‘Mzungu mwitu’ asks for ‘matako’ in US


Justin Bradford, aka mzungu mwitu

Justin Bradford, aka mzungu mwitu

He is known as mzungu mwitu, owing to his impeccable Swahili, as we have been accustomed to, for a while. 

Justin Bradford’s love for the Kenyan culture has seen him endearing to him. He is a YouTuber, where he largely talks in Swahili in his videos. One particular video that he shot was the how to cook ugali.  

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Bradford came to Kenya as a missionary and learned how to speak Swahili in less than a year. He is the unofficial ambassador of the Swahili language, in its attempts at conquering the world. 

In a video he recently shot, Bradford goes around American drive-through food outlets, where he orders food in Swahili. The results are quite comical since none of the attendants is able to get what the mzungu mwitu was saying. 

One incident in the seven-minute clip has Bradford asking for ‘mataco.’

“Ningependa kukula matako uko nayo?” Bradford hilariously asks [to save your time forward to 5.30 on the youtube clip] to an obscure person who does not get what he is saying.

When the attendant gets the drift, that he may have actually been asking for taco, he asks him whether he wants the big one or the small one. Bradford replies that he wants all of them, in Swahili.  

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Critics say that the mzungu is gaining undue attention and fame yet we Africans have been speaking the colonialist’s language for ages. Bradford has professed his love for our culture in many interviews he has conducted. 

Well, mzungu mwiitu is different. He came and learned our local language and is actively promoting it online. In due time, Swahili will go global. Beginning 2020 South Africa will introduce Swahili as an optional language

Watch the video below;

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A man with exceptionally whacky culinary skills

Man In The Kichen

Man In The Kitchen (courtesy)

The kitchen has never been my fortress, except of course when I am going to fetch food. Being brought up in a girls-only environment exempted me from doing any chores pertaining to the kitchen. But nature has a way of making you curse a privilege you so immensely enjoyed, thrusting you in a jungle where you are all alone. In your stray wanders, you find yourself relishing the magic that happens in the kitchen, and of course, Miss Google comes to your rescue, a subservient kind of girl who obeys all your instructions but doesn’t do anything. She tells you how to cook rice and bolts out like she wasn’t even there.

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Back when we were young, I’d watch my mother cook, letting my eyes indulge in every single move her hands made. But then, as a man, it reaches a point where it becomes sort of an abomination to be in the kitchen anymore. The kitchen in the village sense is a smaller structure constructed specifically for cooking, and more often it would be blackened by sooth. The sooth would collect over years until it forms something like a goatee. That sooth goatee served a purpose, a medicinal one. I have never bothered to know the kind of ailment the sooth-goatee heals.

I am glad I am not alone lost in this jungle that is the kitchen. When the pangs of hunger bite, a man’s got to roll up the sleeves, hit the kitchen with the hope that he will concoct something palatable. Plenty of times the food comes out exceptional (in its wackiness) and he finds himself really grateful for whoever has ever cooked a meal for him in the last quarter a century. Mothers become heroes all of a sudden, and if she was already one, the spectrum only widens, so does respect. Imagine cooking meals day in day out, whether she feels like it or not? I think that’s the definition of valor.

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The first day is often the harshest. You burn yourself, the food comes out tasteless, too much salt…..plenty. The only consolation is that no one has to remind you of its tastelessness. But then when you are done, another bigger challenge confronts you; doing the utensils. Most of a man’s utensils have been discarded having stayed long enough for mold to grow; making a permanent abode on what was once a bed for ‘mouthwatering’ delicacies. The reason is a man will find it too hectic to wash and will resort to buying, especially sufurias, instead of washing.

As a bachelor, there’s always that one lady that makes a visit every weekend. She believes that there are no lies in your truths, sometimes she questions but ‘love’ makes her constitutionally ignorant. She’s upbeat every weekend doing chores around (cooking, washing) as you head out to watch football in the hood. In the evening when you head home you find everything clean, and food on the table or at your beck and call. Before long, you are asking her to move in with you in order to counter the effects of your whacky cooking. In between, when she’s gone, the man in you only cooks meals that involve boiling and doesn’t make the sufuria dirty.  

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There will be always another woman who knows a man’s favorite menu, the kibandaski woman. She knows the number of chapatis you’ll eat when in a certain mood, she smells your broke ass many miles away and she knows why you don’t show up on weekends, yet she is not jealous at all.

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How to lose weight without doing anything

How To Lose Weight Without Exercise(courtesy)
How To Lose Weight Without Exercise(courtesy)

It’s not an obsession back in my village, and my hometown at large although this is bound to change due to the proliferation of fast food outlets such as women frying chipped potatoes in copious amounts of fat, by the roadside. But then, by nature, our people exercise a lot by thinking about how the politics of 2022 will turn out, in case William is booted. Of course, they do this in the shopping center not less than five kilometers away from their homes, where they go to catch Swaleh Mdoe (by the way was he fortunate to get a buyer of his kidney?) and then trek back. 10 km to and fro.

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If you are keen enough, that’s one way on how to lose weight, without doing anything. It is politics, my friend. For the purposes of objectivity, I have to consider both sides of political divides. When baba calls for a rally in Uhuru Park, lean people who have demonstrated their ability to withstand tear gas as well as prowess in the science of stone throwing, if need be, troop into town to hear what The Enigma has to say. These people, for your information, walk ‘many’ distances to witness baba strolling in on top of a luxury Japanese SUV, a fuel guzzler that can feed them for a month in one refill, of course, if they depend on KDF for all nutritional needs. That’s how these men and women keep fit, lean, and shall be so for many years to come unless they attract stray bullets.

There are real men, and then there are just men. The ‘just men’ category is people, who by sheer stroke of luck, their liquid excretion organ did not grow inwards, but outwards. The only reason why they are considered men is that, logically, they can’t go to the ladies washrooms for the sole reason that women will scream like they have a seen a bomb that’s about to detonate. Also, as a warning, these men can reproduce, only with one fatal genetic flaw-they do not support any football team. In fact, not anything with a ball in it. As such these men have been condemned to die slow miserable deaths, caused by cholesterol or anything close to it. They would have avoided these fatal lifestyle diseases by supporting at least Arsenal, a team renowned for working people out every ninety minutes, once or more times a week, and during summer transfers which is every single second of it.

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A Kalenjin and his love for ugali

He subjected his money to the indignity of purchasing two plates of rice, each with different accompaniments. Mine was steak, and a soup served in a fancy cup that, I guess increased the price of the meal tenfold. We were in a fancy restaurant along Kimathi Street, and I couldn’t help but wonder how such a measly meal, a meal that did even involve ugali would cost an arm and a leg. The possible explanation would be that it had been severely inflated. The class is overrated.

Before we go any further, the bill did amount to somewhere above two thousand shillings. For two plates of rice. Without even ugali. I am not a miser though. I have spent almost twenty times more in my lifetime of important things such as gambling and alcohol. Perhaps even more. But this one, I found it particularly irksome.

First of all, we were handed menu that seemed to have been crafted from a rare piece of wood from the Congo forest. As if that is not enough, it was also laminated. As far as I am concerned, the menu alone will outlive everyone, although I am still debating whether it will survive a nuclear war partly because I haven’t experienced it. I went through the menu, and I couldn’t find a single thing that I would understand. All of a sudden, it dawned on me that my education was useless. Of course, there were things I would understand, but it was eroded by the fact that I couldn’t spot ugali, which is pretty much the same as not knowing anything.

I was in the company of a lady (not my girlfriend, and for security reasons I do not wish to divulge how we got there) and a man (the one who subjected his money to the mentioned indignity). She seemed to have sensed my agitation. She seemed to read my mind, which screamed like neon lights “I WANT TO GO WHERE I BELONG – KIBANDA- AND EAT UGALI ”

“What do you want? I can help you.” She volunteered. I could sense queer eyes trained on this village boy, clueless about middle class crass disguised as standards.

“Beef,” I said curtly.

The waiter points at a variety of beef products, which assumed different names based on how it was subjected to heat. I understood steak because I had read that morning about it on a book ‘Omnivores Dilemma’ by an author I do not care to remember his name. after all this not an exam, and if you really need to name the name of the author hail Mr. Know-It-All. So I chose steak. The, who by the way was not particularly beautiful, noted down and asked what juice I was gonna have. Because I was so disoriented and or embarrassed, large and small sounded so Greek. I told her to bring any, then she said she would bring largely, and that’s when it dawned on me that she had not been speaking Greek after all.

The juice came. The man and woman started taking selfies, of course, initiated by the woman. I was reduced to a fly on the wall, which was less embarrassing than not knowing what large and small were perfect English words that were opposite of each other. I sipped my juice as I surveyed the vista that middle-class people came to settle scores with their rumbling stomachs, or perhaps escape the tantrums of their horrible bosses for at least an hour every day of the week. There were leather chairs with sockets fixed in between. I could see that the management perfectly understood the need to charge their American associated mobile devices, which were manufactured in China, and by men and women who lived in dorms within the precincts of the factories. Or the fact that children in conflict-ridden DR Congo were being exploited in the mining of a precious mineral used in making of their smartphones.

Judging from the long wait the food took to arrive, I guessed that you make your order first, then they go and source for ingredients somewhere out of town, before they finally subject the ingredients to heat accordingly. I am not a chef, I would gladly explain the procedure. Even then my culinary skills are way too exceptionally whacky. My plate of steak arrived without any pomp. One particularly striking thing was a large green leaf than sat beside something that resembled kachumbari. I suppose middle-class people call it something else. I did try to use the fork and knife. I do not wish to embarrass myself any further with explanations of how I handled the two familiar yet functionally unfamiliar when used together concurrently. I did not touch the leaf. A cow in my village wouldn’t either.

An experience like this makes one resolve never to set foot in a fancy restaurant. I am going to stick to my lane. A meal of rice and beans will cost considerably less, by a far much wider margin. A meal in that fancy restaurant which does not even consist of ugali (very important), will last you a whole month in the Kibandaski. And they don’t even have to fetch ingredients far away before your order is availed. Mathe will just shout ‘WALI MADONDO APO’ and bingo you have your meal as her words are magical incantations.