Posted in challenge, communication, economy, energy, finance, humour, Lifestyle

Ask Wanjiku

via Daily Prompt: Survive

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.

The GOK Ksh90 subsidy pack

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.

testing my middle middle class upgrade

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

Posted in challenge, energy, health, Lifestyle, management, planning

5 O’clock Club

The 5 o’clock club. Not a party club that parties all night and gets home at this time nor a chatting club that hits our phones this early. Nada. So what about it? I recently joined this club in terms of waking up. The last time i woke up this early was back when classes were scheduled for 7am or if i had an adventure to the far horizon. Gears have shifted and i have to train my body to do away with the 6 o’clock alarm and wake up much earlier.

So why 5am one would ask? Not that i loathe sleeping in fact during the weekends my bed can confirm that i love its warm sensation. After i realized that i can do much before 6, then why would i let it slip away? Moreover, upon reading Sharma’s book and him quoting that it is the quality rather than quantity of sleep that matters most, i had to prove it.

Here is how my typical mornings look like:

5.00-5.30; some time alone in my “war room”. Have you watched the movie “The War Room?” If you like me who really struggles to walk by Him side to side then this is a must watch.pray This is that silent moment when i read a verse, say a prayer and meditate on how my day should be. Waking up at 6 had its negativity as i had little time to do all this and be off at 7.

5.31-6.00; exercise. Aha i got no gym neither do i rush to one but i realized this early if you scroll the many TV stations there are lots of experts guiding you on some healthy exercises.ex So am keeping fit via TV. How cool is that? It is when you exercise that you are highly active as you got the vim and vigor to tackle the day’s activities.

6.01-6.50; preparing breakfast, showering and dressing up. My ultimate plan is usually taking a glass or two of water before consuming anything. Heavy breakfast is not my A thing as my stomach has never adapted to consuming heavily in the morning. To compensate for that i end up carrying snacks or fruits to be taken later. Am the slow type when it comes to dressing up; not that i have a difficult time choosing an outfit but the time taken to lotion my body…..(don’t even ask).

When the clock hits 7 am out of the house. That is how i ended up adopting to this new club.

How does your typical morning look like?





Posted in development, energy, entrepreneurship, environment, health, Lifestyle, vision2030

Tapping the Sun

Home one;

Daughter: (cough, cough, cough) Mum there is no paraffin left in the lamp and my homework is halfway done

Mother: Light the candle, it is late to go for the paraffin at the shop. I shall buy more tomorrow

Home two;

Father: My dear wife, are you crying? Your eyes are all red

Wife: No, my husband. Am just straining them since it’s all dim inside here. The torch can illuminate no more, we need to buy more batteries.

Home three;

(A burned down house stands on its twos. Everything is in ashes and the mighty wind blows the remains away. An owl hoots as villagers return to their homes with empty buckets and saddened faces. A wailing woman is kneeling facing what has become of her future)

Villager1: What has happened?

Villager2: She was boiling water on the kerosene stove and had rushed out to the kiosk

Villager3: The 2 children were in the house and the stove must have exploded

Villager1: Did you manage to save them?

Villager3: No, it was too late. The fire was so enormous we could not control it and the door had been locked from inside.


This is the scenario is most homesteads especially in the rural and urban slums. The cost of electricity is too high or the locations far away from the main supply lines. However, majority cannot afford it as the poverty levels are too high and the sources of income are scarce to pay for the installation fees.

This has prompted homes to use nonrenewable sources of energy like kerosene, candles, disposable batteries that are prone to their health. Poor eyesight, breathing complications and death as a result of accidental mishaps consume this populations.

Renewable energy sources like the sun and wind are not exploited fully leaving hydro-power as the main source of electricity. Rainfall cannot be reliable more so with the drastic changes in the climatic and weather patterns.

Good news is that the global entrepreneurship summit 2015 brought with it investors like the Virgin CEO Richard Branson who initiated a project in the country with the aim of investing in renewable energy. This is aligned to Kenya’s vision 2030 of Lighting up Kenya. This is by increasing solar usage that generates cleaner power and reduces carbon emissions.

The Rural Electrification Authority having agreed to the partnership is to facilitate that solar panels prices are reduced to increase demand, reduce cost associated with electricity, guarantee consumers uninterrupted power supply thus enabling the Jubilee government manifesto of laptop provisions, launch of 50Mw solar plant in Garissa. Investments through local entrepreneurs, financial institutions, county governments and philanthropists will be needed to light up Kenya the solar way.

I love traveling to rural areas and am really proud of the initiatives in place. It is not like the era days when the only lighted home was that of a rich man. The number of electrification has increased with major homes upgrading to either electricity or solar panels. The mode of cooking is also changing from stoves, firewood to meko gas, modern charcoal burners that emit less pollution and uses less firewood.

charged by the sun or electricity
my solar lamp

My back up energy is the solar whenever there is a black out. The solar panel connects other lamps and chargers where you can indeed charge your phone, laptop and other devices as it comes with the relevant cables. The panel can harvest capacity of 100Kj per day while the 2 white round lamps stores 60Kj each per light. The easy, convenient yet cheap method. If you cannot afford the solar panel, there are other solar lamps charged by the sun or electricity depending on the medium best suitable for you. They illuminate too much light and can be controlled by pressing on a button which is inbuilt.

from the solar panel, the hub(yellow in color) connects the lamps and other chargers
from the solar panel, the hub(yellow in color) connects the lamps and other chargers

As the campaign for one solar panel per home begins, grab one and support the initiative. Embrace renewable energy and enhance a sustainable environment for development.