Kibwezi Indian Emporium
By Kersi Rustomji
A nother Kenya, East Africa, memory painting to frame if you like.
It is of a duka at Kibwezi, run by Krishna a Hindu Panjabi. If on my hitch hike, I arrived late, after 7:00 pm or so, I slept on the veranda of the closed shop, where in the day time he displayed some of his goods. 'Tu jungle mei hi marega, Kersi.'
'You will die in the jungle, Kersi.' He would say to me.
Note all the goods arendisplayed , which are clothes, shuka, wrap arounds, a red fez hat, OTC bus service and KCC butter signs. Next to KCC sign is a bag of k unde, dried beans. Two boxes of green vegetables he grew in the back of his house, for the European police Inspector, and the Indian staff of the Dwa Sisal Plantations, owned by the Sheikh family, a few miles to the right of the black cotton soil road, which can be seen.
On the left is a hand operated Shell petrol pump, many will recall it at such dukas . A box of unga (flour) and fagio (brooms) are next to the pump.
On the right of the steps is a bag of potatoes and box of Simba Chai packets.
Mukamba tribes are found in this area also. A Mukamba man and his wife wait for Krishna to open the door from inside. Note the big lock on the door, to close the shop, when he is away. On the right at the back is the new cement block extension to the living area.
Kibwezi and surrounds has a lot of baobab trees, Mbuyu in Swahili, so I gave it the name Mbuyu Store, and placed it between two baobab trees. Note the typical yellow grass of the region, and an ant hill on the right of the man.
The road is of black cotton soil of the region. C ars and trucks get bogged in this soil during the rainy season; some of you may remember this on your Nairobi to Mombasa motor trip.
Enjoy it and the memories it brings.