Butchery owner relishes Uhuru’s nyama choma stopover
It was another normal day at work for Mr Paul Maina and his wife Grace Mwangi on Saturday until President Uhuru Kenyatta walked into their joint at Kikopey, along the busy Nakuru-Nairobi highway to have some ‘nyama choma’.
Mr Maina had reported to work at 8 am armed with a selfie stick, anticipating a chance for a selfie moment with the president. Little did he know he would have him as a guest and even have a complete photo session; not just a selfie.
The couple operates Kahatia butchery-a nyama choma joint at the famous Kikopey Nyama Choma stop over.
This is where travelers along the busy highway stop over to enjoy a meal of the mouthwatering roast meat.
Among those that picked Kahatia butchery for their ‘nyam chom’ on Saturday was President Kenyatta who was on a voter registration campaign tour in Nakuru County.
The president had begun his day’s journey at Salgaa before proceeding to Mukinyai, Kibunja, Total, Mau Summit, Molo, Turi, Elburgon, Njoro and Nakuru Town where he addressed roadside rallies.
At Kikopey, he had addressed a crowd that had milled around him, urging them to take their voter’s cards and to vote him in one last time, before announcing that he was stopping over for a nyama choma bite as well.
“Haiya, acha niingie ndani nile nyama choma,” the president had said before alighting from his vehicle, proceeding to the Kahatia butchery.
For the 15 years he has operated the business, Mr Maina has received and served many high profile guests, including Deputy President William Ruto who stopped over while on a campaign in the 2013 general elections.
He has also served a countless number of Members of Parliament, he told Nation.
He, however, had never imagined that the president would ever be one of his guests, even though it was one of his silent prayers. “I had told myself I must serve him some day,” he said.
And even when it happened finally, it seemed like a dream. “It is just unbelievable,” he said.
“I feel like I have been born again, or waking up and finding millions at the gate,” he said, adding that it was even difficult to describe exactly how he felt.
The president and his company was ushered into a small dining area at the butchery located along the highway where they ordered choma mbuzi and ugali.
The president also had a bottle of water while his company has a soda. They paid for their meal which lasted about 25 minutes.
According to Mr Maina, a team from the presidential escort had made an advance inspection visit to the joint immediately his entourage had arrived at Kikopey before informing them that he would be coming in for a meal.
“We thought it was a joke and just hanged around. But we could not believe it when he said he was stopping over for nyama choma,” said Mr Maina.
“I even greeted the president,” his elated wife added.
The president also had some photos taken with staff at the joint.
Immediately he left, a crowd thronged the joint and jostled to sit in turns on the blue plastic seat that the president had sat on.
The president then proceeded to Gilgil and Naivasha where he addressed more roadside crowds.