Vibanda (plural of Kibanda which means “shack” in Kiswahili) eating, is the cornerstone of Kenyan affordable lunches and in urban areas it goes without saying that the high majority of the population, whether rich or poor, banker, street sweeper or teacher, will stop by one of them for lunch at least once a week.
In 2016, the formidable force that is Kenyans on Twitter (#KOT) got together and started hashing out what the essential rules of Kibanda eating re under the hashtag #Kibandaskycommandents.
The following is a summary of the rules as they were presented on Twitter:
- Don’t ask for a menu.
- Always wash your hands before and after eating.
- Never ask where the washrooms are.
- Don’t look too closely at where the food is being cooked.
- Never ask where your beef/chicken/fish is from.
- Don’t stop and think about the brown water which was used to wash and rinse your plate.
- Don’t order fries. This is not a chips funga (chips to go) joint.
- Don’t ask for a glass, water is drunk in plastic cups.
- There will be serviettes.
- Ugali is meant to be eaten with your hands. Don’t even try taking a fork to it.
- Generously help yourself to the communal bowl of kachumbari and don’t be surprised when your stomach rumbles later on.
- Always ask for a sosa. (Sosa comes from the word “saucer” and means a small extra helping at the end of the meal to help fill you up fully).
- Do not under any circumstances try to pay with a 1000 Kshs note.