For the longest time, Kenyans have complained about this candy currency used by almost all supermarkets. Basically, if your balance has anything below 5 shillings, the cashier gives you sweets instead.
I personally do not blame the supermarkets because I know it’s probably a Central Bank issue, but lots of people do not understand. Take for instance one Ngugi wa Thiong’o.
In one of President Uhuru’s Facebook post yesterday, Ngugi posted his story and received tens of likes in the process.
Read it below.
Please look at this issue Mr Kenyatta …. I GET MAD EVERY TIME I GO TO A SUPERMARKET AND I’M GIVEN SWEETS AS PART OF MY CHANGE IT was on last Sunday and i felt thirsty as it happened I was passing Ukwala Supermarket next to Central arcade Eldoret, I decided to go for bottled water. My thirst was huge so I went for the Quencher 1.5ltrs which goes for 58 bob. The young lady cashier hands me two twenty bob coins (40 shillings) and two sweets as change for the 100 bob I gave her. I tell her “NO, I don’t take sweets for change.” She tells me, “I don’t have coins,” and gets ready to call the next person in the queue.
I demand my two shillings change, she stands her ground she has no coins. “Then why do you put coins in your prices if you don’t have coins to give change?” I’m now almost shouting. I don’t wish to cause a scene over two bobs so I take the sweets and walk away fuming…not because of some useless two bobs but because of the thievery that goes on in supermarkets, especially Ukwala Supermarkets, Naivas and other small supermarkets, with the cheap 10 cents sweets they give away in place of shillings. I swear to teach them a lesson– not tomorrow, now!
I walk to the left-luggage counter located just at the entrance/exit, leave the water, and walk back into the self-service store. I remember just in time that I actually need toothpaste. So I go and voila! there’s a Colgate MaxFresh that is going for 53 shillings. I pick that and walk to the cashiers, making sure to go to the same one who gave me sweets. She punches the Colgate into her cash register and I hand to her 51 shillings and the two sweets.
She looks at me and asks “what’s this for?” referring to the two sweets. “You gave me those, remember me? Since you guys seem to have made sweets a currency, I can as well pay with them!” the most serious expression she could muster, the girl who doesn’t look so young now, tells me: “we don’t take sweets from outside.” The shop manager who just happened to be passing by heard the exchange and stopped to find out what was happening. “This girl gave me sweets as change a few minutes ago in spite of my protests that I don’t chew sweets.
I went back to the shop and took this toothpaste and added the sweets to the money that I have but she will not take the sweets saying ati they are from outside. If you can give sweets as change, and therefore a form of currency, why won’t you accept them as such?” The manager just smiled, perhaps concluding that I’m either a nutcase or a smart-aleck, said to the cashier “It’s Ok, chukua” (it’s Ok, take the sweets), gave me my toothpaste and I left the shop. The people in the queue almost cheered. .