By: Momodou Ndow
I have no idea how many of you remember Watch Night Day? But I remember it vividly, and I have a story to tell.
Watch Night Day was the day when everybody should be on their guard because thieves are supposed to come to your house and steal from you. It was the night that theft was legal, I suppose. Kids would normally go out at night under the pretense of being thieves and steal stuff. Maybe to steal small items or fruits, not go out and climb a fence, dagi palanterr, and enter deh, just like real sacha kat yee ning deh deff.
My childhood friend, Saib Muhammed’s grandma sent him purr mu yobu ange. Ange bi was wrapped in a towel and put in a nice sized basket to keep warm. Sor mu nyow orsi ma purr ma gungay kor. On our way purr yobu ange bi, we saw that all the grapefruits Kerr Anafew, were all nice and ripped. Kerr Anafew was the compound just opposite the Bakau school, right next to suma Kerr torma bi fofu, si junction bi. It is a mechanic shop now.
But it’s not actually Kerr Anafew deh, we called the watchman, Anafew. He was very fast, so we called him “Anafew” (as in…anamu? Rek few, mu romba la! So Anafew. Get it now?). But du kerri Anafew deh, it was owed by bena Payi Aku, y fateh na turam sah! Anafew was good at catching kids attempting to steal fruit from the grounds, after a quick chase.
On our way home after delivering ange bi, the basket was now empty with towel inside. When we got to Kerr Anafew, we heard the grapefruit screaming our names on top of the tree. Tempted like Adam with the apple, we decided to go look for the forbidden fruit. The devil played tricks on us, and he also got us, just like he did Adam. We decided to do our Watch Night Day sacha during the day, baychayki ndara kama!
The plan was that we would both climb over the fence and enter the compound. I would then climb up the tree argi grapefruit yee, and Saib would fill up the basket. Then after ma chipalu and we make our getaway with our fruit basket! I got up and started shaking the branches so the grapefruits would fall off. After my first shake, the grapefruits started to fall, and I got excited. I increased the tremors and brought them to a violent level, and the grapefruits fell like rain.
After we went off with our “loot basket” and reached across the street, then Anafew realized a Hit and Run was carried out. The chase was on, chaapans! We ran off and headed towards New Town, as if Anafew had a gun with him. Soon after, the grapefruit started to fall out of the basket, one after the other. The faster we run, the more they fall out.
We would lose Anafew and decide to pause, di wahu nak, while always looking over our shoulders. Dehnyor tork rek, BAAM, Anafew is right behind us, rek nyu takeoff fat! This was how it was until we reached borri stadium. That was right before the stadium was built, it was an open land. That’s when we finally realized that we had lost Anafew, and started to rest and laugh at the ordeal. With our adrenaline pumping nak!
Then suddenly we saw aye Narri Gannarr, nyome three or four, nyungee jongkon taking a dump si birr nyahh yee fofu. Rek nyu start delen mock, “yakalbass yakalbass, bailen di poop si pirr nyahh yee”. They too decided to give a chase, having swiftly wiped off their tootsie rolls. Chase number two was on! At the level of our adrenaline at the time, Narr yee had no chance! That day, Bakau yepp leng worr! After all was said and done, we found ourselves with just a few grapefruits. Howma five or six. Mann dama fully live suma childhood days deh, bulen ma giss nee nak!
Is Watch Night Day still going on in Gambia? Dumako dey dayga fen sah! Or maybe with the way things are now fofu nonu, everyday is Watch Night Day, but purr real sacha kat yee. The ones that show up with a jassi.