afrofoto *day 24: Swahili Village


Patiently waiting for the food to come with the fruit cocktail drink that matched my outfit that day – random! My bag was yellow and my nails were red -_- …..


Woke up on Sunday morning in absolutely no rush for anything. Simply enjoying what the  Italians, according to Eat, Pray, Love, call the sweetness of doing nothing – dolce far niente. Went with a friend who hadn’t been there and we both had a taste for some goat meat. Swahili Village it was!! The game with Italy playing some other European team was on, music was semi-blasting, the sun was shining outside and the air conditioner was blowing quite comfortably inside.


I ordered chapati with ndengu (lentils) and a side of mbuzi (goat) nyama (meat) bites. When I used to live in Kenya, one of the neighbors in the compound had a cook [I remember his name was Jogenya] who used to make the bomb chapati and ndengu and all the kids would conveniently go and play at that house when he was cooking them. Mama Sam didn’t have a problem and now that i think of it, Sam could have used the “popularity” now that I realize how much younger than the rest of us were.  It was scrumptious and filling…i couldn’t even finish it and ended up bringing the rest home.

Chapati and ndengu have origins in South Asia – India to be specific. There is a large diaspora Indian community not just in Kenya but throughout East and Southern Africa! Thanks to the British and their expansionist colonial movements decades/a century ago. They are heavily involved in businesses and commerce and although they stand out as other, a good number of them have assimilated pretty decently. It’s quite common to see Indians speaking Swahili in different parts of the country. There were a lot of them when I attended Hillcrest Prep School, I had them for neighbors and best friends while there for 3 years. *Sigh*


despite and in spite of…

Je suis fiere  d’être Africaine. I feel extremely lucky to have an *ethnicity that has proven itself, despite the historical disadvantages and exploitation it went through, is going through and will always go through. There is a certain pride evoked in me when I think about all that the world has done to not only my country, but all the peoples – yes they are an assortment of different kinds of people in the collective sense. Africa’s story is a story of survival. The continent can be personified and characterized as a woman who has survived through the rape and plunder of so many violators. The Arabs, the Portuguese and other Europeans, the Indians, the Americans, the corporations, themselves in the form of wars, looting, trickery, brutality, education, politics, the dollar, the pound, Coca-Cola, assassination, Apartheid – the list goes on. Despite and in spite of it all, there remains so much more to be learnt and improved, so much beauty and hope. The fragility and impermanence of the African condition has created a simplicity where there is no room for materialism and individuality. There can only be a gratitude and celebration for and of the present and hope for tomorrow. Every time I think about being home, any of the several African countries I have lived  in, I’m filled with nostalgia for the simplicity of being African in Africa. Simple there is simply simple.

Despite and in spite of all that may be wrong with, about and in Africa, I am hopeful that there is a better tomorrow. No condition is permanent.

Despite and in spite of all that je suis fiere d’être Africaine.

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