‘At least I have learnt two.’ Hester began
putting away the plastic can for ingredients.
‘Two.’ Mwihaki, the housekeeper said and
laughed. ‘Like the movie people say, “this is just
the beginning! ” She placed the pot on the gas
cooker and turned it on.
‘Are you saying it is just the beginning for me?
She glanced at her with a smile. She was twice
‘Ha! That straight. ‘ Hester gave her a daring
look. ‘Are you trying to tell me your country has
more dishes than mine? ‘
‘Load of them. ‘Mwihaki sat on a stool.
Hester closed the cabinet . ‘Uh-hmmm.’
‘Do you want to know more? ‘
‘I will love to, so we can compare and contrast
at length. ‘ she closed the lid of the jug and
transferred the freshly squashed pineapple juice
to the fridge.
Mwihaki waited for her to pull a stool close
before proceeding. ‘Dishes are peculiar to
countries. In Kenya, we have varieties, we have
those peculiar to urban centres, the rural areas
and Kenya as a whole.’ She paused
momentarily. ‘Ugani, corn meal porridge is
Kenya’s national dish.’
‘Really? ‘ Hester encouraged wondering which
could be Nigeria national dish.
‘We have staple food, Ugani, rice, bread,
chedadi -fried paste of wheat powder. We have
steak and irio, kukunazi -chicken with coconut
milk, maharagwe -fried spice red beans with
coconut milk.’ She continued emphatically.
‘Hmmmm …’ Hester resolved imaginatively.
‘There is fukumawiki- Collard grains.’
‘Fukumawiki …Mwihaki …that sounds like an
extract of your name. Is it that you discovered
the recipes and gave the result a name. ‘ Hester
‘Oh my dear girl, you’re fun to be with.’ She
Hester stood to take a peep at the content of
the pot before sitting once more.
‘We also have dishes peculiar to tribes. In
maasai, a tribe found in southern Kenya, they
rear cattle. So ,they have a meal of a mixture of
cow blood and meat. There is also sambury
related to maasai, they are semi nomadic
pastoral farmers. ‘
‘They rear cows, sheep, camel, goat.’
‘Yes dear. ‘ She smiled. ‘They have a dish
consisting of the mixture of milk and meat.
That’s taken on special occasion. They have
soups made of vegetables, root and bark. In
Kikuyu, another …’
‘Good afternoon ladies. ‘ He was at the door
with a wide smile.
‘Welcome Sir.’ Mwihaki told him.
‘How are you Mwihaki ?’
‘Hi dear, how was your day? ‘ Hester beamed.
‘Excellent and how are you? ‘
‘I see.’ He winked.
‘Where is your briefcase?’ She stood.
‘In the car, there is somebody I will like you to
‘Me? ‘ She went wide eyed.
‘Yes your eminence. ‘ He said soothingly.
‘Duh!’ Her expression became blank. ‘That’s old
fashioned, try something new school. ‘
Mwihaki started laughing.
‘She is the person you wanted to meet at the
site.’ He managed between bouts of laughter.
‘Ha.’ Hester walked over to Osagie side. ‘I’ll be
right back.’ She looked back at the
housekeeper as Osaz led her away by the hand.