we begin counting days to the 10th day of Dhul Hija, feast of Eidul Adha,
locally known in The Gambia as “Tobaski” in wollof and “Banna Saloo” in
Mandinka, preparations are in high gear and everyone in the country,
particularly the Muslim faithful are seen to be in the Tobaski mood.
Tobaski mood could be seen everywhere around the country and in everything one does or has business with, including slow and jam traffic along the Banjul-Brikama Highway, Westfield-Tippa Garage Highway leading to the busiest Serrekunda Market, tailoring shops and, most importantly, the Sacrificial Lamb along the Bertil Herding Highway.
This is a time that could be a moment of joy for some families, and as well a sad moment for others.
Whatever the case maybe, you would all agree with me that women play a vital role in the preparations for and celebration of Eid.
Men are the fathers, which is very true, but we all know that their priority is to wake up in the morning, rush to their respective working places with the intention of getting something to satisfy their family, so that they may have the best Eid ever.
Men do budget for everything, including new clothes, shoes and anything that would put a smile on their wives and children’s face.
But anything could go missing on that list and it would not be noticed, except the sacrificial lamb. When the ram goes missing, the man would not only be thrown out of his house which may belong to him, but he would be certain that he would not receive a warm welcome that is accompanied with smiles.
This is a Muslim feast which requires the sacrifice of an animal by anyone who could fulfill it, according to some scholars.
This means that if a man, husband or a father did not come home to his family with a ram, he should not be subjected to violence by his wives or children to the extent of breaking a happily-built home.
An Islamic marriage is blessed by the Supreme Being, and its foundation is not laid on a ram and, therefore, a husband who does not come home with a ram should not lose his beautiful wife and children because of that.
Since the Tobaski preparations began, women are seen in their numbers invading the SerreKunda Market and any other markets in the country, trying to buy clothes, shoes, jewelry, hair products, bags for their children, and so on.
Some women don’t just stop at shopping for the children, but they also change everything in the house, including the sofa, bed sheets, paint of the house, carpets and everything in the house to turn it brand new.
We are not saying that is not good. It is good to have nice and new stuff for the house and children during a festive occasion; but Tobaski unlike Koriteh involves buying a ram, so the woman who is in charge of the husband, children and the home should be able to help the husband plan the feast, in a way that would not be detrimental to both of them, for the sake of the children.
Children would want the whole world and its contents and, when they request for it, we can give it to them as mothers without draining a father’s bank account to zero.
Our mothers are the ones that go with the children to the market, so they should be in a position to buy things that are new, latest and cheap; and at the same time make the home nice by spending less so that the ram would also have a place in the budget.
Women should also know that not every man, husband and father that works is able to buy a ram with his salary, because the way jobs differ is the same way that pay cheques differ as well.
A woman who loves a man and married him should be able to know the size of his husband’s wallet.
Women should not stretch their hands beyond their armpit! A woman can look at her fellow woman’s door, and see a big, fat and tall ram with curvy horns tied to her door.
However, she must not conclude that because the husband of that woman bought the ram, her man should also be able to buy a ram, as they are both working. She would be making a big mistake, for her to feel that way.
With or without a ram, a happily-built home can still continue to shine in happiness on Tobaski day, if the woman is ready to give it a happy touch.
If a woman does not go out and show her neighbours that she is unhappy because her husband did not buy her a ram, no one would care, as she could go to the market, buy enough meat that could last her and her family a week, and celebrate the Tobaski happily.
We all know that nowadays a piece of cloth of any type in the market is beautiful; so the price should not matter to any woman, instead women should go for cheaper ones since it is new.
Women should also sew cheap styles that are beautiful, because some women always go in for the most expensive tailoring; since to them, it is not about the style, but the name of the tailor.
We are the ones who make life hard for ourselves during Eid preparations, because those tailors are the very ones that disappoint us at the last hour, and bring violence in our homes.
We should remember that a beautiful garment and style is one that is cheap, simple and not complicated for a tailor to sew.
As we celebrate Eid this Monday, we called on all women to strengthen the love, joy and beauty in their homes by budgeting wisely, and to know that schools would soon resume and students need a budget for their needs.
Let no woman frown at her husband who does not come home with a ram. Let husbands and their wives work together in peace and celebrate Eid with joy.
SHE-SHE-SHE wishes every woman and its readers a happy, successful and blessed Eid Ul Adha, Tobaski and “Banna Saloo”. Eid Mubarak in advance!