Business Trickles with Ripples of Eid Al Adha in Mombasa
In 2020, most businesses had been shut and Muslims had to operate abnormally during their celebrations, with fear of Covid-19. With one year now, little normalcy is being witnessed in every corridor of the economy. To the Muslim community, Eid Al Adha is not only symbolic for spiritual benefit but a moment of activating the local business. In the heart of Mombasa city, it’s business unusual for the local traders, amid preparations for the holy day of 20th July 2021.
With the highest number of Covid-19 cases in EastAfrica, Kenya had to place alot of restrictions in social interactions between people in public places in 2020. The two counties in Kenya which had had the highest number of reported cases were Nairobi and Mombasa between March and October last year.
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A study published by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine on 30 April 2020 showed a worst-case scenario for the unmitigated spread of the virus in Kenya. According to the study it is estimated that up to 740,000 cases resulting in a maximum of 8,400 deaths was to occur in Kenya. This is a fatality rate of 16 per 100,000 (compared to at least 55 per 100,000 in the UK) and a case fatality rate of 1.1% (compared to 14% in UK). While these predictions are sobering, they posed a health crisis of catastrophic proportions to the Kenyan government. These study had an impact in the positivity of the disease in the public domain.
Percentage of by Covid-19 Gender affected in the labour market in Kenya in 2020
The government had to order lockdowns in many parts of the nation, Mombasa county being among the first one’s on it. The economic consequences of the pandemic had to face a far greater impact on the long-term health, wellbeing and poverty levels of the population as a whole than the predicted fatalities caused directly by the disease. Sectors worst hit by the virus included the labour force, housing, transport, health, trade and tourism. The supply and demand for goods and services in these sectors were significantly hampered. Furthermore, the restriction of movement in and out the country dwindled the revenues from the tourism and aviation sectors, while delays at borders due to testing of truck drivers resulted in losses of profits to business owners.
All there economic ruptures did not leave the social engagements at bar. Muslims had to force their celebrations in the houses and under managed groups. Despite their complains to the government, the system had to be felt in all manner for the safety of public health.
“I know the restrictions placed are of inconvenience but they are meant to help us. The measures we have put are for our own good and I know it is not easy especially now during Ramadhan where we are used to coming together but let us bring something positive out this difficult situation by being positive about the containment measures,” said the Health Chief Administrative Secretary Rashid Aman last year.
“I want to remind you that it should not be business as usual. The measures that we outlined should be adhered to. Together with the other guidelines, they will help us mitigate the community transmission of this disease and bring normalcy to these areas.”
Meaning of Eid Al Adha.
According to the Muslim community, Eid Al Adha represented a period of reconnecting with the Muslim faith and is a symbol of hope for many.
Eid Al-Adha is typically celebrated the day after the Holy Hajj pilgrimage that many Muslims take during this time of year. It usually falls on the tenth day, in the final month of the Islamic Lunar calendar, also known as Dhu al-Hijjah.
It’s quite phenomenal since celebrations occur once the moon is sighted, following the completion of the Holy pilgrimage to Hajj.
In Mombasa, where Islam is part of their culture, the celebrations have a heightened impact to them. With different mosques registering numbers of believers, different streets in the city are always smeared with delicacies to mark the unity in belief, as groups of them gather.
It is quite consistent that Memon goat market, around Mwembe Tayari is a business hotspot for most traders such seasons of celebrations. As of Friday last week, flocks of goat had been brought ready to be sold to potential customers (believers).
Being the single-most important feast of the Islamic year, Eid-ul-Adha is considered the holier and more important of the two Eid of Ramadhan. Therefore, it
must be observed at least once in one’s lifetime by all adult Muslims who are physically and financially capable.
This raises eye to businesses in where Muslims are many. Last year alone Residents frequently placed orders for delivery and takeaways from restaurants, and thus the number of restaurants’ visitors in general increased during this period of time. It is this period where small investors find opportunities to click in a market vandalized by the big investors.
SMEs are winning.
It is no surprise that Eid Al Adha is an important occasion for restaurants who can benefit a lot by investing a little in marketing ideas to attract customers to their restaurant on this auspicious occasion. Creating Eid suitable ads will attract the attention of different potential customers. Social media images are the first thing that attracts users’ attention. This is why it is very important to use Eid symbols to grab people’s attention and get them to try your restaurant.
Electronic menus also help SMEs provide faster service in the event of an overcrowded restaurant. Offers and discounts will double the possibility of customers choosing SME restaurant over competitors, in addition to providing family meals, as the majority tend to spend time with their families and friends over their favorite meals.
Eid is a joyful occasion for children and adults, and decorating the restaurant and perhaps distributing balloons to kids will increase the families’ turnout for SME restaurant. People tend to take photos of themselves during a unique experience and post it on social media and thus SMEs get free exposure on social media.
With Eid al-Adha holiday that extends for several days; people will have a lot of time to enjoy delicious meals and benefit from offers by restaurants and cafes, so SMEs often announce their restaurant’s working hours on Eid days on all social media platforms and restaurant website.
Why Mombasa business Ripples.
Being a city made up of many culinary experiences and also enjoying it’s metropolitan nature since time, Eid celebrations often drops huge economic ripple that make the city as busy as never before.
Most Muslims in Kenya believe in celebrating the holy day in Mombasa since it acts as a symbolic day of how the religion spread. For one week hotels and restaurants are always full with guests and tourists paying tribute to the holy day.
The usual grounds, including R. G Ngala, Tononoka, Bilima ground, Uwanja wa Mbuzi, last year did not see any gatherings due to Covid-19 as alot is about to be seen this year.
The background of Id-ul-Adha is the Islamic account of Ibrahim willingly offering up his son Ishmael as a sacrifice before an angel intervened and stopped the hand in which he held the knife. Muslims normally go on pilgrimage to Mecca to re-enact the sacrifice and take part in ceremonies held in the very places where the events are thought to have transpired.
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