CANDID TALK: Entire Uswazi wants a share of our ‘kienyeji’ chicken

Sunday October 6 2019


By Peter Muthamia

Recently, my wallet, like Paul of Damascus, had seen some serious transformation meaning that real cash in it. Instead of feeding the tribe living in my shack on reject meats like chicken heads, chicken intestines, hooves sold by Uswaz roadside vendors, I felt obliged to treat them to kienyeji chicken.

A real kienyeji chicken is a free range chicken grown in the plains of Singida on foot-long snakes, cockroaches, grasshoppers and children’s faeces diets. These breeds of chicken taste heavenly unlike the “Mzungu” chicken (read broiler) that tastes more like cardboards than meat. On that day, I saw to it that I personally went to Temeke Stereo where I selected a huge cock from a shed at an excruciatingly high price (the prices of fish and chicken have recently shot through the roof reducing Uswahilinites into feeding on offal).

In order not cause Bisho Ntongo or I to partake in the sin of “murdering” the poor cock, I had to hire a “murderer” for some whopping Sh 200 at Stereo. Brandishing a ready-to-cook cock, I arrived home beaming triumphantly like a rat that has just ate some cooking fat.

On arrival, the mood in the whole household was clearly frenzied with the excitement - Jenny telling me how great a father I was and Bisho Ntongo forgetting previous night’s World War III. It was all hallelujah in the kitchen as Bisho Ntongo went about preparing the chicken.

Uswaz, houses are crammed together such that your neighbours can easily guess what you could be thinking about in the secret of your room. The sweet scent of frying chicken that stubbornly wafted sent entire Uswaz dwellers, Asha, Flora Jane and their kids to my house, all pretending to watch those stupid soaps on my junk of a TV.

For once, I felt like murdering somebody – I wished that those chicken “murderers” in Temeke Stereo were available for hire to rid me of this invading tribe. My stomach kept rumbling like a regiment of Makonde drummers, as my imagination was tortured, contemplating how sweet chicken’s “thighs” are (thighs and gizzard are reserved for the man of the house).


They hanged on. We waited in vain and pent-up impatience for them to leave but they just won’t. My Jenny who is used to sleeping early for once stayed awake.

I thought of all ways to them kick them out failed. At almost midnight, the group left, thanking us profusely for allowing them to watch our TV, but the look on their faces told it all – they knew they were unwelcome!

In the meantime, I have passed a resolution that whenever yummy delicacies are the menu, I will dutifully be placing on the door a placard with inscriptions “Mgeni asiingie hapa (no visitors please) or “Tumehama” (meaning that we have moved out).