By Famara Fofana
The rains are here again and the famerfolk are naturally brimming with optimism like a poised to receive manna from heaven. For them, this marks the commencement of serious business with pre-planting activities almost out of sight in most parts of our agrarian country. The rest becomes hard work, hard work and hard work to an extent some strange farmers are tempted to throw in the towel due to the sheer load of work they do. After all, no one wants to pay anyone in return for a less impressive job. That reminds me of the story of the strange farmer who went AWOL in Jokaland few years ago in the height of the weeding stage after he felt overwhelmed by the sight of the all-troublesome weed called “Jaajeh kalabaa”.That crawling plant is one of the most stubborn grasses to combat for any farmer.
Just as the rainy season brings renewed optimism for all of us indirectly or directly, it can, on the other hand, be a very frustrating time for most pedestrians here in “Tubab Kunda”(metropolitan Gambia). For whatever reason, this is when most motorists seem to be deriving pleasure in spattering dirty muddy water on poor ones like myself .The stock in trade of most drivers, it would appear, is driving pass individuals walking by a pool of water at break-neck speed to a point one’s face is splashed with stagnant water.
The end game in such situations is unending altercation that sometimes lead to the exchange of blows.How do you expect someone dressed in his or her best attire enroute to a very important function or work only to be forced to return home and change clothes because some money hungry driver painted his or garments and body with poto poto like a graffiti on a wall.
Pedestrians in such instances cannot help but yell ‘”hai driver lu la jot yow” (what has become of you driver?) or uncontrollably lashed at them by way of saying “danga doff hana'”(are you insane?). And instead of apologizing courteously, the usually impatient, middle-aged cab driver could be heard responding “mane doholal sohla suma waaji nga mai ma suma jama” which translates take care of your business and give me peace. Knowing that they would never alight from the car, let alone fight, they can say anything they deemed fit even after plastering one with stinky water. “Tass”! “bang”! “fatt”! they would veer off, playing victim when they in fact are the offenders.
Having being at the receiving end of a similar situation somewhere around Nema Junction two years ago, a helpless me said to myself that I would never ever give a helping hand to any driver especially those in the commercial sector should I chance upon one stuck in a pool “poto-poto” struggling to manoeuvre his way out.
Now that the heavens have started to open up, it would become commonplace to find driver and pedestrian at loggerheads with one demanding answers after feeling incensed by the manner in which his or her plain white “garambubu” was dirtied beyond recognition. For the other person in control of the steering wheel, it is business as usual – all part of the daily rigmarole of life in urban Gambia. Huh, the mere thought of flooding alone in certain flood-prone localities in the Greater Banjul area is even more scary. But after all, this is seen as the period of “neemoo” or blessings.
May Allah give us abundant yields and save us from the perils that come with this period.