NAIROBI, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- A cursory glance in most food courts and restaurants in Nairobi's central business district reveals that most of them are half full during lunch time, leading to the question: where do Nairobi working class partake their lunch.
A quick survey by Xinhua on Tuesday revealed a rising culture that has come to the culinary rescue of both the poor and the rich.
"A decent meal even in a lowly hotel in the central business district (CBD) costs about 3.5 U.S. dollars, which is a costly undertaking for those with shallow pockets," said Jane Mbuthia, a sales executive at a local media house.
Mbuthia takes her daily lunch from Michelle Bosibori, a food vendor who prepares the food in her house located at an informal settlement within the city where she has transformed her small balcony into a kitchen.
Bosibori told Xinhua that she wakes up at 4 a.m. after which she rushes to the nearby market to purchase fresh and relatively cheap food.
"I am usually through with my cooking by midday after which I ferry the food to my operational base where most of her clients are located," she said.
For the last five years she has been in the business, Bosibori has noted that demand for her food has been on the rise; sometimes she doesn't manage to serve all her clients.
"I am an IT technician but I would never trade anything for what I'm doing, especially when I can make about 50 dollars and on a good day," Bosibori said.
She said her clients cut across all social classes owing to the fact that she specializes on traditional foods, which have also become popular in Nairobi presently.
Geoffrey Odhiambo quit his job at a motor spare parts shop to embark on the food business and has no regrets for taking this path.
He packs the food in containers and sells each container at 8 pence. "My monthly salary of 200 dollars could not enable me to afford a decent lunch and I survived on tea and bread until I realized there other people like me who would want to eat good food but they couldn't afford," Odhiambo said.
"Some of my clients are high end people who want good home-made food. I recently got a tender to supply food to students in one of the colleges in town," he said.
June Muraguri, a tutor at a beauty college cannot recall the last time she had lunch in a restaurant after she discovered Odhiambo, who she says doesn't demand cash on daily basis.
"That's another reason street food is becoming popular in Nairobi as there's that flexibility where if a client doesn't have cash, the seller doesn't fuss about waiting for the next day or even at end month.
"With restaurants, you cannot have such arrangement because they demand cash by order," Muraguri said, adding that "street food revolution" has come to the rescue of those with shallow pockets.