Fabakary Ceesay a 65 year old man of Karankeh Kunda of Peari, speaking to Perai Kibaaro Network, explains how the Tenda a commercial center by the river side of Perai was during their time.
He said it was a very bustling Tenda which was bigger and famous than all the other Tendas, except that of Basse. Adding, the Europeans used to engage on groundnut trade on the Tenda . “The Tenda was very popular, and there were lots of shops along the river of the village then. Such traders and trademarks like: Mbye Njie, KBC Mbenge and many others had shops there,” Ceesay explained.
He said Mbye Njie was born in Perai and his father was called, Momodou Njie who was a big business man. He said Momodou Njie’s shop was the first shop in the village. “His son, Mbye Njie run a shop with Lawo Fatty,” explained Ceesay.
He added that Mbye Njie had a big shop and was engaged in selling different products, such as; cement, rice, flour and peanuts. Fabakary said they (him, Lawo and Mbye) used to go on-board the ship when it ducks on the river side.
He said Mbye Njie was the one who build the current mosque in the village up to the finishing point but later left. Stating, it was then completed by Muhammad Trawally of Sudouwol village. “Mbye Njie demolished the first mosque which was built by the villagers in 1960 and constructed the present mosque.
He continued to say that Mbye Njie provided an irrigation system for the people of Perai to cultivate rice fields. “Mbye Njie assisted the villagers in the provision of two rice fields with irrigation systems, namely: Badala farato and Bato faranding, but were all destroyed by flood, he explained.
He said it was the Chinese who first provided the people of Perai with a rice field along the Baragi Kunda highway, and it was after the Chinese left that Mbye Njie stepped in. Adding, during the era of the Chinese, Malamin Sannoh was their clerk.
Narrating their youthful era, he said after the rainy season they used to travel to Senegal to work and after some time, they then return back with money and gifts for their families. According to him, they used to return back with roughly, 1000 to 2000 CFA. He said when coming it was a norm to buy a bicycle as a gift for the family. Adding, upon their arrival they then report to the elders of the family concerning their trip. “When you return from Senegal, you submit all the money you had to the head of the family, who then decides,” Ceesay explained.
He continued to say that his age mates he used to travel with to Senegal were; Alieu Bayo, Fa mandou Drammeh and Yamadou Drammeh (Nkotoba).
Explaining the roles of the Karankes (Coblars) in the village, he said they are responsible for maintaining peace between couples who have marital problems, and also act as messengers to go and seek for the hand of women in marriage. Adding, they’re also responsible for calling for prayers (Ahdan) and escorting the imam during feasts.
Praising the people in diaspora, he said: “they are people who have really tried for the village, as almost every compound in the village has a permanent cement fence now”. Stating, that has helped the people in controlling their animals. He added that there are many motorbikes in the village too, which has also helped in easing travelling difficulties to the satellite villages.
He continued to say, first Friday of each month, they used to recite the Holy Quran in the village for those in diaspora and in Perai. Stating, there prayers are with all the natives of the village.
When asked about his age, he said, he’s roughly 70 years old now. “I’m in my late 60s. In 1981, during the coup of Kukoi Samba Sanyang, I was 30 years old then. Adding, Saffie Drammeh and Bukari Conteh were our elders”.
Fabakary is known to be a very jovial man and very down to earth person. We pray for Allah Jalla Jallalu to grant him long life and stable health.
By: Saffie Drammeh