Sallah Ram and Economic hardship
Last Monday was sallah. Due to the wave of change currently sweeping through the country, I had imagined how this year’s sallah merriment would look like.
Sunday-the day before sallah.
While standing in front of my gate, I saw a hilux loaded with up to 5 big rams passing. I followed the car with my eyes to see where it was going. I didn’t stop looking until it turned into the next street. If not that I was not feeling up to it, I could have followed the rams ‘home’ to really see their owner.
No this wasn’t about aproko things. It was about the general anthem on the lips of people when they talked about the sallah. They looked at you in frustration with sad eyes. Most people said they could not afford to buy ram this year.
So imagine my shock when I saw five rams on my street belonging to one compound. I felt like going round houses to ask how the celebration went.
Nevertheless, on sallah day, while strolling out in the evening, I saw that a part of the street had been closed. Some women were cooking jollof rice with sallah meat-on the main road. I almost went there to ask-
“But where did you people get money to buy ram now? I would say. And I heard rams were sold for as high as a hundred thousand in some places. Do you mean you bought a hundred thousand naira ram?”
Then they would probably look at me with disdain and say ” but what is your business in this matter? Are you investigating us? Who sent you?” Etc
So I mused as I went along. This year’ s sallah wasn’t as completely dry as I had envisaged. Despite the economic hardship, people still managed to buy ram.
Nasiru, my dad’s assistant had said the other day-
“I have to buy four rams. One each for my father and mother, one for my wife’ s family and one for me.”
I was beyond shocked. Four rams in this economy? I haven’t seen him since then to really ask if he ended up buying the four.
Is the economic hardship real or we are just hyping it? I can honestly say that it is very real. That you could not buy ram doesn’t mean the economy is harder on you than others.
That you went to borrow money to buy ram to impress long throat neighbours like me doesn’t mean I will not laugh when your debtor comes to hold you by the jugular.
That your ram was stolen where you tied it was actually a sorry lie to tell us simply to save face from lack of money to buy.
To my Muslim neighbours that hid in the house because there was no four legged animal to kill- I see you. I knew you were inside o. I just didn’t want to call you out. I had to cover your “nakedness”.
Seriously speaking, please be yourself in this economy. We are all in this together. Meat or not, that day is already gone.