Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Ubahili Hata Kwenye Ugali!

Kutoka Kenya, kuna habari kuwa wanaume wamekubahili mpaka kupima unga wa ugali. Kwa nyie wanaume nasema hivi, acheni akina mama wafanye mambo yao jikoni! Msituingilie! Jikoni ni nafasi nyeti kwa akina mama! Na si manishi kuwa mwanaume asiingie jikoni kujipikia au kusaidia kupika. Hakuna kulea udikteta jikoni! Na kwa huyu mshenzi kwenye hii story namshauri aondoke na huo unga aende nao kazini kulikoni eti kuacha vialama vya ajabu kwenye unga!

Asante mdau, FK, kwa kunistua kuhusu hii story.


Some men have devised creative domestic austerity measures to counter the hard economic times.

Some may sound crazy, seemingly borrowed from the devil’s own bag of tricks.
Take Peter Otieno, an accountant with a sugar milling company in Nyanza Province,
for instance. Whenever his wife is preparing a meal of ugali, he personally pours out the maize flour for her and then uses the palm of his hand to mark the balance.

The way he is able to know if anyone touches the flour after he is gone.
"Whenever ugali is prepared, he leaves his hand print to stop his wife from cooking more ugali without his knowledge," says his friend Philip Oduor.

According to Oduor, the father of two is so mean his first wife divorced him when she found his behaviour intolerable.

"Whenever his wife cooked in his absence, blows and kicks descended on her at the speed of lightening. This led to their separation," explains Oduor.

To keep the kitchen expenditure at his home in check, James Omar has devised a novel method to ensure that no meal, especially ugali, is prepared while he is away.

Every morning Omar, who rears chickens, gets hold of one of his fowls and makes marks on the flour with its claws. He’s the only one who knows which fowl left the marks. Woe unto his wife should the mark be different from the one that he left in the morning.

For Omweri Onsongo, the challenge has been in ensuring that the same quantity of ugali is prepared every day. To make sure this happens he has made holes on the sides of the sufuria used to make ugali. Any attempt to add water beyond the ‘standard’ level will not succeed.
Mary Kerubo, a housewife in Kisii, is a one of the women who bear the brunt of the machinations of such mean men.

Recently her sister paid them a visit and brought a gift of sugar, sour milk and vegetables.
Her sister received her well in the absence of the husband, who had gone to Keroka to try and sell sheep.

Since Kerubo could not run after a chicken, a choice delicacy for respected guests, she prepared ugali and eggs instead.

As fate would have it, the day didn’t turn out well for her husband, Omato. He didn’t sell the sheep as he had anticipated, and his hope for getting the money he needed lay in his egg-laying fowl. That morning he had left three eggs at home, and on his way back was counting his chicks even before they hatched.

He went straight to place where the chickens laid their eggs but to his surprise, found no egg.

"Who took the eggs that were here?" he thundered. The wife told him that she had fried them for her sister who had visited earlier and left.

"You mean you ate three chickens?" he asked angrily and proceeded to beat her.
The matter was only settled when elders intervened and forced Omato to apologise to his in-laws.

One day Bernard Kipruto arrived home from work to find that his wife had prepared a mound of steaming ugali for some guests. He was so shocked at the size of it that he demanded that she divide the ugali into two. Though he thought their exchanges were confidential, they reached the ears of the visitors who got too uncomfortable to even eat.

"The visitors left in a huff and shortly thereafter, and his wife followed, citing the man’s meanness," says Peter Rotich, who witnessed the incident.

Many other men will demand a detailed accounting of the domestic expenses, making it impossible for the woman to buy anything outside the budget, however vital it might be.

"Every day when my husband goes for work, he leaves some money. When he comes back in the evening, he demands to know how every single coin was spent," says Jane Were. It is gets so bad that at times she is forced to borrow a matchbox from a neighbour rather than spend extra money to buy one without her husband’s say-so.

She reveals that her husband is so mean they are often forced to eat last night’s leftovers.
The man will never authorise the buying of utensils until the old ones are completely worn out.
Mary, a housewife, says some men are so parsimonious they will take daily stock of what is in the kitchen and how everything is used.

She cites the case of a friend who is currently at loggerheads with her husband. "Every time he buys sugar, margarine or meat, he will want to know how it is used," she says. The sugar or whatever has been bought must last a certain period before new stocks arrive. Woe unto the woman should the sugar or cooking oil get finished before its due time. She will be forced to find alternatives to cater for the remaining days.
Stock taking
Opinion, however, varies as to whether such men are victims of the hard economic times or are just congenitally mean.

Josephat Migiro believes that thrifty men are to be found in every society and that even some who seem to have plenty display a degree of meanness.

He recalls the case of a couple that devised a peculiar way of telling whose pieces of the meat cooking in the pot belonged to whom. With the meagre salaries earned by tea pickers, the family could only afford a quarter kilo of meat per meal.

"The two decided to be tying together the pieces of meat so that they could identify which belonged to whom," says Migiro.

Mean to self

A shopkeeper in Kisii is renowned for his saving skills. He started off as a chang’aa seller. Despite his success over the years, he has refused to use his wealth to improve his living conditions. Not even women will make him change his mind.

For example, he would rather walk a distance of 20km rather than spend money on a vehicle, sparing only a few shillings for a cob of roasted maize to munch on the way.

Despite his financial ability, he is often seen beseeching people to buy him food and drinks.
There are also those who will even keep an account of every coin they give to their in-laws either towards dowry or as kind gesture.

In Masaba District, a certain teacher told his father-in-law off when he demanded dowry for his daughter. Every time the in-laws came seeking assistance in whatever form, he would put it down in writing. When he thought that he had given too much he entertained no more generosity.

"When his wife passed away, dowry was demanded before she could be buried," says a teacher who worked with him.

Many were shocked when he started recounting the number of times the in-laws had come to him for assistance. He even went as far as mentioning the dates and the exact time his help was sought.

He later confounded the listeners when he stated that as far as he was concerned, the help he had given were substantial enough to take care of the dowry they wanted from him.

Butt of jokes

Jokes are cracked about people who allegedly post a sign saying "Tumehama (We have moved)" on their doors to ward off unwanted guests whenever they are cooking a delicacy.

To such people guests are intruders who bring woes and unnecessary expenses.
Philip tells the story of a man who was enjoying a meal of roast chicken and ugali when he heard a knock on his door.

Dreading the prospect of sharing his tasty dish, he hid the food under his bed.

All was well until he heard a cat munching away under the bed, to the amusement of his guest.
Keeping tabs on expenditure is welcome, but there is a big difference between this noble endeavour and sheer meanness.


Anonymous said...

Dah! Huyo jamaa hana hata haya. Anagombana kuhusu ugali! Anauona unga kama dhahabu nini! kazi kwake mke wake atamkimbia!

Anonymous said...

Mbavu sina! Kweli watu wengine wana vituko! Na huyo ambaye chakula chake kililiwa na paka alie tu!

Anonymous said...

DOH! Ila namhurumia kweli huyo mke!

Anonymous said...

kwa kweli umaskini nina ulaani sana kwa jina la Yesu, yote haya ni umaskini tu.Mungu awasaidie wawe na kipato ili wale mlo mzuri bila kupimiana.

Anonymous said...

Mume Mchoyo Huyo!

Anonymous said...

huyu bwana sio mchoyo ila ni umasikini ndo unamsumbua ina bidi ahakikishe ule unga anao ununua unafikisha ktk bajeti yake na pia ni mchumi sana huyu mtu kwani bajeti yake hataki iharibiwe lakini kwa jamii yetu sie tunamuona mchoyo japo kazidi kidogo