing power. In the post-independence period, it continued to thrive because it was a source of employment and income for women that participated in it. It also provided inexpensive alcohol for the urban low income earner particularly during the Structural Adjustment Programme era in Nigeria. The traditional brewing tools were replaced by grinding machine and aluminum pots for efficiency.