August 2015 was a phenomenal date for Ship enthusiasts, a little known attraction at Mama Ngina Drive. MV Clemens Schulte was scheduled to dock at the Kilindini channel at the port of Mombasa. Residents, tourists and crew lined up in their thousands to feast at the masterpiece of maritime engineering.
Strangely, this is not peculiar to the month or year. Inasmuch as it is a first time for many to see the majestic tides and the crags of Likoni, a whole lot more frequent the Drive to entertain their fanaticism of sea vessels.
However, I have a moral duty to interrogate five controversial diets popular to ship-viewers frequent at this site. Without their knowledge, they undermine the quality of the seawater and jeopardize diverse marine life. I should also bother with the health of ship-viewers and so I shall. At length, I offer a locally available, but out-rightly affordable and enjoyable alternative.
- Chewing Khat
Miraa is the modern plague for all scenic places. The international journal of pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences made a disturbing review of Khat’s health effects. Viewers are predisposed to psychiatric and dental disorders, duodenal ulcers and oral cancers and worst, libido losses. Even more confounding, khat is often taken with high-sugar beverages and gum (both whose packaging is littered recklessly) and cigarette smoking (a lead cause of lung cancer and air pollution). The chewing and obviously repulsive spitting is a bit of a stretch for an activity that demands civility.
- Hawked foods
At least 100,000 people cross the Likoni ferry everyday. At the time of their crossing, either very early or late is tempting to catch a quick meal. There are food vendors in plenty to meet this demand; the good ones have make-shift stalls called vibanda while the not-so-good ones simply hawk around. Ask me and I know that food from the Kibanda is fresh and hot. Not so with the hawker. Dare me and you shall cringe with diarrhea. Sadly, there are no public toilets on Mama Ngina Drive. Where-else you’ll download your stuff amounts to open defecation and it ain’t cool.
There aren’t pubs, yet some visitors, particularly those in private cars always seem half-drunk or halfway drunk. This is risky, considering that the channel goes upto 55m deep. Mobilizing the coast guard to seek and rescue such a fellow is heroic, but we could avoid this particularly the part of nasty drunkard talk.
Every certified health professional will encourage you to take a fill of clean-fresh fruits. they supply us with materials that fight ailments, strengthen our frame and keep us in good moods. I wish we would stop the vandalism of trash-bins. If there was a button I would hit it, hard. So I beg you, when ship-viewing turns rowdy, simply pack your fruits very neatly and go have them at home. This helps keep the vermin at bay.
The first time I saw the tug boats, I thought what super-powers. Then it hit me that in life its about the small things and how they master the big. When the lawns are green and neatly mowed, and the majestic Baobab has estranged his foliage, a spell of romance inevitably sets and dangles its dainty scent. The concrete seats also make with ease to hold and awe at the bird calls, the crushing waves and the steady cruise of tightly-packed TEUs are impulsive just as a bar of chocolate. Yet the wrappings fly by and may a turtle at sea congest or add sore to folklore which upon the beauty of gay, was love beckoned to stay.
Kachiri is the local slang for cassava crisps, the civil call it Mhogo. A group of young men at the vibanda facing the sea have sought and discovered the perfect tools to clean, carefully grate and deep-fry the biggest and tastiest cassava. They toss in seasoning for a hotter and reddish-orange finish, some salt and they pack a kilo in a transparent polythene bag. With these, farmers right behind the hills of Arabuko Sokoke forest, are transforming aridity and adept hands into a functional livelihood. And by-the-way, the take back the bags.
Mhogo is a rich source of fiber, calories, potassium, iron, magnesium, and calcium, and vitamins A,B-6/12,C and D. Organizations such as CAST have devised a way to grind it to flour for an amazing posho. Its also the best weight-loss dish with snacking options. Its the one gift you could share with the one you love without the impulses of violence, littering or a running tummy. How else to maintain livelihoods and still enjoy the serenity of this wonderful getaway for the glory of ship-liners.