The Stale Festive Season ~ OSOMBAH W. Steve

I guess you might be still nursing festive hangover which nonetheless was quite stale as compared to the yesteryears. The just concluded festive season was not as enjoyable as the previous years nevertheless it has left many with many empty pockets. There are a number of things that conspired to make our festive season boring.


First, there was the issue of this misplaced terror outfit gang called Alshabab who decided to provoke us by abducting tourists along the coast and the president could no longer ignore them given the fact that tourism is the leading foreign earner-he unleashed the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) to keep them off our borders. Despite the deployment of the KDF these Alshabab skinnies continue to issue threats of terror attacks and they could not be taken for granted since they had successfully executed a number of attacks in Nairobi and parts of North Eastern Province. The threats led to widespread ban of all Christmas and New Year celebrations in clubs and other raving joints for fear of attacks. This left us with two options, travel to our countryside homes or staying indoors. However, option one had a problem. The fares were exorbitant and travelling to the countryside especially with a large family was very expensive.


Secondly, the ever increasing inflation rates did not make the festive season any merrier. The inflation had hit highs of 19% according to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) significantly increasing the prices of various goods and services. The high inflation reduced the spending power since the disposable income was significantly cut and people resorted to buying only the basics other things like partying were considered luxury. This was evident by the relatively low turn-out in the supermarkets and the local tourist destinations. It was difficult for the parents to explain to their children why the Christmas and the New Year celebrations were different as compared to the yesteryears since they don’t know what the hell this animal called inflation is.


Unlike the other years when we would take beer anytime, anywhere, this time it was different courtesy of Mutotho law. The law was formulated in a bid to try control alcohol consumption which according to the engineer was wasting youths who would otherwise engage in economically productive activities. This law led to the introduction of ‘official drinking time’ and this forced many people to stay at home or drink their beer at home without going out to clubs. All these combined made our festive season very leaden but all in all we ought to be grateful that we have proceeded to 2012 safe and sound.2012 looks promising and it may turn out to  be a good year despite being also an election year. Happy New Year folks!



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