“Pick up yours now or wait and pay the price of delay” is a common phrase on city dwellers’ lips.
As city dwellers edge into the festive season, the ambiance in Douala’s markets is one of congestion. Not only are people swarming every sale but also seasonal goods that are stuffed on counters and in stores, giving the markets an overwhelming look of a Christmas jamboree.
Toys, balloons, foot wears, football games, and readymade clothes for children and adults once again cover sections of stores, supermarkets as well as sidewalks or against walls even in residential areas.
Walking along the aisles of supermarkets as well as glancing across the counters of most stores in Douala, the scenery is almost the same a colourful display of various children gadgets and toys some made to produce strange sounds, mow like a cow or mimic a chameleon, while some crawl like a murderous serpent.
Though some toys appear scary, babes have a flare for their harmless character which gives them an addiction to play, if not controlled. Yet, it is Christmas season. Decorations carry coloured lighting connected to a sound system chanting the “Jingle bell, jingle bell… ” or “Happy birthday to you… ” which turn on most babes.
The average Douala dweller is very conversant with this. As a parent, he has in mind not to go with a child to the market or supermarket. Ask why and you will realise that the answer is the same for nine out of ten parents. It is either the embarrassment of expensive choices or a demand for various types from their attracted children. Alice N. shares this experience with Cameroon Tribune in one of the supermarkets in Akwa, Douala, following years of struggling to meet up with the demands of her five kids.
To most bulk buyers like organisations, enterprises, institutions, orphanages, generous individuals wishing to do philanthropy or offer free Christmas or end-of-year packages, they may need to defer it to another time. Stocks of the goods are yet to resume their available as new supplies are yet to be made through the Douala Seaport which is presently faced with congestion problems. Many hope for a brighter future in the days ahead as efforts are going on to decongest the seaport.
Source : Cameroon Tribune