Wanjiku is knocking….
Pardon me but Wanjiku is the suitable name they came up with when they wanted to refer to the common Mwananchi (i). The mastermind behind the coining is not known but who cares Wanjiku reigns! Inflation has been pinching and emptying my pockets at the same time in the name of living. Unfortunately, it decided to pick up during the cold weather when everyone complains of this or that.
My love for food as you already know though never showcases itself in the outer being usually gets higher in the cold season. Reproduction was my favorite biology segment so am not going to dwell on the metabolism part since am no teacher. Anyway, it is during this season that my worst meal that I loath to cook, Ugali (ii), becomes the wanted. It just satisfies the belly and makes you warmer in case there are no shoulders to rub you throughout. Problem is I hate buying the various maize flour brands that make one shift to a cock, hostess and kick off the market at the same time as they never cook to the desired taste no matter the amount of heat and time geared upon. Am the posho mill fanatic that awaits the maize harvesting season and grinds maize to flour making it a win-win game as i get “makore (iii).”This is actually the best Ugali more so when cooked using a jiko (iv) and not gas (how many times will i tell people this? My Western peeps enlighten this ones) and makes me go gugugaga. Drought has made this nearly impossible since no harvest was made and now the Ksh190 packet of flour is skyrocketing screaming “stick to your chapatis. (v)”
Funny enough the government subsidized the prices after a ship docked the country with tons of maize causing controversies as some said it was from Mexico and the rest from South Africa. Talk of another unresolved scandal! The prices came down to Ksh90 for a packet of maize flour and one could say the world was coming to an end as shoppers flocked their favorite outlets for purchases.
But you couldn’t keep the entire stock to yourself as managers warned shoppers with the “do not pick more than 2 packets” notice. Then the flour went out of stock and we back to square one. Sigh.
Morning breakfasts got better with my usual traditional meals of sweet potatoes and arrow-roots not deleting my brown bread till I upgraded to cornflakes and Weetabix’s that needed milk.
This crossover was me testing the middle middle class if such a thing exists since it is not just the elite who take this stuff. At first I was disappointed by the number of flakes in a pack yet expensive for who? Milk was not an issue since the Ksh25 small pack or the Ksh30 ‘straight outta cow’ from my regular mama kiosk was always trickling in. I was getting accustomed to strong tea (water mixed with tea leaves) and my fake cocoa that was made of hot water and cocoa as I started my hustling journey till I also upgraded to milk drinks. Then the worst happened. Milk also hit the roof! Now I think I should just sit down and be humble as I trace my humble beginnings that never were a bother. Goodbye cereals, hello…..
I almost went berserk when my mum told me the monthly electricity bill was Ksh 3,000. I mean since I have lived in that house we have never paid such a hefty bill. This was a first. She lamented how the KPLC providers never come to do their readings and end up with estimates. So keen to confirm that indeed it was true, I went to my Facebook where I love hitting inboxes of companies that I got issues with. I read the current meter bill , gave them the account number and voilà we were chatting till they confirmed the dreaded. My mum started blaming us on how our gadgets were consuming electricity, how we would boil water using the jiko blah blah and all I could say was ” we rarely here.” Last month the KPLC guy just came in time when I was around but not to do his meter reading but cut us off! Yes we had neither received the bill nor the famous SMS. Luckily, the entire neighborhood was going to get the cut since no one had received their bills. For the first time in history, I the never no bribe lady did it. There was no way my vacay would be ruined by electricity and who was going to pay the reconnection fee? Me? No. That settled I inquired why the high cost and not that we owned a factory in the house! Drought, no water he assured me. Then as if to test my patience he added that the next bill would also be high!Lucky are the tokens in the urban areas that all signal red as if danger awaits an entire building.
Yes I hate sugar. In fact I joined the Granny’s club way back as I enjoy sipping my tea sugar free. The hike in sugar is not affecting me at all that is the ONLY thing am at peace with and y’all freaking over it should join my club.
All this hullabaloo brought in the external factors debate. We blamed drought, the government that others decided to take the situation as their campaign mantra but did we really blame ourselves? No since no one wants to accept reality. Truth is our sugar is the most expensive in the world yet we got sugar companies that go under now and then. Can’t these people make sugar cheap for us? We continue to depend on rain fed agriculture no matter how many times the weather man warns us. Year in year out, drought happens at the same time, same months but do we really learn? No, we wait for drought to kick in, wait for relief food, wait for media expose then come up with a campaign to help drought affected populations. Then the cycle continues. We see big chinks of uncultivated lands as we tour the country that have turned into forests. This are not bushes but fertile lands belonging to some inhuman humans who would rather see a forest than food. We run to the city leaving our lands to be cultivated by God knows who. Then we rant hunger yet your land that could have helped gap this food insecurity is barely clothed. We see how desert countries like Dubai are food secure but we would rather exploit their aquarium malls and desert rides rather than imitate them.
The rains are here but how prepared are we? Shall the hashtag #WanjikuDecides be the trending topic come 2months time? Wanjiku has cried, cursed and lost it. Jumping into the Wanjiku bandwagon is not me. Am a survivor, I will survive this turmoil.
(ii)Dish made of maize flour
(iii)Chicken feed made out of maize cobs
(iv)Type of stove that uses charcoal
(v)Unleavened flatbread made of wheat flour. Roti/roshi