Stall B6: Uhuru's 'choma' joint at Kenyatta market

President Uhuru Kenyatta takes photos at the Kenyatta Market in Nairobi County after an inspection tour of the facility on March 17, 2022. [PSCU]

For a person who has served a president twice at his stall at Kenyatta market, Peter Mwangi is so unassuming and easy to talk to.

Mwangi hosted President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday when he visited his stall No B6 for a meal of roast meat, ugali and kachumbari.

He was busy at his stall when he was interrupted by an unusual burst of activity at around 3pm.

He heard people screaming in the parking lot.

“When I rushed there, I saw President Uhuru Kenyatta’s security controlling the crowd that was swelling fast,” said Mwangi.

He then joined an excited member of his staff, Valentine Mmbone, in welcoming their VIP guest.

Mmbone recalls sitting at the entrance to the market, as is her usual practice, waiting for customers to usher them in to the stall, when she noticed a sleek vehicle pulling into the parking lot.

Mmbone rushed towards it to catch the attention of its occupants and was surprised to see President Kenyatta behind the wheel.

President Uhuru Kenyatta having a Nyama Choma lunch at Kenyatta Market in Nairobi County after an inspection tour of the facility on March 17, 2022. [PSCU]

He alighted and was accompanied by a lean team of security officers.

"I saw a vehicle approaching. I rushed as we always do to welcome visitors. But as the door opened, I was shocked to see that it was the president. He was driving the car,” said Mmbone, a mother of two whose encounter with the president has turned her into a celebrity at the market.

“I started shouting and jumping for joy as I led him to our stall B6.’’

Anthony Mugo, who was roasting meat at the stall, said he was excited to see the president.

‘‘I couldn't believe it when I saw him. We greeted each other. He looked at the grill where we roast meat and asked me if I had good meat. He then entered the stall and placed his order,” said Mugo, who has worked at the stall for 15 years.

“Seeing such person here for the first time is overwhelming. You do not know what he has come for.’’ 

Mwangi says this was the second time Uhuru was visiting his stall for nyama choma, earning the eatery the Presidential Corner and Ikulu Ndogo monikers.

Ptresident Uhuru Kenyatta greets wananchi at Kenyatta Market. [PSCU]

But a cursory look at the busy eatery reveals nothing presidential, save for pictures of the president and other leaders on a montage with the inscription Ikulu Ndogo.

The photos were taken in 2017 when the president, accompanied by former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, Senator Johnson Sakaja and a host of other leaders had a meal there.

Mwangi said the stall has also hosted several leaders including Ruth Odinga, ODM party leader Raila Odinga's sister, Mary Mayardit, the wife of former South Sudan President Salva Kir and Homa Bay Governor Cyprian Awiti.

Mwangi said he is convinced the president has twice picked his stall because of the succulent roast meat he serves and because his stall is clean.

He too talks of the effect the president's visits have on him.

"Whenever I greet him, I can't even sleep at night. It feels great because I used to think reaching him is not easy. But now I have, thanks to my nyama choma business,’’ he said. 

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