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Monday, 23 October 2017

Days in Gabgaba in Search for Gold (1)

Gabgaba is a desolate and treeless valley thrown by the predestinations of geography in the treacherous desert North of Abu Hamad

at the fringes of the Rive Nile State.
The deceptive gold rage had made it a hot spot full of life and teeming with buzzing machineries from all trademarks and sorts.
People from all walks of life swarmed this virgin valley; the whole empty plains are now dotted by colorful tents. My unplanned journey began in a scorching summer day in May 2014, when my bewildered jobless soul spurred me to venture out and seek an alternative way of earning a new livelihood after I was ungracefully laid off from a gainful employment with an international organization operating from Khartoum. The organization justification was the financial crisis it faced due to donors fatigue. I was left helpless wading in the quagmire of joblessness. I tried many ways of getting a new job but to no avail. When all options were exhausted I stormed the inhospitable desert of Gabgaba as a last resort. The toil and suffering begins from the onset. When you intend to travel to the gold area you have to wakeup very early in the remainder of the night before the cockerel voice their first cry. You have to contend with the painful fact that Khartoum streets are totally deserted and devoid of public transport at this part of the day before down prayers. The bus terminal is in Khartoum North.
The number of buses is limited. Moreover their owners are keen to put them in full gear so early in order to avoid the scorching desert heat which adversely affects their ever-throbbing engines. When you reach Khartoum North early you need not be told where the bus terminal exactly is. The poor plastic head laden purses, the hustle bustle, the sea of gaunt bedraggled faces, the haggard look on the faces of the gold mongers will all cry and tell that you are in the correct spot. This is where the gold journey begins. The bus conductors shout at the highest of their voices – Gabgaba Al0Yassmin Al-Nehedat and Cafetera Al-Magdood. These are the locations of the elusive gold where the conventional mining takes place. The gold has cowered in the face of the greedy, the stealthy eyes and the get-rich quick people. The bus swallowed my slender stature in its air-conditioned stomach. The seats were occupied by chequered shawl wearing gold seekers.
To be continued.