Will new school calendar change December shopping?

You wouldn’t be Kenyan enough if you did not fight tooth and nail through December

Will Kenyans’ incomprehensible December spending (I mean, buying) spree, be different this time? Will the change in the school calendar affect spending? I’m not so sure about spending being affected by the sick ‘Corona-economy’.  After all, logic has never fit, even edgeways, into a Kenyan’s December spending (sorry, buying) psyche.

All purchase logic goes out the window in December for Kenyans. And it happens like clockwork. Planning from January for December remains a rumour even after being shouted repeatedly from the rooftops by personal finance experts. Why bother? It kills the adrenaline buzz of last minute execution; so, with obsessive zeal we plough through the increased spending (oops, buying) in December, on November’s income; and because it is never enough (obviously) we throw in December’s income into the ring too.

You wouldn’t be Kenyan enough if you did not fight tooth and nail through December. And then, like a gallant warrior, emerge in January, bloody, bruised and bewildered, pleading on national television from a bookshop, for government help with the back-to-school bill that appeared, poof!, out of nowhere. Forget that you received it two months before as has been the case for decades. So, no; I’m not sure about the Corona-economy affecting Kenyan December spending (sorry, buying; I keep forgetting). However, the change in school calendar is another story.

And as things stand, before it resumes normalcy, the new calendar says the next three years will have children in school throughout December with only the last week spared for rest.  The calendar used to determine high and low travel and shopping seasons. Think about it. Only until this year, April, August and December had fares and rates spike, with December taking the premium slot. And school holidays would start from November, and the December (buying?) season would climax on New Year’s Day. Except for the entertainment industry, the bulk of the others would start seeing a slowing down of activity in theirs.

Save the political one, the school calendar was (still is?) the bellwether of economic activity in the country.  So with children in school throughout December, will bus fares still hike when there are no families to ferry upcountry? Or, will the legendary illogical Kenyan spending (tsk, buying) frenzy, seemingly ingrained in our DNA, persist? Will the one week window see Kenyans go amok travelling upcountry and lapping up everything on sale because they simply must? Reasoning that, with this new calendar, back-to-school, and not for Term One, isn’t reaaally back-to-school, is it?

The longest holiday with the new calendar is seven weeks most of them in April. So maybe April might retain its high season status. But in April and August we’ve comparatively bought not spent so nothing new there.  However, with all the hypnotic jingle bells, jingle bells jingling all the way, ominously whispering, “Buy, buy”, December remains the mother of all Kenyan spending insanity.

Will the change in school calendar bring sanity? What do you think?

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