September 29, 2022


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Fredrick “Budaboss” Omondi (L) and wife Perpetua Omondi (R)

It’s official: if you are tempted, blame your desires. I walked into the 5 star restaurant in one of the South Coast hotels, in the company of my sweet wife. The ocean breeze, the lights and the secluded dinner areas made perfect the promise of a romantic evening.

At a conspicuous corner, was a segment for sea food and top on the menu was stir fried Octopus. I’m not one with a taste for food items that do not have names in your mother tongue, but the presentation of this sea creature was irresistibly tempting. BudaBoss ni nani, Ignore the nice chops and flurry of accompanying spices, infact ignore the fact that the master chef was preparing the meal right in front of you and serving it straight to your plate. Ignore all together the wonderful salesmanship of the coastarian chef who made octopus sound like a better deal than manna from heaven… just focus for one moment on the health benefits that came with the dish. Sawa?

Excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin B12 and selenium, iron, copper, vitamin B6 amongst others, are just but a few of the nutritional benefits of an octopus. Believe you me, none of them would have convinced me to put those fried tentacles into my mandibles. It is this statement from the chef that was a game changer for me, “kwanza hii ni nzuri sana na wanaume, inasaidia ku…. yaani wajua, sio?” [in coastarian accent]

The man did not need to explain what the “inasaidia ku…” really meant. Looking at my wife in a nice colourful short and a black tight sleeveless top carefully yet sharply contrasting her light skin, her hair tucked to one side to pave way for the smile that always warms my heart, I looked at the chef and without hesitation and with a firm voice of conviction, projected my decision with an outstretched plate… JAZA!

You see, the good and perhaps bad thing with these waiters and chefs in big hotels, is that they take instructions literally and seriously. The fellow obeyed, and akajaza. To be honest, I was not sure what I was eating; the octopus or the target behind the meal. The dish was tasteless to me, but like honey in the carcass of a lion in Samson’s riddle, I told myself, “BudaBoss, if you can withstand the smell then you can enjoy the sweetness. I had to withstand the lack of an appealing taste for benefits that would soon follow.

We retired to bed and early I must say, in our sea facing hotel room hearing the sounds of frustrated sea waves contained by coral reefs… Just when I was preparing to set in motion certain historical events, Sema GHAFLA BIN VU… Suddenly it became hot… like very hot. Yaani hotter redder fire kinda hot. Before you allow your imagination to grossly mislead you, let me throw you a leash to guide your wild thoughts. Wueeeeeeh, sema my skin is on fire! Kidogo kidogo, an itch here and a scratch there. The area and intensity growing with every passing second. I asked my wife to take a peek at my body and just see if an uncanny insect was strawling lackadaisically on my body. It is the popping of her eyeballs from their sockets that made me know… KIMEUMANA!!!

In a matter of seconds, my body was a cabinet of serious body sores and swellings with unending itchiness. The more I scratched the more they itched, if I tried to ignore, the more they still itched. The rougher I scratched the more they itched. I scratched and scratched and scratched till some skin peeled off in some areas. Kumbe, these octopus manenos have an allergic reaction that they cause on some people.. I guess the kind of people who are pure in heart like me, right? Yes? No? Anyways, here I was, in the arms of my wife just like I had imagined but only this time scratching myself silly. In such moments, all of a sudden you begin to see the value of friendship in marriage, the ability to just talk to each other without asking, expecting or demanding for anything. You begin to see what companionship looks like when you cannot perform certain duties…. like scratching corners your arms can’t reach.

Think of this true story whatever you may, but be ye sure to remember:
1. If it doesn’t have a name in your mother tongue, don’t eat it (wisdom from a friend)
2. Scratch my back and I scratch yours is a literal statement in marriage
3. Whatever happens in life, enjoy the company of your wife
4. You are only tempted by your own evil desires… so guard your heart

Yours Truly,

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