<<The other day Fatuma came to borrow some money so that she could buy clothes, and shoes for the children . Yesterday in the evening the children came to claim their '' sikuku .'' Kitale is very tender coconut shell filled with boiled potatoes with special chatani. My children Atool and Abha used to love it !.>> 

Your narrative of ‘Eid in Dsm’ is remarkable and beautifully presented. What you’ve stated is so appropriate, my wife was also very much touched by it. Even our maid borrowed money to buy dresses for her children. Poor fellows have their purchasing power reduced by the high cost of living in Dsm. Some eventually convert the so called loan into gift on Diwali/Eid day. 

The first half of Ramadhan went smoothly but the later half was marred by the power cut. Imagine no electricity for seven consecutive days! At least others had their share of allotment but we on Kitumbini St. were completely discarded. TANESCO paid no heed to our complaints. I thank my neighbour for providing me with the ‘generator connection’. Reading the other post I’m amazed that despite all the destruction by hurricane Wilma they’d their power and telephone lines restored in just a day. Over here it’s almost a month now and we’re yet to be replaced by another transformer, an obvious manifestation of the difference between a developed country and an underdeveloped one. 

Unfortunately Diwali without crackers in Dsm was somewhat dull this time. This was due to the elections which got postponed at the last moment as a result of the death of a running mate from one of the opposition parties. The elections did take place in Zanzibar but I understand that there was no fun fare at Mnazimoja during Eid or it might have been a low key affair. 

Eid always reminds us Zanzibaris of the good old days (colonial days). The Eid moon attracted a big crowd at Forodhani and its sighting greeted with a 21 gun salute. At times we climbed up the minara (minaret) of our Nai Misid mosque which was one of the highest structures in Zanzibar. On the eve of Eid many climbed up there to sight and view the new moon. After Eid prayers in the morning Zanzibaris warmly greeted each other in the streets which brightened up with their new white khanzu (robe) and kofia (Zanzibari cap). The Wamanga (Omanese) in their traditional attire chanted and paraded through the town jumping up and down with their jambia (swords) and sticks to display their swordsmanship. They were also reputed for their sweetmeat (halua ya Mmanga) and everywhere on Eid days visitors were relished with halua and kahawa (black coffee). In the evening Eid was marked with 4 days of fun fare at Mnazimoja where there were toy stalls, food stalls, ngoma, karagosi (puppet shows) and various other entertainments.  And we’d 4 days of public holiday. You can check with my fellow Zanzibaris. 

Talking of kitale with mbatata, how can the Dsm Wahindi (young as well as old timer) ever forget it. I’m sure wherever they may be, they’d always relish for it. I know of my friends who are in their sixties but occasionally still go for its taste at Oysterbay. 




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