When dark falls in Mathare, many things happen; both good and bad. But here it is time for all to think and towards the same direction. What do I eat tonight and where do I get it from? The choice is quite wide. Affordability is not the issue as food is packed according to how much you can afford. Generally all meat is expensive right from chicken to fish and price ranges from Kshs. 3/- to Kshs. 150/-. The most popular place of selling food is grocery. Here in Mathare they are known as mama bonga. Kales is the most popular of all the vegetables as it packed in small bundles and also it is readily available including being affordable. In the mama bonga kiosks, youwill find fruits such as bananas, avocados, orange, vegetable like kales, cabbages, carrots, onions, tomatoes and spinach. Some women sell bolied sweet potatoes, yams, cassava and githeri (mixture of beans and maize). There are also people selling chapatis and mandazis besides the road. We also have women boiling parts of chicken such as necks, intestines, eggs and wings. The price ranges from one shilling for the feet to 10 shillings for chicken heads. While some people prefer to eat in small hotels or kiosks majority prefer preparing their own food at home. This is why when dark falls, everybody head to the market.
Here the market is dominated by women. This is when you realize the strength of a woman in play. Most women have credit books where you can be allowed to buy and pay later when you have money. People operate on trust and how regular you buy from them. Tomorrow, watch out for diary of a working woman and the politics of one dollar a day.- Simon