When growing up, every other day was githeri day in our home and in many homes across Kenya.
I believe that the number one reason for my mum was because maize and beans were readily available, it was easy to freeze and store in bulk and quick to cook, especially when you got unexpected visitors which was quite often.
“The Yummiest Githeri” book not only took me down memory lane to my primary school days but it touches on an issue that many children experience because of what they take to school for break.
In my early primary school days, l remember envying the kids who carried money for hot lunch. They were the cool kids whilst the rest of us who had a food flask with home food from the previous evenings left overs were ‘shao’ (shady) 😓😭.
In this book, Wanja takes githeri to school for lunch every day. Her friends make fun of her because they bring money for lunch and buy ‘cool food’ from the school canteen.
Wanja is made to feel uncool about her culture.
Many kids feel embarrassed about their roots. I for instance did not want my parents speaking to me in Kikuyu (my mother tongue) infront of my friends. I did not want to be called by my Kikuyu name and wanted people to call me by my first name which is an English name.
It took going to school overseas to embrace my roots and take pride in where I come from.
Infact, my Kikuyu speaking improved when I lived out of the country and I wanted to identify with being Kenyan.
I love how the author, Kwame Nyong’o helps children take pride and appreciate our cultural food, see it’s nutritional value and benefits whilst tackling a common issue in society.
This story not only helps build confidence and self esteem, but the lessons go beyond the issue of food. It’s a story about celebrating who you are and where you come from; something which now more than ever we need to help our children embrace.
I hope that reading this book creates opportunities to talk about many issues like bullying, diversity and building self esteem and confidence.
Ps: A super cool thing is that at the end of the book, Kwame includes a menu on how to make the yummiest githeri ever, giving children an opportunity to take pride in their githeri culinary skills. 😊 🙌🏾
Other books in this series are “A tasty Maandazi”, “I love Ugali and Sukuma Wiki”.
They are ideal for ages 5-9.
For more information visit www.kwamenyongo.com
Enjoy making some yummy githeri. 😊