It’s holiday time at least going by what things have been like over the past many years, the ‘vibe’ should be in high gear as people prepare to spend the Christmas holidays with their families.
As for the folks that love to travel upcountry and spend the holidays with their kin, it’s rush hour right about now as the pressure to get onto that bus or squeeze into that family car and head home is at boiling point.
Let me hope the resources to take that much cherished journey show up for most of those that need them because a few conversations I have been having show many will have to cancel those trips given the D-Day is fast approaching and yet the money needed seems to be stuck somewhere.
With hardly a day left to the official birth of the Saviour Jesus Christ at least as we have been made to believe over the years, the consumer economy should be booming or at least attempting to.
New clothes, new cars, end of year parties, gift after gift, fancy ones and generic ones, expensive liquors, holiday get aways and so much more.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be the case as the economy has become ‘the enconome’ the unofficial excuse your average Joe on the street gives for being broke and uninterested in the excitement about this Christmas.
Things are just tricky these days, the current times feel like some one just got half of the official money in circulation or more and either stacked it away under their bed or siphoned it off to a foreign bank where only those with power and their kin can draw a few chunks at will as the rest of the population struggles to make a life out of the remaining half or less left in open circulation.
No wonder even what looked like solid international retail chains are fleeing this economy like it’s been hit by a low spending pandemic they can’t stomach anymore!
The excessive decorations and lights that lit up the city shops, the big Christmas campaigns and offers from large companies that always reminded us it is Christmas time on our various media channels plus all the end of year parties we enjoy d the previous years have all been scaled down to small budget operations or completely been gotten rid of in the name of cost cutting.
The average mum and dad especially those in self employment and private business is still running to their store or practice an early morning prayer that at least one substantial cheque can come in before the big day so their families can have a worthwhile Christmas celebration but the hope seems to dwindle some more as the clock keeps ticking.
With food prices going northwards across the country and essential commodity prices following suit as well, there is surely likely to be more gloom and less glamour come 25th December 2022 and the entire holiday season this year.
I know a couple of lay man families that have adjusted to having a single solid meal a day late evening, you would call it dinner and trying to snack around the early parts of the day and late evening or night just to keep afloat as things get somewhat tighter.
The advice a certain old geezer gave about substituting bread with cassava has never held more water than it does now although I doubt the fellow who offered it and those around him have felt the bite of the situation one inch.
Not forgetting all this happens just a month before the schools open officially and start demanding their millions upfront for those who have chosen to undertake the ultimate sacrifice and not have their children study in the ‘condemned to their own fate’ UPE schools.
Maybe it’s time some one had a big laugh about the near misery this country and economy has turned out to be in the recent years especially 2022, the theories about a currency losing value have never made this much sense and been so real in Uganda like they are today otherwise how would you explain some one buying a bar of soap at Shs. 8000 the same having been sold for almost a quarter of that some six to eight years back.
There was that ‘Hakuna Muchezo thing’ we were promised after a tumultuous ‘memorable’ election almost two years back which sounded like a positive going forward but alas! It seems its real meaning was in the negative so let’s brace ourselves for the most mediocre Christmas of all times folks!
It’s only those lucky enough to hold big government positions, top corporate jobs and super special businesses I mean (untaxable/touchable) which remain above the ‘weather’ who will surely have a good time this festive season not forgetting those above the law with limitless access to state resources and endless loot.
The rest of us may be God will just hope some drop of miracle money in our bank accounts or throw some decent hampers on our balconies delivered by some of his angels otherwise we are doomed to a mediocre Christmas as we chase our next pay cheque to pay another bill or clear mounting debts and pray may be 2023 will be by chance a better year.
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