By Adow M. Abdi:
Kenyan Muslims, just like their counterparts in the rest of the World, are having busy days ahead of the Idd-ul-Fitr festival expected to be marked either on Tuesday or Wednesday this week on completion of the fasting month of Ramadan.
There is beehive of activity along shopping malls and animal markets as people jostle for a last minute catch of beautiful outfits and mouth watering dishes for the big day.
In Eastleigh, East Africa’s commercial hub both retain and wholesale trade has seen an upsurge trend in the past ten days culminating in a last minute rash that is evident from heavy presence of people and traffic in the area.
This is one of the peak seasons in the busy shopping malls with traders working to late in the night. Every other available space has also been turned to shopping stalls traders compete to catch the eyes of the shoppers.
All roads leading to the big shopping malls especially roadsides along Eastleigh First Avenue Road and shopping centers are packed with customers from morning till evening. Ready made garment shops and shoe stalls are among the ones drawing the most customers as people are busying buying new clothes in preparation for Eid.
Eastleigh business owners have reported huge profit a head of the Eid celebrations as people come for shopping from all over the East African region.
Mr. Ahmed Hassan who owns a leading fashion brand and designs wholesale shop in Garissa lodge told Nep Journal that as Eid-ul-fitr was drawing nearer, shoppers were coming in huge numbers giving them huge business.
“This is one of the few times in the year we make good sales, we have prepared for this with enough stocks and so far we have been able to meet our customers’ demands” he said.
“We have a wide array of clothes to fit people of all ages.” Added Hassan.
Asked by Nep Journal whether there were any price hikes, Ahmed said Eastleigh was well known to maintain its pricing even in the wake of increased shopping during festivities.
“Eastleigh is unique, while others hike prices during this time, we lower ours to give our customers value for their money. We rather sale more stock with little profit than wait for a kill and have dead stocks. Furthermore, most of us are Muslims and our religion forbids hording and unnecessary price hikes to take advantage of customers” he summed up.
Things were no different in Mombasa, Garissa, Wajir, Mandera, Isiolo, Marsabit, Eldoret, Nakuru, Kisumu, Kamagega and other majort towns.
Muhudin Abdi operates a tailoring shop in Garissa. He told Nepjournal.com that for the last twenty or so days, he was forced to operate 24hrs in order to beat the deadline and serve as many customers as possible.
Since most traders close shop by 6pm, Muhudin is forced to lock himself and colleagues inside the shop in order to continue from where they left at closure of business.
“Alhamdulillah, although we are tired, we generate a lot revenue from sales nowadays. We are even forced to turn away clients sometimes because we are overwhelmed by orders” Muhudin said.
Sounds of sewing machines rent the air during the night in Garissa’s famous suuq mugdi as Muhudin and his colleagues beat the fast approaching festival.
A spot check by Nepjournal at the local livestock markets in Garissa, Wajir and Mandera confirmed that livestock prices have been sky rocketing since the festive season set in.
Eid Mubaarak to all our readers wherever they are!