Located a short distance away from the famous Olumo rocks, the vibrant Itoku market will amaze you with its colors and buzz. This age-old market is the hub of the indigenous Adire cottage industry. Adire refers to the art of making tie-and-dye fabric and the region of Abeokuta is known for this craft. The artisans who create these dazzling and colorful fabrics live near the market and are often willing to give you a glimpse of the process after you have made a purchase. These artisans are usually women who have had the secrets of their trade passed on from their mothers and grandmothers.
Pick up a bargain
The sellers here enjoy the haggling process. So, go for it, and do not settle for the first price that is offered. Make sure you look around in multiple stalls. Browsing through the beautiful goods is a fun experience and one that will leave you spoiled for choice. Once you have decided what to buy and which shop to buy it from, get ready for some friendly banter as you and the seller arrive at a price suitable to both parties. Apart from the famous Adire fabric, this market stocks many other beautiful and unique keepsakes. Look out for exquisite local crafts that would make a perfect gift for friends and family back home. Don't forget to shop for yourself too—trying on the exquisite bead jewelry or draping a fabric to see how it looks on you is all a part of a fun shopping experience that you won't forget in a hurry. Beautiful artwork, sculptures, and indigenous musical instruments like the sekere and talking drum also make great purchases.
For a gastronomic adventure, indulge in some local street food sold at this market. Alternatively, play it safe and grab a bottled drink. You will also find restaurants in the area selling both traditional and continental food. Try one the best dishes Abeokuta has to offer—ofada rice (locally grown, unprocessed brown rice) served with ata dindin (stew made with unripe pepper and bits of beef, fish, or offal).