Taking porridge comes with nostalgia; of mama in the kitchen, gunny bag well spread, calabash in the middle, sorghum and millet flour in a plastic container filled to the brim. Mama is now transferring the warm water into the calabash adding flour in small quantities and shaking the calabash against the earthen floor, remember, ‘Kīnya kīrī itina nīkīo kīikaragia.’ Slowly by slowly she continues her routine until the water and flour are just at the right thickness. Then the calabash is covered with a maize comb and all we can do is pray that the bacteria performs it’s fermentation duties vigilantly. We tick of days with our fingers and one morning when you enter the kitchen you smell the sourness from the door and you shout like you are warning the whole village of a T9 dog feared to be carrying Rabies lurking in the woods. You don’t even know where the firewood comes from but by now the water is boiling and you open the calabash and inhale that heavenly sourness like your life depends on it. Somehow you want to make sure that the nostrils didn’t lie to you. Then you close and shake well before use and pour some of the contents into a Sufuria, fetch some of the boiling water and mix well to ensure there will be no boys lurking in the porridge. Boys you better go grazing, this porridge is not your portion ooh. Now add the smoothened mixture into the boiling water and continue stirring until it comes to a boil. Leave it to boil for a few minutes, add sugar to taste and voila, our authentic African drink has never tasted better. One mug was never enough and the cook must award herself with the Mūkūra. Sad now we buy it sour in a packet and those calabash plants that were loved by, ‘wakahare ūrī nguo igūtembatemba,’ seem to be extinct. But here in Africa we don’t eat porridge, we drink it. Gūkuunda, asiii!


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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