Circa 2018 to early 2019, I used to date a girl. She was one of them fine weirdo chicks but you would end up ghosting because you could sense how crazy she was after a few encounters with her. Okay, guys, easy – she did not have a such bad personality. She was a good cook.
So one day she asked me what my favorite dish was. I told her biryani kuku, or pilau mutton. Of course chapatis were unrivaled. They held that special place in my heart. Nothing could replace the love of chapatis madhee instilled in me. I remember back then in my younger years, when madhe would say, “reda iro sambi niyarisaghua inimoni.” I knew that was the epitome. That was the climax. That day I would not play far away from the kitchen. Because the kionjo chapoz had a different taste from the ones being served from the hotpot.
It was a special occasion when madhe would ask me to taste her chapoz and rate her cooking. Born 90 kids and the late bloomers would understand this. This was akin to being the DP in the pecking order.
So this lady I was seeing called me one fine Saturday and said, “Bun-bun, leo I have pikaad chapoz. Are you coming?” She cooed over the phone. Oscof I said that I would be going, because you see; chapoz always held a special place in my heart.
When I got to her digz I found that she had only made six chapoz. Yaani, six of the very best. (Si the plural of njavati is njavatis)? Three for her and three for me. 6 njavatis mbele nyuma. There was no consolation on this one.
After we are done with the three each, and I would not be full at some point; then I could not wander into the kitchen and find njavatis looking back at me. The ones that were served on the tables were it. No more aluta continua. Just those.
Kings and queens, ladies and gentlemen. I was perplexed! Ballistic! Flabbergasted! Bamboozled! “Yaani ata sikuelewa.”.
Me: Bun-bun, you made six njavatis?
Her: Yes. Kwani three are not enough for you?
Me: They are, but is that even legal or allowed in the constitution?
Yaani you can just buy unga ya chapo (wheat flour), then you go home and warm water. You proceed to add sugar or salt, in some instances both, then mix it with some flour, knead and stand on some 25-litre jerrican to fetch the rolling stick on the second upper shelf. Then you do the actual rolling only to cook six njavatis. How does one do that with no feelings of remorse nor any repercussions?
It dawned on me that the end of an era of chapo was nearing its death faster than anticipated. No one respects it anymore since it can be found in any kibandaski. And that is how such people get away with such grievous atrocities.
I remember back then when we used to cook chapoz; preparations would start early and late in the light. Why was that? Because preparing njavatis needed discretion, lest the whole neighborhood hamaad to your place for dinner. It is a matter of time before the same fate that befell kamisis befalls on chapoz. That day is fast approaching.
Chapoz are a very emotional issues to some of us. The proper pronunciation is “chaapo”. We eat three because 1&2 give us a headache.
Imagine going to fuliza somewhere else after that. Just because the njavatis were not enough.