The story you are about to read is the untold story of a Nigerian man Jacob Odulate who shook the whole world and the pharmaceutical industry after he invented the famous Alabukun drugs in his days. However, his constituency-Nigeria forgets him. But let’s rejoice him because if he were alive today, he would probably offer an approach to Corona-virus Pandemic which has largely affected the world in general.
If you ever stopped at a street-side pharmacy, almost everywhere in Nigeria, and looked down the racks you’ll discover, most likely between the uninspiring parcels of tablets for the regular cold and intestinal sickness fever, the particular white and red sachets for a neighborhood medication called Alabukun Powder.
Nigerians who utilize the medication are convinced that it fixes pretty much every infirmity from minor migraines, fevers, and torments to fighting ceaseless ailment and joint pain. Medicinally, Alabukun powder is a pain-relieving yet it’s utilized in neighborhood customary homegrown medication inventions as normally as it is utilized in present-day medication in Nigeria.
The Alabukun brand is one of the longest-running, indigenous pharmaceutical brands in Africa, gaining massive use over the past one hundred years and come to be a part of Nigerian fabric, without full-size advertising and marketing or advertising budgets in recent decades. It also can be observed in stalls and pharmacies in neighboring West African countries and even in local shops of migrant-heavy neighborhoods within the United Kingdom. It’s a brilliant fulfillment due to the fact there are few indigenous Nigerian customer brands of any type that had made it this some distance and wide—and lasted a hundred years.
For more than decades, Alabukun Powder has maintained its stand as one of the most famous patent medicines commonly located in Nigerian homes, workplaces, pharmacies, and road shops. Its cheap price and quick effectiveness maintain it from falling off the market especially in 1918 when its components were discovered with the aid of an exceptional and hardworking Nigerian pharmacist apprentice and entrepreneur, Jacob Shogboyega Odulate popularly referred to as ‘Blessed Jacob in 1918, a period when Aspirin-caffeine (headache) powder manufacturers had been simply starting to spring up in the United States. The year turned into additionally at the peak of colonial control in Nigeria (today’s country became simply created in 1914). There turned into no modern pharmaceutical industry and just a few western drugs had been imported and disbursed within the country through European companies.
Jacob Shogboyega Odulate was born in 1884 to the polygamous own family of Pa Odulate in Ikorodu, Lagos. Jacob Odulate stopped schooling at the young age of 12 and moved to Abeokuta, Ogun state, at the age of 14 in search of greener pastures. According to a report which was gathered from his eldest surviving daughter, Stella O. Odesanya, Jacob traveled from Ikorodu, his hometown, to Abeokuta taking walks within 3 months. It turned into in Abeokuta that Jacob met a renowned pharmacist, Doctor Sapara, and volunteered to emerge as his apprentice. Jacob Odulate labored with Dr. Sapara for years before he started his drug manufacturing business enterprise which he later named Alabukun. While struggling to make a name for himself and his corporation, Jacob met a young pretty female named Sekunmade whom he later married.
It turned into an unforgettable day within the year 1918, 4 years after Nigeria was birthed from the amalgamation of the northern and southern protectorates, Jacob Odulate sat at his laboratory table after lots of researches and advanced a formulation for a drug he known as Alabukun Powder. Jacob Odulate’s system becomes a combination of each native and overseas drug treatments which gave him a result so remarkable than he had expected. A packet of Alabukun contains “760 mg of acetylsalicylic acid and 60 mg of caffeine making a complete of 820 mg.” It is used to deal with many medical situations which include “migraine, toothache, sore throat, prevention of blood clots, neuralgias, myocardial infarction, transluminal angioplasty, and ischaemic attacks.” However, the powder drug is not to be used without a doctor’s prescription, and like every other drug, Alabukun Powder has its side effects several of which are swelling due to fluid accumulation, asthma, vomiting, nausea, and vertigo.
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Alabukun Powder made a large wave as soon because it hit the marketplace in 1918, a technology characterized via colonialism which became then in many methods unfavorable to the natives of Nigeria. Alabukun Powder was exported to close by international locations consisting of Benin Republic, Togo, Cameroon, and Ghana as its call for kept soaring higher. Till today, Alabukun Powder has exported away to Brazil, Cuba, and a few nations in Europe as well.
Nigerians do vouch for this drug. From minor headaches, migraine, sore throat to stopping blood clots and stroke, the 100-year-vintage Alabukun Powder, Nigeria’s first homegrown current drug, which is visible as a cure-all, has stood the test of time.
Without any widespread advertising or commercial, Alabukun stays popular among Nigerians or even throughout the globe, including the UK and U.S.
Jacob’s drug manufacturing agency has its headquarters positioned in Sapon, Abeokuta, Ogun State. Other products of Alabukun emblem are Alabukun Mentholine and an annual journal known as Alabukun Almanac which turned into broadly distributed in Abeokuta and its environs between 1920 and 1950. Alabukun Powder wasn’t advertised in the media due to its recognition on the time it made its debut within the marketplace and mainly due to its composition. Nevertheless, Alabukun Powder stays one of the oldest and widely used patent medicines in Nigeria and neighboring nations.
But the success and toughness of Alabukun powder is truly a result of the advertising and sales distribution ingenuity of Blessed Jacob. First, he ensured his product changed into easily accessible to the locals right from the beginning through placing his first drug stall near a street marketplace. He additionally localized his products by giving them his already popular Yoruba nickname, Alabukun, and introduced his image on his merchandise, taking gain of his reputation as a respected remedy guy to benefit the consider of customers.
The effect of this progressive and effective patent medication changed into unprecedented, as it grew to become out to be big achievement as soon as it turned into introduced into the market. A major purpose for its reputation becomes because it became relatively reasonably-priced and handy, making it low-cost to nearby consumers.
In Nigeria, where it has to turn out to be easily recognized even among friends and family, the red and white packaged drug may be located displayed and offered in thousands of pharmacies, markets, and roadside stalls. Alabukun merchandise is also sold in several cities and towns in Europe, Brazil, Jamaica, and China.
At the time of Jacobs’s death in 1962, he had already firmly installed the Alabukun emblem within the south-western a part of Nigeria and became a rich guy with actual estate across the region.
Starting in 2017, the exceptionally old Alabukun business has been passed down three decades. This has been depicted as an extraordinary accomplishment as there is not any Nigerian indigenous business with such a record.
Alabukun has additionally become one of the longest-running, indigenous pharmaceutical brands in Africa. The ‘magic powder’ stays in high call for even after 100 years.