Nairobi News


UNGA ECONOMY: My long, endless, futile hunt for 90 bob unga

I am ugali starved and it looks like I will be, for a long time. My hunt for unga started at my local supermarket estate after work I left the office while thinking of my fantasy meal, ready to break my ugali fast.

As I got into the matatu I envisioned my Ugali moto na nyama combo and kept smiling to myself while humming along to some RnB mix.

I alighted metres away from my stage, so as to pick up unga at the local supermarket before heading to the house.

At the supermarket entrance, my excitement is displayed for all to see and even the security guard exclaims, na uko na raha!

I smile at her and quickly pace down the aisles to the unga section.

Alas, there’s just lots of wheat flour and a few packets of Ugali Afya brand that is retailing for a whooping Sh220.

“I am not going to swap my ugali craving for chapati,” I convince myself as I walk out.

Luckily, there is another supermarket in my neighbourhood. I walk for a few metres and brave the smell of freshly baked bread at the entrance.


At the unga section I find a brand called Maycon with a very huge poster written “Sh160” lest we confuse it for the government subsidised unga.

“There is no way am spending that much yet I can buy the Sh90 unga in town tomorrow,” I thought to myself.

At this point I have accepted my fate to have yet another rice meal and with that I leave the supermarket.

Fast forward to Friday morning and on arrival at work, I get a few articles done then step out to continue with my hunt.

“Tuskys must be having enough Unga, today I will finally have my ugali,” I think to myself while getting to the lift area.

I quickly decide to start my search at the Chap Chap branch convincing myself that since it is rarely packed they are likely to have unga.

Again, I walk in and go straight to the unga section.

Wheat flour packets fill the shelves and other shoppers too join in my frustration giving the attendants that confused look.


Determined to end my fast, I walk out of that branch and this time I decide to visit Tuskys arguably biggest branch in the CBD, Imara.

As I walk in, I can smell their ever inviting hot dogs, but not even the delicacy can sway me from my ugali craving.

I walk to the basement floor where the Unga section is located and this time I find a bigger mountain of wheat flour.

Oh no!

Discouraged and tired, I give in to the hot dogs at the entrance and line up to have yet another wheat snack.

I decide to try the newly converted Ukwala supermarkets branch near Tuskys Imara.

The attendants openly tell me to try early morning at about 11am as that’s the time unga comes in and is usually out in less than an hour.

Armed with my hotdog and soda, I walk back to the office and start preparing my tummy for what may end up being a chapati dinner.