Life at a palm wine joint
My recent trip to the South West Region and Mile Four Limbe in particular made me discover some things that brought me some excitements. First of all, I discovered that everyone including my father's household constantly have a supply of palm wine or matango as it is popularly called, and a jug of sharh or fermented corn drink for all ocassions.
Sharh or fermented corn drink
What baffled me was how the prices had climbed at a double because what was sold for 200frs a liter is now sold sold for 500frs, and what was 500frs for 5liters have climbed to 12oofrs for the same quantity. The most interesting part of the issue is that people line up for several minutes even hours, to wait for their turn to be served, while others pay in advance so that he is supplied right at home.
I got tempted to visit a bar and had a chat with the bar man who told me that business had become very slow, especiall with the Brasseries du Cameroon products. He said the few beer customers that he stills, consume more Guiness products than the other brands.
Approaching a Smirnoff Ice drinker, he told me 'I be typical english man. I don decide say and french beer no fit enter my belly again because na poison for my system'.
I cornered two others who told me almost the same thing, how their favorite soft drink has become Malta Guinness despite its high cost and small quantity.
Visiting the matango and sharh spots, I was surprised to see how the palm wine tappers and sharh manufactureres had upgraded their selling points, because their customer base too has expanded. People with cars stop by after work, to quench their taste with the traditional and natural taste of our own home made beer.
People in every part of the anglophone zone told me the same thing was happening around them, and that they have become very comfortable consuming the locally made fresh palm wine and sharh, especially when they are cold.
One seller told me if his sales continue rising, he will build a local factory where he will be bottling his products, for a more professional preservation and conservation.
The goodness of palm wine to the human body is just too magical to be ignored. Apart from its thirst quenching effects,
- Palm wine improves eyesight
- Palm wine reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases
- Palm wine can help fight against cancer
- Palm wine helps in maintaining a healthy hair, skin and nails
- Palm wine promotes lactation
How ever, caution must be applied when consuming fermented palm wine in excess because it is detrimental to our health. Fermented palm wine is locally referred to as “strong white mimbo”
Fermented palm wine contains a high percentage of alcohol, which is probably higher than that found in some of the alcoholic beverages we drink. This fermented palm wine destroys our kidney, liver and other systems in our body. Drinking alcohol in excess is a risk factor for hypertension.