The 25th of December is Christmas. The festivities have begun with carols. Several stores, businesses, or structures, like hotels, were decorated with Christmas trees and lights when WITHIN NIGERIA visited Ilesa and environs in Osun State.
People of all ages were spotted donning red hats to indicate the importance of the day. While some individuals were joyful and getting ready for Christmas, others were lost in thought and worrying about how they would survive.
When this writer visited the shop of Motunrayo Adeyemi, a clothes designer, she was among those who appeared to be intently contemplating something.
The 34-year-old dressmaker was observed instructing her apprentices to hang new materials, including Ankara, on a wooden hanger while packaging a few garments into nylons.
The chubby and fair-skinned woman spoke vehemently to WITHIN NIGERIA about the poor Christmas business this year and expressed her deep concern for the developments.
“To make significant gains, fashion designers primarily rely on yearly celebrations like Christmas, New Year’s, and others. The Christmas deals this year have absolutely not pleased me. It’s quite low in comparison to other things “, a dejected Motunrayo said.
The majority of our customers bought garments on credit, while other people actually sewn their clothing materials on credit, according to a different fashion designer who only went by the name Pelumi, who spoke to this reporter.
Some customers would buy the fabric for the outfit and request you to sew it on credit. Some people might make a half payment and promise to finish the transaction when they see money. I wish I could turn down some offers. Pelumi reportedly told this reporter, “It’s absolutely bad.”
This reporter discovered that retailers who sell food or other commodities, poultry farmers, and other craftsmen like hairdressers are also unhappy with the situation of the economy this Christmas season.
The main reason for low patronage, according to Kemisola Olatunji, a 28-year-old grocery store owner, is the increase of food prices.
Kemisola, who sells bags of rice, beans, and vegetable oil while bemoaning the poor customer traffic, claimed that there are numerous unpaid bills that he will have to pay off after Christmas and New Year’s.
Aside from inflation, many are in dire straits. In fact, I am aware of certain federal servants who borrowed rice and vegetable oil on credit with the intent to pay it off after the new year.
According to Kemi, those who can pay back were given goods and these folks came to beg for rice, vegetable oils on credit.
A 54-year-old chicken farmer named Rufus revealed that the price range for a healthy, large broiler is between N8,000 and N10,000.
Mr. Rufus lamented the poor patronage and emphasized that the skyrocketing cost of feed was the reason for the high price of chickens.
There has been an increase in all feeds, including starter feed for chicks, grower feed, layer feed, and broiler feed, which has a detrimental impact on chicken pricing.
It is made worse by the weak economy. Three square meals are hardly ever eaten by anybody. They wouldn’t be able to afford a chicken for Christmas dinner that would cost N10,000. He continued, “Well, we thank God for the small sales we’ve made.”
According to a resident of the Ilesa hamlet who only went by the name Kunle, he and his wife have accepted that this year’s Christmas will be a low-key celebration.
This year, Kunle claims, my family will substitute fish for chicken because he doesn’t have the money to buy chicken.
The 36-year-old man also revealed that a good chicken costs N10,000 while a Kongo of rice costs N1400.
I have absolutely no capability. A pretty dejected father of two commented, “I don’t want to start the new year with debt payment because my children will restart school quickly after new year’s break.”
Omolola, a mother of four who lives in the Ilesa area, told this reporter that because she is not financially secure and does not want her children to lose out on the joys of Christmas, she had to take all of her children to enjoy the holiday with her family.
The businesswoman revealed that she nearly went bankrupt because of inflation, an increase in the price of gasoline, and the cost of auto parts while giving thanks to God for allowing her to survive this year.
I made no purchase of new clothing. I just purchased for my kids, who I then pushed to my relative’s party. I truly want to spend this holiday season with my family, but Omolola noted that it will be too expensive to feed the family this year for Christmas.
A father of three who wishes to remain nameless told WITHIN NIGERIA that she had no intentions to prepare any special dishes for the family and that her children had not visited any relatives.
We’ll dance, attend church, and pray. After eating typical food, everyone would resume living their normal lives. The 51-year-old acknowledged that there was no money and stated that he had no intention of taking on debt.
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