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CITY GIRL: Why a kitchen is the girl’s kingdom

December 4th, 2015 4 min read

A woman’s place is in the kitchen. Yes, I said it. The door is to your right, if you would like to turn the page. But your walking away or turning this page won’t change reality.

Girls must learn to cook and do it well. Just as young men must learn how to fend for themselves, young women must get off their sizeable posteriors, switch off the TV, put away Instagram and Twitter and go where they belong — the kitchen.

Feminists — those attention hungry vultures — who wait for this columnist to write something “scandalous” so that they can take it out of context in desperate bid for relevance should stop lying to girls.

Words like ‘emancipation’,  ‘female empowerment’ and ‘girl child’ are feminist, NGO hogwash that should never get media attention.

Any woman over 22 years should be able to run a home comfortably. You must be able to prepare at least five different traditional meals.

You must learn the rice-to-water ratio. You should know when ugali is cooked and when vegetables are ready. Don’t serve tasteless and overcooked sukuma wiki.

I am not talking about setting time in the oven waiting for the ‘ding’ as you watch Scandal. The kitchen, girls, is your canvas on which to splash your creativity.

I am talking about the food we grew up watching our mothers cook, not the spaghetti and noodles nonsense. Not those recipes you watch on the Food Channel — those mash-ups of sugar and spice — that you try out to impress boyfriends.


Modern young women think baking those little queen cakes and posting photos on Instagram is cute. You can’t raise a family on cupcakes.

I am not talking about over-salted, extra-oily and over-spiced food that some girls subject their boyfriends to. It is about food that your mother can walk into your house unannounced, enjoy and feel proud of the daughter she raised.

Some of you are 28 but all you can show for your womanhood is a nosering and potbelly after years of drinking.

Your fridge must not only be full of that poison you call soda, ice-cubes to go with whiskey and cheap wine or canned beer. It must have leftovers, good food you can heat and enjoy. Your freezer must have at least some meat you can defrost and whip up a meal in a matter of minutes.

Your kitchen pantry must have onions, garlic and potatoes. It should not just be a space for storing empty beer, wine or whiskey bottles.

Running home, dear girls, does not mean that you should just be able to cook.

After cooking, you should clean up as well. This is not gathering dishes in the sink and waiting for mama nguo to pass by. It should be about scrubbing sufurias with steel wire and soap, cleaning the oven and pressure cooker and of course that kitchen floor.

Clean over the counters and under the fridge, in between mats and the tiled floor. Your kitchen, should be cleaner than the Pope’s conscience.


You need to start bending. You should be able to cook, clean and run your home whether or not you have the money to pay somebody to do it. It doesn’t matter how delicate your nails are, how long your weave is, how smooth your palms are or how soft your knuckles are.

A woman who cannot cook and clean is like a bicycle without pedals; looks good but cannot go anywhere.

I know what horrors some of you (shisha) girls take your mama nguos through when they come to your little apartments or bedsitters:

Dishes harbouring all manner of roaches and ants or a pile of clothes and a bin overflowing with rubbish.

If your house is a mess or your kitchen looks like the aftermath of a category-five hurricane, you are not worth the title of a woman.

I am not asking you to cook for the Instagram photos in desperate attempts to attract men who do not even care about you. It is not about cooking for the Facebook update or for WhatsApp photo to show your suitors.

In fact, you will be surprised that men find nothing special about a girl who cooks and cleans. They have watched their mothers do so.

What the men find surprising is that for some of you, the closest you’ve come to a pot in recent times is a pot of shisha.

Cooking, cleaning and running a home has nothing to do with having and keeping a man. Men will always come and go.


A little secret; they will text your best friend whether you cook for them or not.  They will frustrate you even if you give them a ‘throwdown’.

You should learn to cook and clean for yourself because you are a woman first before you are a girlfriend or clande for that matter.

You cook because you deserve to eat a nice meal prepared by yourself. You deserve better food than KFC and Terriyaki.

You clean not to impress that man but because you are a human being who deserves to live in a good environment. Let us stop debating if 2015 women should cook and clean.

Get that MBA or PhD. Break the glass ceiling at work and be the boss. Work hard and buy that Mercedes. Marry a Saudi prince if you want.

Live in a house with 100 bedrooms. Employ maids with starched uniforms and name tags. Do whatever you like.

At the end of the day, whether a doctor, a lawyer, a columnist, a shisha girl or a feminist, the rules of the jungle will apply. You must learn how to cook and clean.