Eritrea and Southern Africa meet at Dejina Smart Village on George Padmore Road.
On Saturday evening, some good friends of mine asked me to meet them for dinner at a place called the Dejina Smart Village. I know of a Smart Village on Elgeyo Marakawet Road so when my Taxify headed out to George Padmore Road I was a mite upset. I knew that Kenya was playing Germany up the road at Quins but there must have been a better way that “avoiding the traffic” what with the extra people at that part of the city. Turns out he was following the maps properly and there is another Smart Village in town.
I paid the man and walked into this venue which was adjacent to some of the fanciest looking apartment building you would see in town. My contact there tells me that many of those who live in that space are our new colonisers, the Chinese.
I had to walk downstairs which is not ideal for our friends in wheelchairs and encountered an interesting set up. The restaurant in the main was an Eritrean but at the outside there was a small area for those who love food from the Southern part of the continent mainly Zimbabwe and South Africa. The early part of the evening would see me seated at this part of the venue.
There wasn’t much at this part of the venue. A few of those seats that you find that are all the rage nowadays; those wooden seats with that look rough, unfinished and can pinch your bum something nasty. The tables weren’t the standard square variety you will find in every home but the kind fashioned from an uneven piece of wood that is en vogue so much these days.
We sat the seat and we ordered the drink that we needed; Castle Lite and then Mai Gumunyu who runs the SADC side of the cooking came and took our orders for the day. Mai Gumunyu we last met when she was cooking at a similar type of restaurant called Ekhaya on Nyamgumi Road (opposite Casablanca) that served food from the Southern part of the continent. That restaurant didn’t stay in operation for long and this had been her new place for the last six months. She asked us to make an order and we opted for the chicken and matumbo accompanied by rice which was cooked with peanut butter sauce. That was good good food. Gosh. The chicken was the kienyeji variety also known as the roadrunner that was filled with flavour while the matumbo was soft and tasty.
With our bellies filled, we could now walk into the Eritrean side of the venue to watch the game. Yep. Those who have the need to watch the footie, after the season returns in a few weeks, can follow the action in the many screens around the venue. This evening we were watching the FA Cup final where we would watch the mighty Arsenal beat minnows 2-1. It was a thing of beauty.
With the clean washrooms, you can be sure that I will be returning to this quiet hidden location.