I stumbled upon a dish online that looked like fish. The meal making rounds, purported to be fish was offensive. Our ancestors must have rolled in their graves. The plate can make a good crime scene. Though the fish had lived a valiant life, fighting off Nile perch, escaping many fishermen’s nets, brazing the threats in the waters it lived in and survived to adulthood. What an achievement. But on this plate, it’s like surviving Al-Shabaab infested Somalia only to die from a motorcycle accident. The sheer weight of the humiliation that it was going through was simply unbelievable. The poor fish didn’t deserve that kind of humiliation.
According to its world, it had reached the peak of its life. The fish must have bragged to its school how it was ready to meet the stomach of its devourer. “I’m ready for them to fry me in the hot oil we call oil hell here,” it must have bragged. The fish might have done a jig, a few press ups and even vowed that if he meets Nimo, he would propose to her then dive with her into the plate of glory as they walk into heaven holding hands.
Have you ever imagined the highest calling that fish have? Do they hope that one day they will eventually marry, live happily ever after and hold their fins in old age as they read to their children hello children?
But to offend a LUO is very easy. Just take a tilapia, boil it hurriedly without giving it a respectable send-off. In addition, mix it up with beans, and add a bit of potato or matoke and we have a potential epicenter of war. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were mere warm-ups. World War 2 has nothing on this scene. The moment you humiliate a fish like that, it is personal to a LUO. You can tear gas us all you want but the moment you disrespect tilapia and cook it like matumbo, it is personal. You can pee on Tom Mboya’s statue, heck yes you can even go ahead and spit on Jaramogi’s grave and we will be offended but we will forgive you. Even if you offend baba and make fun of his vitendawili and tears, it’s treasonable but we will still find the reservoirs of forgiveness in our hearts and let you be.
What we can’t forgive is when you disrespect a symbol of our unity. We can’t take it when you boil fish and put it together on the same plate with beans and matoke or potatoes.
I will fold my sleeves. I will carry a few rocks in my pocket. I will call you out and we will fight. Yes, we will fight. From sunrise to sunset. I don’t care how long it will take. Let the police arrest me. I’m ready and willing to wear those ugly white stripped attires fighting for the independence of tilapia.
Because it is unacceptable to humiliate a fish like that. A proper send off for fish must begin with a huge lump of ugali. Preferably a brown ugali cooked with wood fire. A small vegetable accompaniment is not bad at all. And then you must not eat a fish with a spoon. Who even does that? You must squeeze the ugali in your palms with honor. You need to make it firm so that when you dig into it to create a gully the Luos call othonje, you are good to go. You must then pour libation to the ancestors for protecting the honorable fish from extinction. Global warming is real.
We must declare a national mourning day. Flags must fly at half mast. We demand a statement from state house condemning in the strongest terms possible the humiliation of the mighty fish. The poor creature lived a valiant life but died in a very humiliating manner. The kind of death that even a slave shouldn’t have. Why? You can take away the presidency. You can even marry our women but when you start to mess with the sacred fish, it’s war. It’s an act of declaration of war.
When you look at that meal, you can see the frustration of the cook. It’s dumped all in the food. The cook vowed not to honor the legendary fish. The wrath of their frustration was duly poured in the poor fish. Their indifference to culinary discipline was abandoned in the poor fish. In that plate, I see a cook who is capable of anything. I see what a cold human heart is capable of… I see the extent of human cruelty. In that plate, I saw a life that was cut short. A career disrupted. I see a will that was strong but ruthlessly crushed by a culinary disaster.
But surely, the defenders of the Galaxy, why didn’t you strike the person who did that with some rare types of leprosy? The instant justice way like in the old testament? Like, release some random bears to maul the cook? Was it so hard to stop them from carrying out their evil plan? They even had time to take a photo of the poor humiliated fish? I fail to understand. Why do good fish suffer in the hands of bad people? Now we must tero Buru and repent in dust and ashes. Are we paying for the sins of protesting against IEBC? This is bad omen people. The time to wear sackcloth, shave our beards, repent in dust and ashes is now. Witchdoctors from Siaya and Alego must immediately be summoned to reverse the curse upon the community. And we must immediately summon the night runners of Kendu Bay to terrorize whoever committed the atrocity.