Omena-The only ‘sea’ food without class


Photo: Courtesy.

Omena ranks number 997 in the Nationale` Geographic’s World Worst Food list. Only cabbage-at number 998, Mukimo-at 999 and you guessed it, matumbo-at number 1,000 fair worse.

As a rule, I never date a lady who eats matumbo or omena. Such an appalling lack of class or taste is not tolerated in my book. The Luos, pride themselves with class, but no one has ever explained why they eat Omena.

Now before stones are hurled my direction, let me clarify a few things:

a) Four of the Charter Members of The Society to Restore Things Back To The Way They Were where I belong are Luos and have endorsed this article. In fact, offering very helpful insights on Omena.

b) This article is no way inspired by the four women from Luo Land who have rejected my advances. You bet that has made me a bit crusty about the staple diet of Raila’s voters.

c) Politically, I swing more to the Left and that means we are ideologically congruent and this is purely a matter of my personal taste and opinion.

d) Fish is my favourite protein, if you will.

Having said that, let us get straight to the point: As a food, Omena is a huge insult to culinary sensibilities of humanity. It is tastes coarse, more like grated steel wool, peppered with elements from Group 2, salt and a dash of some fish smell. Or Saw dust dipped in a soup of fish from yesterday. I hate Omena and regret my childhood, for all those moments that my kin made me eat Omena against my will. If I could sue my folks, retrospectively, trust you me I will.
The first reason being, after you eat omena, you need three different brands of toothpaste, four different brands of mouthwash, salted water, a detergent, Dettol, and five litres of hot water and ten litres of cold water in order to bring some semblance hygiene in your mouth. But still, the atmosphere of your mouth will remain polluted. You can’t kiss after eating Omena, can you? If you eat omena and you don’t brush, your mouthy emissions in the morning will be a Chernobyl of sorts with debilitating nuclear emissions in your house.

If a woman, especially a Bantu asked you if you eat omena, you have to think twice, lest you spoil your chances. Omena is such a disagreeable dish. So bad that I recently saw some estate in South C downrightly bans cooking of Omena in its flats. And in some estates, just like holding a party and you need permission to play loud music, when you cook Omena, you must seek permission from the plot’s caretaker.

I will point out that among the Luhyia, the Abagusii, Luo, Kuria and Suba, Omena always saves the day in those dry months when two leaves of Sukuma cost an arm and a leg in your nearby open market. But still.

I recently walked into Tuskys and I saw packaged Omena on the shelves. I thought with terrorism, Sonko, socialites and Duale, we have enough problems, but look what we have done. I also saw packaged githeri and I felt like University of Nairobi’s Upper Kabete campus should be closed indefinitely. Only graduates of Food and Nutrition department can come up with intemperate ideas as canning githeri, wrapping omena, extracting sugar cane juice and blending avocadoes. Stop this. Get a job.

Many ODM and CORDed folks have argued that it is ECK and IEBC that are responsible for Raila’s unending electoral woes. But I will let you in a little secret. Has anyone thought that it could be a curse from the Omena species? I mean, millions of Omena are killed daily in a genocidal orgy, so that thousands of homes across western Kenya can accompany their ugali with Omena, why can’t they go for big fish. That is not right, Odongo.

Here is how Raila loses an election. At the University of Nairobi, a Kevin Omondi meets a Keving Mwangi. Omondi has never ventured out of Kapisul Kabondo. Mwagi has never ventured out of Mukurweini. So they all come with their prejudices, driven the more by the constant pissing match between Kiuks and Luos that other Kenyans have grown accustomed to.

They will be given the same room, on second floor, let us say Room 287. A few weeks after settling down, Mwangi likes eating at the Cafeteria or a quick fix of boiled githeri and potatoes that come ready from the nearby market (Club 36). He just has to boil them some more and he will be out of the room in a record 23 minutes. Mwangi is pressed for time because he is doing his CPAs, and probably runs a small movie business in Kahawa Sukari estate. So every minute counts.

Omondi on the other hand, has all the time. He takes his time cooking his meals. Every Thursday, Friday, Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Tuesdays by the way, he likes his Omena. And he carried two tons of it from home, you know, life is not that easy as those posts on Facebook by Luos hypothesize. So he prepares omena in those days; fried, stewed, smoked, roasted and the billion ways that his mother taught him to cook ‘teargas’.

This permanently ruins the atmosphere of the room, and Mwangi has to deal with it, because he cannot handle Omondi’s burly and ballsy approach to life. Equally, Omondi hangs out with Otieno, who has a body built of cement and muscles that make ladies squirm in trepidation at the erotic power the body exudes. So he decides to mind his own business, staying as far away from the room as possible. But the seeds of hatred will have been planted, watered and cemented completely. To him, Omondi and his kin are intolerant, and utterly inconsiderate.

My best memories from the University were those night the whole hostel would be perfumed by Omena and you will meet Kiuks sobbing in the corridors. Now the funny bit was that, the Luo chaps in their rudeness and braggadocio never gave a damn about what us Bantus think of their smelly food. They just live their lives. But this costs Raila badly in politics. We construe it as the true nature of the Luos. May be if Raila won, Omena will become a staple diet. And Nairobi will be insufferably smell. Thus, we employ every means, some less creative to ensure Raila never becomes the president. It is that guys. Anyway…

Later, when Mwangi moves out of college, he will be driving with his banker girlfriend from Lang’ata on a Sunday evening when Gor has lost, or won a match against AFC. Or heck, has drawn. Some rowdy, Gor fan, will stop his car, sit on the bonnet, turn around and simulate a sexual act. And that is it. Mwangi will never listen to Raila. Never ever. And that is how Raila is permanently cursed from winning an election.

It started with Omena, then it went personal before it became political. Because, there is nothing the Bantu tribes value more as respect. Any trace of contempt, any slight, is taken at a very personal level and no intermarriages or sex with virgins from the clanswomen of the offender tribe will ever correct that. And damn, we keep grudges. If grudges traded at the Nairobi stock exchange, Bantus will be the wealthiest tribes in the World.

I hope one day, when people go fishing, they will stop the sissy behavior of fishing the small fish and go for the big cojones. This going for the small fish, is even reflected at the national level. What with our penchant of going for the small fish when fighting corruption as the big men grab land meant for cemeteries. As in kids can’t play at school and neither can you rest when you call time on earth.

So, I tell my Luo friends, all of them and my in laws, get the big fish bwana. Leave Omena to grow to pursue their dreams…

21 thoughts on “Omena-The only ‘sea’ food without class

  1. Utterly hilarious, I really feel for Mwangi and his kin. You want to complain but the weider will not let you.

  2. Silas, rest assure it is being served on some swanky restaurant in New York as an exotic delicacy.

  3. Hahahahaha….say it again papa!! U killed it man….(though I like Omena too!)….hope no one has heard me…!!??

  4. You can be assured that it is being served at a swanky restaurant in New York as a tribal delicacy among the Luo people of Kenya.

  5. Very nice,,,,,,I hate that smell, and the funny looking creatures in the plate,,,and the cruncky feel when chewing them,, and their taste,,,,their everything.

  6. It is crystal clear whatever you have against the Luos isn’t motivated by ‘smell’ of omena (you pretty much gave us the hints). That would have gone without saying but what can’t is the fact that the merit of a dish can only be judged against its nutrition value. If only you had thought of that, you wouldn’t have wasted your energy on punching that borrowed keyboard writing on a topic that doesn’t air out core issue. Next time endeavour to stick on the topic, leave story-telling to your local pastors who are void of content in their sermons

  7. nice read…next time talk of the bitter kisii vegetables mum keeps on cooking..reminds me of my days in campus..had to bribe to get another room to escape from a roomie who cooked omenas throughout the while semester.

  8. Or Saw dust dipped in a soup of fish from yesterday. LOL nice piece but seriously omena is such a pathetic excuse food.

  9. do you always have to talk about Raila. anyway for my 5 yrs in campus, I always had a Kikuyu as a roommate and they loved omena. so if you hate omena that’s just you. not everyone

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