May 16, 2014, 9:54 AM
Tobaski is just a day away; an air of festivity is being felt all over at the Serrekunda and Albert Markets, at the public car parks, supermarkets and in all places where people converged as they prepare for the big feast.
Shopkeepers, ram dealers and tailors are under great pressure to satisfy their customers, who seem to want more and more of everything.
It is a period of spending on food for the family and for entertainment, on new clothes, shoes and household appliances, etc.
The countless money transfer services such as Western Union points are bustling with activity as people streaming in and out with cash received from remittances.
This is a time when so much money is in circulation, with all the remittances from relatives and friends in Europe, America and other parts of the world.
Yet at a time when persons, who toiled all these past months to earn some money for the festive season, now feel they can go about spending it, there are others on the prowl, especially in places where people congregate, ready to seize every opportunity to deprive you of your hard-earned income.
There are various kinds of swindlers. Some capitalize on your kindness and goodwill, others on your innocence, while others still are ever ready to fleece you through so-called bargaining, by asking for the sky for things that are worth only a few pennies.
So be warned, beware!
Picking your pocket, and being victimized by swindlers is quite common during this time of the year.
This period is also the time when unscrupulous businesspeople dealing in consumables tend to engage in profiteering.
This is the time when they hoard things to create artificial scarcity, and temporarily send prices soaring well beyond the reach of the ordinary man and woman.
The spoilers are ubiquitous, and are to be found predominantly in the markets, car parks, ferry terminals and busy intersections such as West Field Junction.
So, as you go shopping for the Tobaski, be on your guard.
The friendly, chatty ready-to-help companion strolling with you, or sitting next to you on the bus or in the taxi, could be a pickpocket.
When you are out and about at this time of the year, be always mindful of your pocket, wallet or hand bag or briefcase.
The times are hard, so there are many people out there who are desperate to get by through any means possible.
We wish that you all enjoy the Tobaski to the fullest, while urging you to be extra vigilant.
Happy Tobaski in advance!
“Criminality should be exterminated by disabling all notorious and irreclaimable criminals.”