Austin, Minnesota- Barely two months since fire engulfed a prominent Mandingo owned business on Woodland Avenue in Philadelphia, another business has suffered similar catastrophic in Austin, Minnesota.
Layee Sako, owner of the damaged business, said while on a private visit in Rochester, Minnesota, he got a call from the Austin Police Department that his store is on fire.
Initially, it was not clear what led to the fire, but he quoted the Austin Fire Department as claiming that the fire started due to stayed incense, which according to report might have contained chemical that ignited due to heat.
For his part, he said he cannot disprove findings by the Austin Fire Department, but he blames the flare-up on outdated electrical cables. He said the building is old and the wiring system is old-fashioned.
Quizzed about monetary value of items in his store, he estimated nearly three hundred thousand United States dollars ($300,000.00 USD). Owing to the damage, Layee Sako emphasized that customers have begun their usual two hours trip to the twin cities to do groceries shopping. If things go as planned, a new African store will be established soon to alleviate strains consumers undergo in buying provisions from the twins cities, he disclosed.
In a related development a four man delegation from the Minnesota Mandingo Association, MMA over the weekend paid a courtesy call on residence of Austin, Minnesota.
The delegation headed by MMA President Mohamed Enzah Dorley was in Austin to identify with the Sako family for their sick child, the loss of their business, and to sympathize with a senior whose relative died in West Africa.
While in Austin, Minnesota, MMA President Mohamed Enzah Dorley told the gathering that the people of Austin are at all times in the vanguard of promoting peaceful initiatives in the community which he said is noted by community dwellers. He said now is the time for the leadership to stand by them in term of distress.
President Dorley stressed that the Minnesota Mandingo Association is devastated by the burning of Layee Sako’s store and also sadden by his infant’s prolong stay at the hospital. According to information gathered, the child has not been able to eat on his own since birth except by means of feeding tube.
The MMA leader encouraged the Sako family to remain steadfast and realize that the Lord is in control of every difficult situation.
President Mohamed Enzah Dorley and delegation also visited a senior whose relative died in West Africa about two weeks ago.
The grief-stricken family lauded the four man delegation of the Minnesota Mandingo Association for their prayers. The family through elder Ansumana Kromah said, the visit projects “African solidarity.”
Elder Ansumana Kromah also noted that his family has been reassured by the MMA delegation’s visit that the family is not alone, but they have a community to count on.
He said he and his family have been reminded that in spite of their stay in the United States, there is no borderline that separates them and their culture. He encouraged US born Mandingoes to practice the Mandingo way of life as it will be rewarding in times to come.