HARD-BOILED EGG INDEX: Surviving Zimbabwe’s Hyperinflation by Kudzai Joseph Gumunyu
The Hard-Boiled Egg Index is a true story of the struggles the author and most Zimbabweans went through during the record- and heart-breaking hyper-inflationary period in Zimbabwe. Though saddening, the story is told in a humorous and vivid way detailing how Kudzai had to adjust to the effects of economic meltdown.
Zimbabwe’s inflation rate reached a mind-boggling 89.7 sextillion percent by 2008 and US $1 was worth 3 nonillion Zimbabwean dollars had the Central Bank not debased the currency three times with twenty-five zeros.
The ZWD100 trillion became the highest denomination on the planet. Before the crazily denominated notes, money was being carried in wheelbarrows and grain bags and the purchased item in your hand due to rapid loss of value. Every day became a struggle from shortages of foodstuffs, collapse of services, bank queues, as well a salary that could not keep up with inflation.
The book gives life and economic lessons that were learned, which can be useful to other countries navigating similar economic minefields. It ends with a positive outlook for the country and the hope that the Jewel of Africa (Zimbabwe) will sparkle again given its educated and competent human capital, abundant and rich mineral fields, tourist attractions, rich agricultural lands aided by a favorable climate, as well as, recently, a change of leadership.