Once in a while I watch business shows and watch the pundits go crazy over the price of oil while colourful graphs on the screen give the audience reference points. If the graph says it’s true then it’s true. The talking heads will break down the cause and effect of the price of the barrel of oil while the graph spikes in either direction.....usually northwards. Economics for dummies.
With the price of maize flour going through the roof, Kenyan news should take up the mantle. A typical show would begin with those half baked graphics local tv is known for. Starving children, cows asking why, government officials confused and farmers doing cartwheels would flash past the screen before the text emblazoned in red: MAIZE WATCH. Graphs would show up while the anchor tells us how we are going to die soon. I can imagine Larry (unnecessary pause) Madowo going crazy using big words to say what we can all see. No more ugali.
Jokes aside, things are thick. Going to buy unga has become a family affair now. At this rate Harambees will be needed before people head towards that particular aisle in the supermarket. Remember when chapo was the zenith of the culinary world? No more. Christmas around the country will be celebrated with a mound of the white stuff. Ugali kavu. Because it will be too expensive to buy anything else. That notwithstanding, that particular household shall celebrate like an MP exempted from paying tax while neighbours mill around and take pictures of this fabled ambrosia.
Laugh but this is coming in the near future. I can even see the movie trailer in my head. (Cue Movie Guy Voice) In a world full of pestilence (baby crying), everyone has to fend for themselves.(wolf howling). When the system shackles the people (signs reading MSIKULE UGALI.LOVE GOVT), the system starts to crumble. Here there’d be a shot of some shady guy in a trench coat in a dark alley. His trench coat opens slowly as he offers some junky his stash. Out comes a zip lock bag of white stuff. Maize flour. “It’s the good stuff.” One man stands against the system (TUKAIBE MAHINDI). This winter (RANDOM EXPLOSIONS), double the hunger *stomach rumbles*, triple the price *butterflies flying out of a wallet*. Brian Koyoo (of course I’m the star) stars as Brian Koyoo as he takes down the system to have a meal *eating ugali at Betty’s*. Forks Pictures presents “OTHONJE”.(dholuo for that big mouthful of ugali with the depression in the middle for scooping the stew)
It just might happen. If the government isn’t sure how many bags of maize they have in store (hmmm let me check....that’s one bag, two bags...errr what comes after two?) then this country could just implode. The staple food of the masses is unreachable and no one seems to have answers. Have you seen people react to alternatives like rice? “Haiya msee wangu. Mchele ni snack ya walami.” Ugali will soon become a medium of exchange. (I’ll trade you ugali saucer for your Probox) Today, a joke. Tomorrow...ANARCHY. So while I can I’m going to have a bite of the white stuff.