Uchumi has been through a lot in the last decade and as consumers we have stuck with the firm through thick and thin. I recently lost one of my favourite things in Uchumi Sarit centre; the snack chair by the bakery.
On Madaraka Day in 2006, Uchumi was closed down and employees were asked to go home much to their distress and that of us shoppers. There was a lot of work done to ensure that the company lived after that horrible day in Kenyan retailing and we all watched as the company rose from the ashes phoenix like with the leadership of Jonathan Ciano being lauded. The company staff became extra friendly and I was happy to enjoy their services especially at the Capital Centre and Uchumi Aga Khan Walk.
My favourite Uchumi has always been the one at the Sarit Centre in Westlands. It was a great place for me to head to when I was unable to get inspiration for my weekly humour column. You would be amazed to know how many columns were born when I was sitting at that Coca Cola branded table at the back of the table. As part of my experience I would take the Uchumi power sandwich which was at the time Kshs140 then it went to Kshs180. The sandwich has a variety of good things within it including ham, cheese, salad etc that an inspiration hungry mind needs to function.
As it usual I came to yet another ideas for my column crisis and I headed to the Sarit for my usual. The first shock was that the power sandwich was retailing at Kshs300 which was a bit out of my price range for a sandwich that doesn’t include a back rub and foot massage. From two hot young things. So I opted for the sausage roll which is relatively better priced at Kshs75. I got two and headed to my usual table and lo and behold… No tables.
An enquiry from a staff who maintains the special Uchumi friendliness was that the table had been removed. Whats a man to do when they are seeking inspiration and their last bastion is gone? I don’t know. All I know is that my emergency ideas table is gone and I blame someone in Uchumi’s middle management. It cant be the people on the floor or the CEO. It must be some genius who didn’t understand that the reason some of us loved the bakery is that we could eat the stuff fresh on that table. And come up with award winning humour columns.
P.s. The Nairobi Living Column was voted by Star readers as column of the year getting over 50% of the votes. Thus the award winning assertion.