I usually leave the office from 9PM. Then, it’s quiet, the traffic along processional way is easing out and the tootling by PSVs prying the upper side of Kenyatta Road has dwindled. Everyone by that time has cleared out of the building so the only clutter I make out is from my keyboard and the whining of vehicles as they slowly move through traffic on Mamlaka Road.
But today I want to be extemporaneous. I want to remind myself how it felt to leave the office at exactly 5PM. So that’s what I do. By 4:50 am done with most of my grind so I close the laptop at exactly 5, lock the office by 5:05 and head out.
At this time of the evening, Nairobi is frenzied. Everyone is rustling to get somewhere. New mothers can feel the cries of their babies, touts are brash hiking fares and the common man is trying to push his way through Tom Mboya heading to Ronald Ngala to board a 45 home. If the clouds threatened to open up things get messed up fast…
I unhurriedly saunter through central park and that’s when I remember UK’s government has withheld maize flour. The bowl back home has already run dry. I have read several times of the subsidized flour and I haven’t laid my eyes on it yet. So today, being a Tuesday, with lots of time on my hands, and with no flour, I head to Tuskys to try my luck on acquiring the precious commodity.
I have to get some today. Maize flour I mean. I tell myself.
What I don’t know is the tussle associated with getting some. I have over some time wanted to get some flour but I hate queueig so I have always postponed the exercise. This means that I have gone several weeks without partaking ugali. It has been hard. It has been trying. Sometimes I have cursed WSR’s thievery. I have asked the gods to remember the days I went without Ugali come 2022.
I hope they heard my cries.
So I enter the Tuskys opposite city Market, along Muindi Mbingu Street and start searching. Fervently searching. I am on a mission. My heart starts racing as I get a glimpse of a 2kg pack of the commodity on a shopper’s basket.
I will hit jackpot today. In a few minutes time, Abisai will have nothing on me. I whisper to my stomach
As I approach the shelves that should be hosting the priceless gems I start tiptoeing lest I scare away the packs. I can’t stomach the heartbreak of not getting my hands on at least a pack. Just one. I am desperately hoping I do. I pray to Nyasaye, Mwenenyaga and all traditional gods. I even ask Thor to strike down any being, huge or insignificant who stands between me and my unga. I look up to the tv screen above and I see WSR asking a crowd “ama namna gani wenzangu?”
The shelves are only hosting wheat flour. Maize flour has just run out. Tonight will be a long one.
Engaging Thor in my predicament was a wise idea since in no time an attendant approaches me with two, 2kg packets of the commodity. I almost hug him but I remember I am straight. He seems to have read my mind so he stretches his hand and says “you’re welcome”.
I almost call UK to tell him how am waking up at 5am on 8/8 to vote his government back but I remember WSR and squirm at the idea of even encouraging the thought. They, no, WSR has created the deficit intentionally or so the elders on Saturday told me. Who am I to question their wisdom? He is the problem. So I head to the counter whistling in joy as I swear how am voting for Ekuru Aukot come 8/8. At least he understands hunger.