Sometimes I ask myself whether I actually get hungry. First of all, what is hunger? Is it just a want to have something in your stomach? Or is it a need? Do you take breakfast because you are hungry? Or is it because it is routine? Maybe it is because it is at your disposal. Whatever the reason may be, the mother of all is because you want to live. I want to live. Most of us may not even have the slightest clue on what it feels like to be in actual hunger.

Now, let us take a trip to the northern parts of Kenya. Since I was bright enough, I have always known that this part of Kenya is dry. I have grown up with the pictures of malnourished kids in the media. Every time I refused to clear my plate at mealtime, mum would remind me of the fact that kids were dying of hunger in Turkana. I was very stubborn at that young age. For some reason, I hated food. I was actually spoon-fed way beyond the age I should have outgrown it.

Now back to the poor malnourished kids. That was one of the reasons I probably forced myself to swallow the food after it had stayed in my mouth for like ten minutes. It was scary to my childish brain to be in such a situation.

Enter the year 2011. Maybe we just got used to the situation. Maybe the government has failed over the years. Maybe nature is just cruel like that. Whatever the case, a lot has been said and clearly a lot has been done in the last couple of days.

Lots of questions run in my mind at such a time as this. Did it have to take so long for people to actually come up with this wonderful initiative? (Kenyans for Kenya) Will we still see hungry children in the news next year? Is the money that has been collected enough to enable a more long-term solution to our fellow Kenyans in the north?

It is cliché but I will say it. Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

True, the revolution is like no other. It is also true that it is an admirable effort. No matter how much you gave or how much you are about to give. It is all about your motive. This is really noble.

Whatever the people up there will receive, they will definitely be eating to live, eating to literally fight for another lease of life. As for me, I still have questions. I even have some for you, though it is on a story for another day.

Are you watching what you eat? That is one way of eating to live. You might very well eat to die. Do you live to eat? Maybe all you do is eat, eat and eat and waste some more while at it. Think about it. I’m thinking.

Eating to live to living to eat

Written by Shiku Ngigi
Mum and dad's daughter. Shouting big sister. More than a Facebook friend. Jesus Freak. Wannabe Tomboy. Mouse Potato. Earphone Junkie. Texts over calls. Writes the way she talks.

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