A Ugandan woman has been reportedly saving up money for the last 10 years in order to afford to make the pilgrimage in Makkah, Saudi Arabia. She has saved up money by working in her smoked fish business, which is a modest setup. The woman stated that she could not wait to go to Makkah and to see the tomb of the Holy Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) and the Mount Arafat. She says she cannot wait to drink the water of Zamzam. Kasifah Nankumba, the 58 year old Ugandan woman spoke to the Anadolu Agency where she stated that the sheikhs have briefed them on what they should expect. She adds that she is so excited that she is afraid she might faint.
Over the last 10 years, Kasifah has been saving up in small installments from her smoked fish business which she has been running for the past 28 years in the Kalerwe market located near Kampala. Kasifah recalled that it was in 2006 that she felt the sudden need to perform the pilgrimage, while she had been sitting in the market. However she adds that she did not have any money saved up, hence she didn’t pursue it any further. Just shortly after, she got in touch with someone who is known for helping out Muslim pilgrims in their travel to Makkah. The man himself is known as Haji Musa and he introduced Kasifah to the Manager at the Mityana Hijja and Umrah Tour Agency, who advised her to promptly start saving.
She started saving from her modest business and the agency started purchasing US Dollars for Kasifah. She recalls that she would save around $4 to $5 each time. In 2009 she came to know of a person who would sponsor Hajj pilgrims and immediately started the quest to find him. Only two days later Kasifah knocked on the door of Haji Kajumbi. She explained to him, her entire ordeal; however he had been unable to help her. She proceeded to then show him the receipts of all the dollars which were purchased on her behalf by the agency.
Haji Majumbi prayed for Kasifah and stated she should start saving in installments of $100 and $200. After that she started making payments every 3 to 4 months to the Agency. On 15 June 2015, Kasifah received a phone call from the manager of the Hijja office who informed her that the money she had saved up over time was now finally enough for her to make the pilgrimage. She said that she was too shocked to speak; the manager even stated her name numerous times to bring her out of the shock.
She attended a final briefing before her travel, at the Wandegeya Mosque, where she stated that when and if she returns from Makkah, she will stay at home and continue with her worship. She added that she was not coming back to sell fish while sitting on the ground. Even though 750 pilgrims from Uganda will be making their way to Makkah this year, the number shows a decrease from previous years.
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