The Kenyan Route to Food Initiative (RTFI) is a food rights programme of the Heinrich Böll Foundation based in Nairobi with the aim of promoting innovative discussions and solutions to the problem of chronic food insecurity in Kenya.
On March 13th 2020, the first COVID-19 case in Kenya was reported and that was just a prelude to a “new normal” where schools, markets and offices folded operations. However, despite the pandemic sending chills down everyone’s spine, another crisis was building up at an alarming rate – job losses and lack of safe, affordable and nutritious food. Formerly viewed as a “village thing”...rural thing, kitchen gardens have become a buzzword for urbanites and there is a renewed interest in what it means to be nourished.
To contribute to conversation, awareness and action, and to encourage Kenyans to question the status quo, the Route to Food Initiative (RTFI), launched the Cha Kula podcast in September 2020. In the new episode of the Cha Kula podcast, we are joined by Wangũi wa Kamonji who talks to us about African indigenous food systems and how the pandemic has been an invitation to continue to learn from food, and not only about food – to reskill, embrace vulnerability, and receive nourishment. COVID-19 has highlighted the truth of our interdependence – with each other and with nature – and exposed ways in which we have been robbed off our food sovereignty over the years.
The podcast is produced by Felistus Mwalia, with script support from Evelyne Ogutu. Wangũi wa Kamonji is an independent researcher and writer and called to be a retriever and restorer of indigenous Afrikan lifeways and practices.