10 reasons kibanda is better than five star hotel

Forget the recent case of Panadol-laced githeri scare. Or the madondo boiled in a compound of water and copious amounts of magadi soda to hasten cooking time and make it softer.

Devouring your lunch in one of the numerous food kiosks in the city is way cheaper compared to pricey joints, where menus star fancy names for kawaida food.

And while a kibanda has no ambience to write home about, you might consider discarding your middle class entitlements for a while and check out 10 reasons why eating food in a makeshift mabati kibanda is not bad after all.

1. Hoi polloi prices

With Sh100, you can fill your stomach with a decent meal with smattering of meat in the ugali na sukuma stew.

Throw in an extra Sh50 and uko ndani ya nyama, mtu wangu, especially when the month is about to beat a dangerous corner, meaning you are then going through an out-of- money experience.

2. From farm to fork

Unlike starred hotels where your chicken has been cooling in the freezer since before party nominations, food in a kibanda is what could be termed as ‘fast moving consumer goods’ due to the high turnover of hungry Nairobians ensuring food prepared at 4am is cleared by 3pm.

3. Tongue-smacking good

Food in a kibanda is tasty and once you’re hooked, there is no turning back. ‘Chefs’ there prepare food ni kama ya nyumbani, meaning you will always remember them when hunger pangs strike.

If you see some guy in a suit and tie heading to a kibanda every lunch hour, chances are high that it serves the most delicious matumbo fry.

4. Food at the speed of light

Attendants at a kibanda serve you karanga chapati even before you finish washing your hands.

There is no need of staring at the menu for eternity as the priciest meal is Sh180. But at starred hotels, some foods are a la carte and you have to wait for 10 hours, by which time you have lost weight!  

5. Ugali saucer

It is only in a kibanda where you can order ugali saucer (small extra ‘free’ slice) to clear your stew for proper energy of stealing company time through afternoon napping.

Unlike five-star hotels, you can also order extra stew bakuli and chai choma! 

6. Meeting service providers

When you are new to an estate and have no idea how to get a plumber, a carpenter or a mama nguo, worry not. Just go for lunch at a kibanda and you will be spoilt for choice as such service providers take their lunch at a kibanda and you can easily spot them as they always carry their tools of trade.

The kibanda owner can also recommend the honest gardener and point out the quacks. A busy kibanda is also a fertile ground for leads to earth-shaking stories or investigations for detectives, police informers and journalists.

7. Insider gossip

As you savour athola ugali, you will be treated to raw political analyses, unfettered gossips and the happenings at the homes of the high and mighty - their drivers and cleaners eat in a kibanda and some love to brag about their ‘insider’ knowledge.

8.  Biashara 101

If the entrepreneurship bug bites you and you have no idea where to start, have your supper at a kibanda, you will get first-hand information on various ventures from real hustlers who have done it.

9.  Mkopo wa salo

A business minded kibanda owner has no heartburn extending credit to regular customers, meaning you can eat on credit until the end of mwezi kupiga corner!

10. Chomoka na wife

A kibanda is an ideal place for bachelors to go hunting for their future spouses since a woman without qualms eating in a mabati joint has no pedho and is a befitting wife material.  The first date will even be friendly to your pocket as you can take her to the best kibanda.

But propose to her in a starred restaurant. It can also make for a juicy intro when asked, “How did you meet your wife?”