Sukuma Wiki

Across the road from Machakos Country

Bus Station – that people filled-and-spillin

bus and cargo open earthen space – beside a dusty bougainvillea

and plastic laced barbed-wire fence,

crooked concrete slabs disintegrate

under the weight of working women walking

to build a nation, this morning mainly concerned

with tonight’s meal of ugali and sukumawiki,

the hope that today will bring enough money

to send a child to school, to feed the faith

that the classroom can alleviate all their collective aches.


by Ngwatilo Mawiyoo


Sukumawiki – literally meaning ‘push the week’ – is a green vegetable, usually served with ugali and is often used as a cheap way of making the meal stretch


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