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I’m not given to bragging about my kitchen skills, but rate myself as a good cook.

I keep trying my different skills with my close friends,boy buddies,and on several occasions,they have accused me of attempted murder after serving them what I consider as my best recipes.

Simply put,my kitchen skills hover around the disaster zone.

So, when it was my turn to hold a get-together for my boy-buddies and their girlfriends,they begged me very solemnly to consider bringing in an expert cook just for this one occasion since they were to be accompanied by their sweeties.

They were not ready for another of my now many kitchen disasters that they had grown accustomed to.

On several previous occasions,I had invited Malik,an expert chef on Swahili dishes that are the favourite of my buddies.

Malik is a very good chap,but him and I normally suffer from difficulties associated with language barrier.

He speaks a very localized dialect of our national lingua franca-Kiswahili,and I normally find it difficult understanding half of what he is saying most of the times.

But both of us always try,with the help of much gesticulating to come to a common understand about the recipes I want and several other mundane issues in the kitchen department.

On this particular occasion,we agreed on the main dish of highly spiced rice-locally known as ‘Pilau’ and fried fish fillets.

As is common with him,once we settle on a particular recipe,he likes to settle down on the kitchen all by himself and do his thing,but he is not normally exactly alone since my infernal thieving cat,Jaffa,keeps him company in there.

The party gang settled in garden gazebo and waited as we engaged in chit-chats,savouring the appetising aroma wafting from the kitchen as Malik did his thing.

Then I saw Malik,looking a bit bewildered summoning me with a wave of his hand from the kitchen door,which is unusual.

The meal can’t be ready yet,I thought.

“Please come quickly” he said in his halting speech.

Then he explained that while he was steaming the rice,Jaffa,the cat had chewed into the fish fillets and sneaked out with some spread when caught on the act.

I soothed him to calm and advised him to wash out the remaining fillets and use them.

The meal was ready in no time after that unfortunate episode.

He served it in the garden and went back to the kitchen to have his portion.

As we were about to clear our plates,I saw him running to the garden and beckoning me into the kitchen again.

“Master,come quickly. The cat is dead. It must be that fish,food poisoning”.

I remained calm for the sake of my guests and walked back to the garden and explained that we may suffer food poisoning. “Malik suspects that the fish fillets were contaminated and we all have to drive to the hospital for our stomachs to be pumped.”

I called in my neighbour to drive us in his mini-van just in case one of us designated to drive could get worse before reaching the hospital.

When we came back from the hospital,everything was fine.

I asked Malik where the cat was.

He showed me the cat lying dead inside the kitchen store.

It had died from choking on a piece of fish bone in an un-filleted portion of the fish.

Just some random thoughts that came to my mind….