Mama’s Kitchen: A Food Haven in Greenstone Mall

By Joshua Mushaba

Inside Mama’s kitchen, Thompson bumped into Gregory who had a knack of having his lunches as eats in. He was not a control panel-stricken fellow when it came to meals. On That day he was settling for rice and stew, accompanied by beetroot salad. To wash down the appetizing dish was an ice-cold Appetizer. “Are we on tonight?” he asked Thomson as he walked towards his table. “Let’s wait and find out, it’s early days yet, we still got work to do and twilight to see” he responded as he sat down to wait for his order of pap and chicken for the number of the saloon staff. It was neither his first time to buy lunch for his staff nor was it a daily occurrence. Such doings were clung to his mood and spirit. 


As for that day, it was obscured to ascertain what the determinant factor could be, but all that can be safely said is he had to do it. He had  little patience, his thoughts were lingering between where he stood and the erotic theatrics at Verandah lodge the night that was. It had never occurred to him that a sexual encounter defiantly clings to his thoughts in such unrelenting fashion. He did not even make the slightest of efforts to brush the imposing reflection aside. It was unprecedented and surreal.

Mama’s kitchen was a small food outlet adjacent to Thompson Health and Beauty Center. It was the one and only specialized restaurant at Greenstone shopping mall. Its only faint competitor was the supermarket that served only rigid takeaways of buffet dishes, furthermore, their meal quality was substandard, and the menu contents shallow to those of a curious feasting craze. That rendered Mama’s Kitchen the incomparable one-stop catering facility. It also served as the most convenient in terms of proximity for the surrounding Slaughterville, and Soberlands residents. In any case, Nando’s, MacDonald’s, Steers, and other more exquisite outlets were twenty kilometers thereabouts away. Like the popular saying, what you see is what you get, exactly! Mama’s Kitchen was not only what one could get in terms of satisfactory hospitality at Greenstone, but also pretty much equal to the task. Both her front and back of the house members of staff were not only welcoming but also very diligent and professional. It had taken years of hard work, focus, passion and determination for Mama’s Kitchen to realize its conspicuously desirable and appreciable standards. As an air hostess, she was rarely there, but her staff ensured that customers were not shortchanged. A former five-star hotel chef, Daniel, gratifyingly handled the professional proceedings in her customary absentia. He was usually stuck to the back of the house ensuring that lavish meals were prepared, but would always roam back and forth to guarantee overall oversight as the Head. The aroma-diffusing outlet opened its doors to the general public bright and early from 6:30 am up until 9 pm in the evening seven days a week. The restaurant staff had to alternate over the weekends for the sake of rest and returns. For its small space, the restaurant had an outdoor gazebo to complement its internal shortcomings when it came to table logistics. What is undisputed about the restaurant is its capacity to cater for a very demanding large middle-density community with minimal castigation, if any.

Thompson had to dash back to his workplace with the offered lunch. He felt a gratifying sensation as he helped himself to his mouth-watering meal. The ladies had gotten busy in-between time and had decided to take turns to eat, and Lisa had requested to have hers first.

“Lisa I am all good, stop staring at me with a talking eye” he teased Lisa whose body language solicited more for answers than Thompson’s candid shift of that inquisitive attention to the provision of lunch. The lunch-relishing Lisa just swung her arm in a rhetorical “whatever” jest. The Health and Beauty Centre often got busy after lunch, probably due to the spare time most people had at their disposal during such times of the day. This coincided with it being month-end. Lisa’s attention also got engulfed in hairdressing chores that increased as the day went by. As was usually the case during at such times, the saloon subsequently became a buzz of activity. All of a sudden Thompson’s phone started ringing,

“Excuse me for a sec,” he pleaded with the dreadlocked young lady whom he was crocheting.

All eyes were cast on him as he answered the call.

“Okay darling, I will see you in a while, let me get done with work first, otherwise how are you faring?” he explained and inquired from Lydia who had decided to break the silence that had ensued since their exchange of valedictions that memorable morning.

In essence, silence might have prevailed verbally, but psychological Malnutrition is a significant concern, especially among children under five years old. Limited access to nutritious food, poor infant and young child feeding practices, and food insecurity contribute to the high prevalence of stunting, wasting, and underweight among the two had reciprocal and mutually had each other in their inescapable meditations all day long.

The other two girls never bothered much about what their boss got up to in his private deliberations. After all, they had Lisa as their spokesperson to worry that much. As per the prediction, it was Lisa who had to jump in with a teasing statement, “There must be a brand-new darling out there,” “So said who” retorted Thompson as he withdrawn and placed the hung up phone in his pocket to resume work.

He passionately handled her client’s neck-long dreadlocks as he went about in such a positive light. But his sublime crocheting techniques had managed to shift her perspective. What was astounding at that particular juncture was the realization that talent and skill can often overshadow one’s flaws and misgivings, and that sometimes, we may find unexpected virtues in people we previously deemed unworthy of admiration. His conversation with the client in question never got to transcend beyond general socialization. It had never occurred to Lisa that she sees her predatory boss exercising some far-reaching inhibition with a client of such inviting and tempting appeal. To communicate her continual concern with that bizarre posture, Lisa shook her head as she took off her eavesdropping sight that had crossed paths with Thompson’s wondering one. For someone who was not casually given to mood swings, what had transpired at Verandah lodge had had a gravitational impact on his mood. It remained to be seen whether the demonstrated change was plastic or concrete, but what could be boldly. His unwavering determination and boundless compassion, ascertained by those close to him  like Lisa and Gregory, was an extraordinary exhibit of character. Despite this, something fishy ensued in his spiritual configurations. However, changes are for the better at times.”

24 May, 2023