The business community in Mombasa anticipates good business as owners stock up ahead of the Eid al-Fitr celebrations.
As Ramadhan draws to a close, Muslims all over the world will be celebrating Eid al-Fitr on May 12, 13 or 14, depending on the sighting of the moon.
This marks the end of a month of fasting and is a time of celebration after accomplishing one of the most important religious duties.
Eid al-Fitr, the feast of breaking the fast, comes at the end of the Holy Month of Ramadhan, which requires Muslims to fast from sunrise to sunset, for a month.
In Mombasa County, this is a time for businesses to thrive as traders stock up expecting to make a profit.
With President Uhuru Kenyatta having lifted the cessation of movement into and out of Nairobi, Nakuru, Kiambu, Machakos and Kajiado counties, traders in Mombasa say this is a sign of good things to come as they will be able to get more stock and clients for their businesses.
Shopping centres like Nawal, Mombasa Mall in Mwembe Tayari and the ancient Mackinnon (Marikiti) Market witnessed a beehive of activities as Muslim faithful bought foodstuffs, clothes and shoes in readiness for the celebrations.
Biashara Street and parts of Kibokoni were also flooded as locals trooped in to buy goods in preparation for the end of Ramadhan.
Ms Koki Musau, a trader at Marikiti market, said it was the first time since last year, she has seen some hope in her business thanks to Ramadhan.
“We are glad to see the somewhat recovery of the business. There are more buyers and at least we are making some shillings. Last year we suffered at such a time because we were closed due to the lockdown,” said Ms Koki.
Ms Saum Ali, a shopper on Biashara Street who bought four deras (flowing dresses) at Sh1,000, also said, this year, the business environment has been conducive unlike in 2020.
“As we come to the end of Ramadhan, we are lucky this year around we can move freely. I’m out to shop for gifts for my family and friends to share this Eid,” she said.
Maasai Traders in Mombasa chairman Mr Samuel Mole also said business was good despite the vagaries of weather that are proving to be a challenge, especially with the rains.
“We are making some profit; businesses are running. The only thing we are facing is unpredictable weather. The sudden rains make it hard for business,” Mr Mole said.
Mr Duncan Zuche, who has employed three youths to assist him in his clothing business at Marikiti, said they are experiencing a spike in sales.
“These past two weeks we are happy with the traffic of customers especially in the evenings. We pray that we may get back to normal. As we end Ramadhan, it is my appeal to Kenyans to continue praying for this coronavirus (pandemic) to end. We need to revive the economy,” Mr Zuche said.
Marikiti Food Market chairman Mr Mohammed Ali expressed joy with the number of customers who were visiting the market since the ease of travel restriction into Nairobi and four other counties.
“We have noted an increase in the number of clients visiting our stall. We hope the numbers will increase even as we get closer to the end of Ramadhan. We hope as the economy recovers, buyers will also increase their purchasing power,” Mr Ali said.
Most of the malls, mosques, business premises and shops within the CBD have already put up decorative lighting in preparation for the Eid celebrations.