It is that exciting time of the year again when Muslims from all over the globe await the arrival of the biggest Eid celebrations of the Islamic calendar, this year slated to begin on September 1st, 2017. Eid-ul-Adha celebrations are characterised with the slaughtering of livestock animals such as rams, goats, cattle and even camels in some countries. The festivities attracts the sale of livestock in the tune of billions of dollars across the globe as every Muslim family with the financial wherewithal strives to sacrifice at least one animal in honor of the sacrifice made by Prophet Abraham Alaihi Salam thousands of years ago.
Niokobok Revolutionizing Eid in Senegal
The term Niokobok is derived from the most widely spoken Wolof language in Senegal meaning “It’s ours”. In practice Niokobok is an innovative technological platform that gets Eid livestock delivered right to the door steps of families, with no hassle.
In this West African country where more than 90% of the people are Muslims, Eid-ul Adha is always a big event. According to data tracking remittances to the country, more than 500,000 Senegalese living abroad annually send more than 1 billion dollars to support their families back home during the festivities. A great deal of this sum goes into the buying of livestock to be slaughtered on the day of the festivities.
However in Dakar, the Senegalese capital of more than 8 million inhabitants, finding a livestock to slaughter on the day is no small feat. Most people prefer to slaughter a ram or a goat for the occasion. But finding a suitable animal for the family is always a challenge. It is excruciating, not least for the elderly whose children are in faraway countries. Many parents are often too old to navigate the livestock markets for a decent sacrificial animal. For many such elderly people, Niokobok makes Eid preparations a lot easier.
Niokobok allows Senegalese in the Diaspora to buy rams and goats for their loved ones online, the company does door to door deliveries. Customers can also shop for potatoes, cooking oil, spices and other culinary delights that make the Eid a success-to be delivered with the four legged animal headed for the cooking pots and dining tables. Niokobok gives customers the opportunity to view video of the animals they wish to purchase, eliminating any regrets later. In essence it is not buying a bird in the bush.
In its second year of operations, Niokobok delivered more than a thousand sacrificial animals to homes across the country. That was three years ago. This year, the company is doing good business already-thanks to international exposure as a result of media attention it has attracted along the way. The brains behind the project work from an incubator in the heart of the capital and were initially supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). With plans firmly in place to cover the entire country, Niokobok now intends to make inroads into neighboring countries like The Gambia, Mali and other West African countries in its sub-region.
Written by Mamudou Jallow