Monday, August 11, 2008

inflation beaters

I have always wondered how Zim guys manage to live with that kind of inflation. i keep on wondering how they still manage to drive, go out, pay school fees, feed families etc. Well, like the swahili say, camels must not laugh at cows hump. Back home inflation is bitting hard and deep. savings are eroded, investments fall apart and good clothing is slowly becoming a luxury. they say luck favors the prepared mind but maybe inflation too. however for those of us who were found flat footed, serious Structural adjustment plans as well stomach adjustment plans have been put in place.
For one to get good clothes, just brave it and take a matatu number 9 to eastleigh. shirts which retail at 1000 bob in town are actually got easily from the famous isich for just under 400 shillings. trousers go for as low as 500 and you can even get suits for 2000 bob. and even those traders are facing the inflation music since they have become quite aggressive now. before they used to just sit back and wait but now if you enter any stall they try everything in the book to make a sale.

and in south C one tomato can go for as much as 10 bob, to beat that, just go early to markiti (city market) and buy wholesale. for 2000, you can get enough tomatoes, onions and carrots to last you a month. they wont be that fresh when you are using them, but again the times don't give that much luxury. to beat bread price, i just got a lot of peanuts from my shamba in nyanza. Nyanza produces some of the best groundnuts in kenya. highly nutritious and sweet. secondly peanuts are more filling than bread apart from being healthy as well. on top of that i got 1 sack of maize which somehow can last close to a year given the sedentary life of the city. lentils all obtained from shags.

Other ways of beating the curse is walking to church on sundays instead of going to the mass with the best music. using a matatu as much as possible. carrying packed lunch etc. and if you have a small backyard, you can just squeeze some mbogas in between the flowers. eg amaranthus vegetable is quite beautiful and can pass as a flower, even managu (osuga) or akeyo. Actually even tomatoes are quite fact who says you cannot even have them as potted plants if you dont have a backyard? so you will be having your cake (flower garden) and eating it too. literally!

However every cloud has the proverbial silver lining, the situation has provided the best stock investment opportunities in a long time. pple are getting out to cut their losses. but i think this is the best time to take advantage of under priced stocks.anywhere you ever wanted to get in, here is the moment.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

driving the bulls to a fight

I was made a class prefect when i was in class five. There were two problems in this. one was that prefects were very much hated people since they wrote down names of noice makers for punishment. second mistake was that i was fairly new in the school having joined only a year before. In fact my appointment i suspected had more to do with my brain and none to do with my leadership abilities or anything like it. prefects were always given one-ten (or wanted). my day came when this tough looking guy called leo gave me the dreaded wanted. I didn't want anything with him, in fact, i never wanted to put down his name. i would have allowed him to make all the noise he wanted, if only to save my skin. but my other friends urged me on. they said that Leo was only looking tough on the outside but he would not be a match to me. Even though i knew myself better, i went ahead and gave Leo's name to the teachers. My wanted was on!

Leo met me a few meters from the school compound. after 4PM when i was on my way to the national library. he was in the company of some friends. some of whom were also in my list. i was also with two friends. It was always difficult to start a fight so the 'friends' played a very crucial role, fanning the fire, reminding the aggressor of the reason for the wanted and egging on the other reluctant party. so they put some grass between us and declared that who ever was stronger would step on the grass or cross it. i of course didn't mind being called a coward since this was Leo we were talking about. the guys noticed this fast and pushed me past the grass. now it showed i was stronger than leo. his blood boiled, he moved with speed and landed some strong punches on my unguarded face. It was fast brutal and heavy. before i knew it, i was on my back with leo all over me and people cheering. even my friends were cheering Leo. by now a crowd had gathered including the girls. The prefect was being punished and everyone was celebrating it. Thankfully a woman who was passing by came to my rescue and chased Leo away. i went on the library with my mouth full of blood.

I thought those things only happened in primary school when people were young, but i was wrong. I saw it again clearly when in 1992, the media created a small rift between jaramogi Oginga and Matiba. it started as a joke but with every new day , there was continuous talk of Muthithi House and Agip house factions. it went on and on until the hitherto great friends and freedom fighters who both risked their lives and those of their families to free us from the nyayo error and curse could not see eye to eye and had to go separate ways. I believed then and even now that the differences between those two great men didnt warrant what happened. but there were friends on either side urging them to fight... for nothing really.

What of now? I keep on hearing about some war or rivalry between Martha Karua and Uhuru. to be frank, i cant see any war or need for one. but the media keeps on talking about it. They keep on using words such as, clash, war, rivalry, daring etc. To me, i have been looking for any time when Uhuru either mentioned, of expressed interest in the presidency come 2012. I cant see it. I have been looking for any time he said he was at war with Karua. I cant see it. These funny media people played a big part in preparing us to fight each other like we did in January. they were very instrumental too in creating rifts in ODM-K and now they are busy building a mountain where there is none. So far, Uhuru has done me proud and refused to yield any ground, he has refused to step on the grass or even cross it. even though Karua seems to have swallowed the bait together with the hook line and sinker! She is busy expending her energy, daring and shadow boxing everyone

Thursday, August 07, 2008

This 7th of august...

This day 10 years ago, i was traveling back home, after a brief job looking stint in Nairobi. the bus stopped in kisumu and we went into Kimwa grand for a cup of tea. on TV there were vague news about some horrible happenings in nairobi. i must admit i was not fully awake so i did not realize what just happened. when i reached home, my brother told me about the bomb blast at the co-op house in nairobi, but my bro who was a teacher was convinced that the bomb was actually done by president Moi to destroy teachers records! at that time there was a dangerous stand-off between the giant teachers union KNUT and Mr. Moi over salary increases. the teachers service commission was housed in co-op bank house. Mr. moi was known for many nasty and shocking things that he did to remain relevant and most teachers at home were actually convinced that he was behind the whole thing.

However slowly as the day wore and more news came, we started to see the truth as was. that the bomb was actually an act of hate against Americans and that we were merely pawns in a dangerous ego and revenge game. My heart , prayers and thoughts today go to all those who lost their lives, their loved ones and their hopes in that bomb.