“Do men eat soil?” I asked them. “Ni ya wanawake!” they retorted. We had just driven past a hill of rich red soil touched by silent drizzle. It released such freshness only describable as delicious! It is said that many women when pregnant crave for the soil or ‘Odowa’ as it is locally referred to. One is left to wonder whether this habit peculiar to Kenyans only is as a result of environmental conditioning.
But it is not every day that my calcium deficiencies respond to these piles of dirt. For most days, they are a grim reminder that vehicles have been redirected elsewhere to facilitate construction. One must therefore sit patiently in traffic to arrive home a little less upset.
Yet such is the sacrifice we must make if Nairobi is to retain its name, a place of cool waters. The greater truth is that there is more to development than roads. The kind that can only be built and sustained by those who inhabit its soils. Yes! The soil in which men place effort and eat from. The soil in which they bear children and bring them up. The soil in which they lead and leave behind a legacy.
The question is who will be part of the creation that will bless this land this nation so that plenty may always be found within our borders? ( I wrote this piece a couple of months ago. Great to see the structures of steel and concrete take shape. Truly where there is will, there is a way!)