Friday, September 3, 2010

Nairobi City Council’s Walk Of Shame

Yesterday Imelda and I ventured to Gikomba market, a ward on the east of Nairobi with a thriving industry for many things. There you find jua kali artisans hammering and welding the most fantastic array of creations out of sheets of metal from storage trunks to guttering. We were after a barbecue which we quickly found and purchased after about 45 minutes haggling with enterprising Patrick Omondi, a very likeable chap who told me he’s been running his business with his orphaned nephew Tony for 8 years.  Patrick even ordered us scalding-hot over sweetened tea served in green camping mugs; great guy with the whitest pearls I’ve seen in a long time and very surprising given how much sugar he puts in his tea. These are the faces of Kenyans that make me proud to be one unlike bloated politicians who make me sick. We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office (Aesop).
After we loaded our purchase in the boot we both felt ready for lunch, Imelda said she wanted to eat some stewed tripe and I also felt like having some because it’s been a long time mainly because none of our household can stand the smell when it’s getting cooked. But we enjoy eating it, funny that, I know! I said to Imelda I know just the place where we can have some delicious tripe stew with ugali and lashings of hot kachumbari  salad even though you risk catching some serious stomach bug due to suspect sanitation so I drove the short distance eastwards to Burma market because people should never fear an adventure.
Well, after parking the car we had to wade through the most disgusting unimaginable filthy muck of muddy gunge. You can see the picture here in case you don’t believe me.  It stank worse than raw sewage and looked like the vomit of a pregnant hippo. The bods at City Hall and whoever has been in-charge of the Constituency Development Fund ought to hang their heads in shame at the very least before rolling up their sleeves to shovel away this slime. Then they should explain how they can collect business permit fees, rates and god knows what other taxes and allow Nairobians to eke out a living in such deplorably unhygienic conditions.
Anyway I hope I haven’t put you off your lunch or the erotic thoughts you’re entertaining about the new colleague in the tight top in your office when you really should be working. Actually,  I didn’t even eat the tripe after  that sight which believe it or not was right bang outside the entrance to the market! When we got to Edu’s stall - whom I haven’t seen in at least three years -  I opted for roast meat and Imelda had stewed chicken with a saucer plate each of hot kachumbari. Both our meals  were excellent and at budget friendly prices.  You guys should visit Edu’s stall, say Tamaku sent you there for free food! Lol! But the moment was almost ruined afterwards when we had to retrace our steps over the soggy, gooey mess we both nearly brought up our lunch which would even have been a decoration to what was under our feet.      


  1. Tamaku
    I like the way you tell the truth and not just paint a rosey picture, we've seen the clean and respectable skyline and thoroughfares and malls of Nairobi (crammed with tourists), but also you don't flinch from showing the less glamorous side to the city, in fact you even go there. Unlike some, who would never venture there.

    I also like the fact, that one moment you are in Heathrow waiting to jet back home, and in the blink of an eye you want to eat tripe in the market place (Gikomba market), a healthy combination of modern age man, and the regular Kenyan (African) man.

    Respect to Tamaku.

    By the way, the idea of shaming local officials doesn't work, they have no shame. The only thing they will recognise is when they are removed from their posts, and have their ill-gotten gains taken away. Then they will sit up and pay attention, until that time it's "business as usual"

  2. Tamaku
    I have just discovered the world of Kenyan blogs and wandered into GNM's and then yours amongst others. Just a note to tell you that you make interesting and challenging reading for me.
    Also, I'm glad someone else in the world enjoys matumbo (tripe) like me. Whenever I'm home my people know that no visit is complete before they make me my matumbo.... here in the US I make do with these sorry looking bleached ones, but I have learned to enjoy them anyway...
    We have a lot of work to do at home to deliver public services to ALL of our people... our people work so hard, but our leaders are happy if only their road is paved, they have running water.. garbage picked up... Kenya will have arrived when all are served equally..


  3. Aaah. Matumbo. And now I'm hungry. It's only 10:20am... I think I'll duck into that ka-kiosk outside at Maasai Market today...


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