The Gambia power giant, NAWEC is showing its all-time most inconsistencies in the electricity supply to its consumers creating rifts between the tailoring service providers and their customers at the most needed time.
July 31st has been officially declared the Muslims’ Eid-ul-adha commonly called Tobaski in The Gambia. On this day, people belonging to the faith are usually dressed in new and smart outfits particularly women and children.
Tailors are instrumental in stabling the minds of people on this day by sewing wonderful fashions for their customers. But many of their customers would usually scold them on necks for disrupting their peaceful and joyful day.
But NAWEC (National Water and Electricity Company) is the ultimate deciding factor for the tailors especially those operating within the greater Banjul area. From the look of things, on and off of power has already taken a toll on the tailors.
“The shortage of power affects everyone but particularly the tailors because everyone knows that tailors at this time need electricity the most to do our job” says Ousman Touray in Ebo Town.
He said the frequent power cuts are causing delay in their work resulting in possible conflict with his customers. It also puts extra cost on their business when they are forced to fuel the generators for their operation.
“You’ve to sacrifice to buy fuel to complete the job. We cannot also depend entirely on generators. Some customers wouldn’t understand this. For them, all they see is they pay you and you’ve to complete sewing their clothes on time.”
Katim Gai, another tailor, believes that if power is stable, they would complete sewing all their pieces before Tobaski and even take more.
“Sometimes, we’ll sit 2 to 3 hours without electricity and if you’ve to buy fuel to use a generator it means you’ll be spending all you’ve on fuel. We are appealing to NAWEC to do all they could to make electricity stable till after the Tobaski,” he pleaded.
Katim however pointed out that some tailors take clothes from the customers at a high rate that they would be able to sew, as one of the frequent causes they have with customers.
“My clients know me for that. Some would even come with their clothes to me at this time but I always reject it and tell them that my hand is full.”
Fatou Gaye, a girl of about 17 years of age admits that wearing new clothes on feast days completes her celebration. Without that, not even ram’s availability could recuperate her mood.
“For me, putting on new clothes is everything about Tobaski. Without that forget it. And I always quarrel with my tailor if I realize that he’s slowing down on my piece because I feel that I must wear it.”