Do You Have Cravings for Truly Zambian Food?

For a traditional Zambian who lives so far away from home, life overseas is not all enjoyment of cheap blue jeans, night clubs, and easy life. There was a Zambian whose name will not be disclosed as authorities and perhaps the Interpol from the overseas country might still pursue him over international waters and land. He was a single young man living in one of a group of modest apartments on the fifth floor. After he had been in the overseas country for one year, he had dined on enough chips, hamburgers, an assortment of sea foods, chicken cooked in a hundred ways, sea fish, noodles and spaghetti. He terribly craved finkubala, (dry roasted caterpillars), chiwawa (pumpkin leaves) kapenta, delele, and fyakusashila (green leaves cooked with peanut powder). But most of all, he craved for a nice, little, salted, and Zambian well charcoal-roasted bird like a pigeon.

He had an idea. City tame pigeons usually played and perched outside on the ledge of the kitchen window of his apartment. One morning, with a hawk’s eye, he made sure no one was looking. He quickly slammed shut the open kitchen window. Four of the eleven pigeons were flapping in his kitchen. He wildly swatted at them with a towel and dove at one of the most dazed ones. In the confusion he apprehended only one and three escaped through the window which had swung open because of his strong breathing. He had a very delicious lunch of nshima with the well grill-roasted bird.

The delicious bird was hardly digested when there was a knock on the door. He opened the door and almost dropped dead. It was the long arm of the law – a police officer.  He politely told the Zambian gentleman that a neighbor with binoculars reported a suspicious activity in which eleven pigeons were seen in the vicinity of his swinging kitchen window and only ten were eventually seen to fly away. If deported, this could have turned into an embarrassing international diplomatic incident. After somewhat regaining his composure, the Zambian put up a courageous argument about counting of flying birds being difficult from a distance even if one had a degree in mathematics.

The police officer politely warned him that it was against city ordinance to cage, capture, restrain, sell, or dispose in any way of city public property without the express permission from the mayor. For the rest of his overseas stay, the Zambian suppressed his cravings and yearning for Zambian home food until he had landed at Lusaka International Airport in Zambia’s Capital City.