with Alexis Teyie, Dalle Abraham, Moses Kilolo, Frankline Sunday, Edna Murugi and Imali Asena.
Some time last year, we started thinking about the horrors & traumas of boarding school life in Kenya, and the small-small ways folks use to make things better. In particular, tunafikiria about mashakura, and the shortcuts we used to survive. Tunafikiria the recipes invented and passed down as school-dining specials. Because pia we were thinking about thinking together and writing together, we created a shared doc, and invited a few folks to share their diet hacks for boarding school. The aim was to have fun with it, and see where we end up, what we end up with. This is what we came up with.
Cold Power + Extra Loaf Industry
Tomato sauce spiked
Red Plum Jam
Smuggling: How to smuggle food.
How to be a special-diet student/What constitutes special diet?
(Get your parents to get a letter from the doctor stating you have ulcers or something. Special diet also meant getting hot water)
Bread and bitter herbs ( ugali & sukuma)
Sunday buns (mandazi)
Stealing the school cat’s milk
Guest-of-honour food and how to get it.
(Being friends with students who serve food to teachers and in the B.O.G Meeting)
Cribaaz [don’t translate!] OR Cribonyeez
(These would go so well with TomSauce-Tomato Sauce)
That time my dorm mates made Mursik in Primary school.
Ponyez (the coveted potatoes in stew)
Chillis from Dep’s Compound
Chapo Special From Across the Fence
Tomatoes & Onions etc
Pilipili mix for mangoes
Tomato Sauce, Royco, Mayonnaise
Mafuta ya Ng’ombe (is that ghee?)
Milk Powder (Milksi)
Fried Pork Sneaked In From The Township
Bread and a packet of milk for outings
Bread and Soda: A Staple of Funkies & Outings, etc etc
Sign Up as a Vegan
(HA HA HA Delete this but seriously are there gluten free vegans in boarding school?). LOLZ less gluten will probably mean less food, so who would risk it?
Lanes my people. This list reads like my college and not high school.
This was what was on offer:
Sukuma plain… and it’s soup (sprite)
Maji (beans soup)
Add two spoonfuls of mafuta…bought from across the school fence.
On Wednesdays and Saturdays, it used to be meat and rice. Organize a fake birthday and guys changaa you pieces of meat and soup. If you can get a crazy MC and a crazy singing crew (hype team) mtashare the bowl of nyama. So guys like William…(Serena) not the other William (Venus) will hold like 3 birthdays in a term.
When uko chini sana na tuckshop haiwezi, licking toothpaste inajaza tumbo
How to hide illegal home-cooked food, how to make it last 2 weeks+
A parents’ guide to smuggling home-cooked food to boarders
A teacher’s guide to stopping student protests using food only
The myth of the sick bay/sanatorium diet. Is the food really better?
The school farm is a goldmine. Make friends with the gardeners to get assigned to do compound chores around the school farm. Most have avocados and we know how that improves githeri. Poultry farm? Even better. Eggs can be swiped. Kwanza two duck eggs can feed you and like two of your mates for at least a meal. Pilipili bushes are also a lifesaver. Don’t get caught.
Mafuta Tily: Onions and spice browned in two kilos of cooking fat, then frozen. Carried to boarding school to add to food, same way you add Blueband to githeri? Yeah. Elevated every meal to gourmet levels. Cholesterol who?