Mombasa abuzz with shopping ah**d of Eid-ul-Fitr

Friday, April 5th, 2024 03:45 | By
Sayyed Ahmed Bakar Hajji, a businessman at MacKinnon Market who sells Kanzu, Hijab and Niqab says business is booming after a lull.
Sayyed Ahmed Bakar Hajji, a businessman at MacKinnon Market who sells Kanzu, Hijab and Niqab says business is booming after a lull. PHOTO/Reuben Mwambingu

With Eid-Ul-Fitr celebrations less than a week away, Mombasa is a beehive of activities as hundreds of shoppers embark on a shopping spree in preparation for the big day.

The Holy Month of Ramadhan that is expected to conclude between Tuesday and Wednesday based on the sighting of the crescent, meaning Eid al-Fitr is likely to fall on April 10 or latest April 11. The precise timings and dates however, change from country to country, depending on the geographical location. Eid celebrations begin with special prayers at the Mosque. Many Muslims dress in new garments, as it is believed that Prophet Muhammad would wear his best cloak to commemorate this day.

In light of the above, shopping becomes a standard practice as Eid approaches. It is a beehive of activities at Mackinnon Market in Mombasa popularly known as Marikiti, where shoppers flock for a variety of items meant for Eid celebrations.

While buyers decry high expenses owing to high cost of living, it is a windfall for traders who are reaping from the booming business.

“I am here to shop for my husband’s Eid surprise. The prices are not what I expected. I expected this Kanzu from Oman to cost between Sh2,000 and Sh2,500 but it is Sh3,500. Nonetheless, I have liked the colour of the Kanzu and the quality. I came with a budget but I did not shop as per what I had planned,” said Mwanaida Mwadadu from Msambweni.

However, for Ali Swaleh Said, who was also on a shopping spree, prices depend on the shopper’s familiarity considering the existence of brokers.

“This market requires someone who is familiar with all the outlets. Last year when I went shopping, I was new and I had to go through brokers so things were expensive. However, this time round I went to the wholesale shop and bought what I wanted and things were not too expensive,” explained Swaleh. Sayyed Ahmed Bakar Hajji a business man who sells Kanzu, Hijab, Niqab, Taqiyah shoes among others said business is increasingly booming as Eid approaches as shoppers continue to flock en masse.

“The entire Ramadhan period has been quiet. We have only started making good sales lately unlike in the past,” said Hajji. At Marikiti’s meat section, traders are hoping to make a kill during Eid after experiencing a lull throughout the Ramadhan period.

Barshal Adhow, a meat seller, says the frequency of clients has been on the decline for a while.

During the evenings and late hours, Mombasa’s main streets are filled with vendors spreading food and clothing along the major roads for fasting Muslims to buy after breaking the fast, promoting local business economy.

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