‘Have you ever been awakened, by the crowing of a rooster?….its time to arise and shine and start a hard works day.’ Yes Charley, I’ve been awakened severally by the crowing of a rooster. Sometimes though as gakware, a hard works day involved waiting on the mixed grill of beans and maize (gītheri) to cook. Mostly the cooking involved adding water and firewood which I think is the reason why most daugthers of Mumbi don’t know how to cook. You see we must add lots of soup and claim that the ancestors are calling. Cooking gītheri however had its perks. Since one found themselves mostly alone in the compound, it meant you had all the resources at your disposal, which also meant that the chickens which were kengetaring as they looked for somewhere to lay their eggs were also included in the said resources. You see the problem with the chicken is that it must announce what it’s about to do and it must also celebrate after it has done it. Yeah like when a sticker scores and he has to do that victory dance 😁.
While waiting for the Gītheri to get ready, I’d, ‘tega matū ta mbawa,’ (listen carefully) above the noise of the boiling soup (you know gītheri boils above NEMA authorised decibels) and the crackling of the fire and no sooner had the chicken laid an egg than I was dipping it in the hot waters of lake Bogoria which in this case happened to be the sizzling Githeri. By the time the gītheri was ready my tummy was full to the brim. Other times I’d fry the gītheri with eggs and call it omelette. Better still if there was yesterday’s ugali remnants I’d fry it with eggs. Kimbo shortening came in handy and I’d feel like I was enjoying a sumptuous seven course meal at Kempinski.
When mama asked where the days eggs were I’d respond that, ‘I think the chicken are laying their eggs in the bushes and the dogs/mongooses are eating them.’ I’d walk out to go and inspect the said bushes sort of like, ‘an Easter egg hunt,’ while belting, ‘1940, kwarī ngūkū īmwe, yateng’eraga, īkarekia itūmbī’ which translates that in 1940, there was a hen which would run and lay an egg. Only the foul sulphur dioxide smell emanating from my belly would betray me. When it was that time for the hen to nest on the eggs, there’d be no eggs and as such we’d have to dip the chicken in cold waters from river Thagana to remove the heat literally 😁. Forgive me father for I have sinned.


Published by Nyar Kaheti

Born and raised on the picturesque slopes of Mt Kenya, Nyar Kaheti is your girl next door vibe kind of girl. She enjoys reading, writing, hiking, and listening to country music among other things.

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