The Baker

In the early Monday morning
When it’s so cold that breath forms
The local area pastor begins his other seven to seven job
Off with his bible and holy water
In their stead, he grabs his karayi and cooking oil
Transitioning fully into a mighty fine baker
Ruling like no other in his craft
He freshens up his humbling mabati kibanda
Exceptionally neat and orderly
in the way he lights the firewood in his three stones fireplace
The fire also serves to keep him warm against the biting morning cold
His young impressionable son is also there as his helper, the spitting image of his father. Obediently following instructions to the latter, he goes on to methodically knead and segment the dough
On a wobbly makeshift table
As the oil simmers to a flaming hot
The first batch of four is thrown in the blazing karayi
And the neighborhood is awakened on drooling palates
To the tantalizing and scrumptious aroma of the rising and glistening mandazis
unpretentious mandazis
These delectable pieces of heaven
Literally touched and carved by the hand of God
Possibly lacking in some presumptuous sophistication
That’s synonymous to Nairobi’s eateries, where there aren’t just mandazis
But pastries – donuts, bagels and the like
Yet this simple baker keeps at his simple mandazis,
Filling and brown mandazis
That have a variety of people lining up to have their fill
Women and their school going children
Young people headed to their workplaces
Construction workers ready to seize the day
Even the workers coming in from their late night shifts
Not forgetting the stay at home personnel that rouse from slumber before the hot and fresh mandazis run out
We all convene at the baker’s and socialize
Come rain or shine

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