Eid Mubarak readers!
Welcoming you all to the third interview session, the July Episode! Today, our guests will be 4 ladies that I really love and they are actually my best sisters in school. These ladies have been my rock, constant support and the time that I spend with them is the most precious time that I spend in Campus. Without further ado, let me introduce to you our 4 sexy LAZIES (lol).
Nuru (I call her Nu); she is the lady that won’t let you fall!
Tauhida (I normally refer to her as Bi. Tau), she will make you laugh when your moods are off.
Talha (Tuluha suits her), she is the living proof of Chashmish girls being the prettiest. P.s* Girl on Specs
Narman (Narey is her pet name), she is a selfie queen and the most advanced version of Fauzia’s Kitchen! and just to add spice to tea, It happens to be Narey’s birthday as well. Happy birthday, KokoNut! LOve you!!!
It is my hope that June had been incredible to you and as usual, I am here to shade a smile to that pretty face of yours. Let the world see your dimples, beautiful woman! And hey, Mr. that handsome face of yours, keep it joyous!
So today, we are going to tackle four issues in one.
- Coast and Culture
- Eid celebrations
- Food and good places to dine
- Weddings (specifically Chundwa and Swahili weddings)
So, let’s jump-start!
SK: Nu, can you please tell my fans about Coast? I have a bunch of friends who have no idea how Mombasa or Malindi look like! Can you inform them about our beautiful lands?
Nuru: Coast, famously known as Pwani feels like a different globe from the normal Savannahs. Blessed with Equatorial climate and with gentle breezes blowing right from the onshore of the Indian Ocean, this is a place that you cannot miss to like. It is less warm at night but the daytime is another story! It can be as hot as a furnace (haha).Going back to Geography; Coast is mainly dominated by Coral reefs (sea-areas) Apart from the Sandy beaches and coconut palms, the Coast also features creeks and mud flats near Watamu where mangroves have covered large areas. Coast is a tourist attraction province with beautiful sceneries, quiet and 5-star resorts in Watamu and yes, you should try some wonderful excursion here to check out our wildlife and our endless amazement.
SK: I like…Impressive…so when they say “Mombasa Raha”, they really mean it! What about the culture itself?
Nuru: Swahilis, they are the most people occupying the Coastal regions. The Swahilis are a mix of Bantus and Arabs and one common aspect of culture is that most women put on their buibuis when going out and highly noticeable is on Fridays, the men wear kanzus when going to the Mosque. The coastal region is mostly occupied by Muslims and another fantastic fact about Coast is “you can never die hungry” Come to think of it, Wazungu go crazy for our foods! In school, sometimes I miss some of the foods that I cannot quite cook here because of their technicality and I wish I could carry my province everywhere I go. Can you relate to this, Salma?
SK: Yes, absolutely! Tuluha, hmm, I see you have heena on your hands already! Eid vibes, right?
SK: What do you have to say about your way of celebrating eid?
Talha: Eid for me is having a blast with my family in Zanzibar! The morning starts with preparation of the children (eid is an exciting day for kids; it’s like another birthday for them mostly because of the money that they get from relatives, haha). The men go to the mosque and when they come back, they are welcomed by delicacies that are neatly arranged by teenagers on the table, our menu for the breakfast is usually chapati and chicken curry. People take family pictures and have some incredible moments with our grandmother, the men then take the kids out to visit relatives and this is when kids get super rich and clever (huwezi waibia bana).
SK: hmm…and what do you have for lunch? What else takes place?
Talha: lunch is usually biriani. How we celebrate our eid has been a norm and tradition that has been passed over generation to generation. After a tasty and amazing meal, we sleep till 5:00pm; wake up for Asr prayers and the teenagers get ready to go greet the relatives and head to Forodhani after that. Forodhani is the only place in Zanzibar where you can get different kinds of food specifically sea foods, all arranged and yummy-licious. So for me, eid means spending time with your family!
SK: After such a fantastic eid narration, let us now get to food and the best places to have your meals with your loved ones! So, Narey, tell us what do you have for us?
Narman: I am a food lover and a cook. Having some great food is, hmm.. I will mention some of the restaurants that I love going to and their foods.
- Flames- the dynamic prawns and burgers
- Arabika- lemon and mint mojito, sea food platter, chips masala and saucy chicken wings
- MnKafe- spicy wedges, Oreo brownie waffles with whipped cream, periperi and garlic sandwiches with a mojito
- Dominos- tikka pizza and periperi
- Rockwall- butter naans, chicken tikka and chips masala
- 10th street- burgers and onion rings
- Mama Mia’s- Chinese and barbeque pizza
- Sanjeel- chicken and corn soup, garlic naan, chicken lollipops, tawa chicken and fried rice
- Bakers point- pizza and poussin chips
- Steers- chicken and mushroom pizza
- Nargis- chicken tikka and chips masala
- KFC- zinger twisters and chocolate sundae
SK: I see, you are really a food lover! I can see my readers slobbering over what they can only imagine!
Narman: They should! Food is life!
SK: Well, well, well…they say, “Save the best for the last, right? Now, this is the most exciting part of the whole interview because it is about weddings. Teenagers have this thing about weddings, right? No need to feel shy, Yasmin, I know you like marriage-stuff! Bi Tau, please take us through.
Tauhida: Bhajunis are a minority in the Coastal region and for us, weddings are essential! We have a number of functions that we do both for the men and women. For the men: we have;
- Kirumbizi- this is an event in our culture where men use swords that can go up to 5 feet long and they dance, competitively. The groom also attends and it is done around 4: 00pm, the same day as the Vugo event for the women. The bride’s family later on come with kojas, lessos and milkshake to give their groom and family
- Goma- this is solely for the men. They put on white kanzus and hold canes, a symbol of wisdom and age and they move their canes up and down rhythmically while singing. This is usually a night function
- Kinyozi- this is a function where the groom’s hair is cut and he is granted gifts
- Msondo- this happens at night, a function where both the men and women attend and it is basically a free dance
- Mdurenge- Nikah is the most important part of a Muslim’s wedding. The Mdurenge occurs after Nikah where the groom’s family comes and takes the bride for the preparation of the nuptial night. The event is preceded with drums and musical instruments
SK: Bi Tau, you have really informed me a lot. Personally, I have learned. And these functions seem to be quite costly, right? So it means if I plan to bring my brother to your family, he will have to come equipped with money (lol). Okay, what functions do the ladies have?
Tauhida: haha, yes, Salu! No money, no grand wedding! The women’s functions are:
- Chakacha- this happens in 3 days consecutively from 4:00pm to Maghrib time. It is a competitive dance where the best dancers are given money. The musical instruments used are drums and sinias (wapiga kwa vikoto, haha)
- Vugo- women sing cultural songs and the instruments used are horns and sticks. An example of a song is:
Taka kuunyua mikono niombee Mola Rabana
Ina langu huitwa mai hupendwa na vatu vote
Huoga na kufulia na kunywa
Musiogope gari likipiga honi
Mwenye safari atoke.
- Nikah – it mainly occurs at 1:00pm. The bride dresses in green and the man comes to take the bride in her home. However a strict rule is observed here (the man is expected to give out anything small before having his bride. Remember she is a virgin, it takes a lot of effort to preserve that, wow!) The man will then take his wife after some prayers and then Mdurenge sets in…
- Haha, I know that our functions are a lot, but how can a bride look without a white veil? So, last but not least is the Kupamba function that is done in an open ground mainly because Chundwa doesn’t have halls like any other place. Main songs kept are Taarab songs and this function goes up to midnight.
I appreciate the endless efforts you took to make this interview a success… Love you, girlfriends!