Popularly known as “The home of kilishi”, Kayauki is a small village located at the outskirt of Katsina state at the latitude of 13.00124 and a longitude of 7.6981. The temperature there ranges from 25-29 degrees, with a humidity of 57% and a wind speed of 02m/s.
The Kayauki settlement is bisected by the Katsina-daura road which passes through it with a large part of the settlement located northward. The present location came into being a little over 60 years ago,after the people left the “Tsohon gari” meaning Old settlement which comprised of more hamlets.
Originally, the village is said to be known as “Kurmin magama”. It was said that before the village of Kayauki came into being,the people were living in hamlets, comprising pockets of households scattered in different directions in Tsohon gari until the Government of the day deemed it fit to merge these settlements together into a village, hence the present location of Kayauki came to existence. With a little above two hundred houses and still counting as new houses are springing up almost on daily basis, the Kayauki community is said to be among the fastest growing settlements in Katsina state. The village has become popular for the hospitality of its people and a massive production and supply of “kilishi”, the product with which the community is becoming synonymous with.
The preoccupation of Kayauki inhabitants like most communities includes farming with rearing of animals being the major preoccupation of the people where a quite large number of the people engage in abattoir business (butchering) as a means of livelihood. Indeed it was these earlier butchers that became the precursors of the trade of kilishi production. Of course the trend of modernity has also caught up with the village too as its people are currently engaging in different modern trades and occupations such as plumbers, electricians, brick makers, builders, bakers, table water production and a host of others.
Arguably, another name for Kayauki village is “home of kilishi” for which it has earned international recognitiion as it is second to no other community in kilishi production. As a result of this, most men in this community are kilishi producers.
Kilishi is a delicious dry meat prepared by the butchers of this community as a snack, a gift to be taken along by travellers as Kayauki is located at the outskirts of Katsina town. Apart from it being luscious, it is also best for preservation as it could be kept or preserved for quite a long period of time before it decays. The meat used in making kilishi must be stripped of any fat for it to be suitable for making this snack and withstand long preservation.
Kilishi is a meat product of the tropics prepared from sun-dried lean beef infused with spices and defatted groundnut oil. It is made on a large scale under the hot and dry weather conditions of this village. Traditionally, the slices of meat are spread on papyrus mats on elevated tables and left in the sun to dry. The drying is done in two stages. In stage one, the pieces of sliced meat are sun-dried for about seven hours or more. The meat slices are turned every hour so as to allow even drying or prevent the slices of meat from sticking to the drying tables.After drying,the slices of dried meat are then roasted over a glowing fire for some minutes.
Traditionally, the spice ingredients said to be used in making kilishi comprises mainly of pepper, ginger, groundnut cake, garlic with a little salt to taste. But nowadays with the advent of modernity ingredients like curry powder, seasoning and thyme are added to the meat for better and sweeter taste. It is gathered that the ingredients are mixed up in a container with a little quantity of water depending on the size of the meat.This mixture of ingredients will then be applied on the dried meat and kept under the scotching sun to dry before being roasted finally.
The Kayauki community has been receiving different visitors who troop in on a daily basis to purchase kilishi as almost everybody is into the business of making kilishi in this part of Katsina town. The community supplies the kilishi needs of traditional rulers, civil servants, visitors and travellers who often stop over to buy the product as a takeaway or for distribution as a gift. Beyond being the hotspot for kilishi production, Kayauki is a home to one of the worst environmental hazards in Katsina state as it has been battling with the scourge of erosion for a long time.