I am not a regular cook but there are things that are obvious when it comes to cooking. Cooking is not a “men’s” thing people tend to argue but the best chefs in Uganda are actually men. In my little unknown kitchen I try out two tomato soups. Strictly tomatoes not the packed tomato soup powder in sachets. I have a garden in the backyard of my simple house and I grow a good number of tomatoes.
In the first soup, I sliced green tomatoes that were hardly ripe into small pieces and dropped in hot cooking oil. This was after I had dropped the onions in the same cooking oil. The tomatoes took so long to get ready because of their hardness. But I waited. Within 15 minutes, the tomato soup was ready. I put the soup in the bowl and took it to my wife to taste and tell me how I’d done. She tasted and immediately spit out the soup.
“Yaaaaaak” she said out loud. She was as if spitting fire.
“What a waste,” she added. “Why did you use unripe tomatoes?” she furiously asked me. (She is the one who actually looks after the garden)
So I apologised, took the soup and sent it down the garbage bin. I had wasted such a good number of tomatoes and now they have become useless.
So I tried out the second tomato with ripe tomatoes. Sliced them into small pieces and used exactly the same process like the previous soup. Then I walked to my wife and gave her the soup. She tasted, smiled and said “this is some good soup hun.”
“You’re a good cook my darling,” she said as she hugged and gently kissed my forehead.
The trick this time is because I had used ripe tomatoes. Much better tomatoes. I wanted to try out the third tomato soup but this time I could hardly touch these tomatoes. They had ripened and gone bad. The stench they had is one I couldn’t stand.
The unripe tomato is representative of that person who is just not ready to support a cause. Once they are put out there, they are immediately bundled into huge vehicles and taken away. Quashed to no return just like the same soup was sent down the garbage bin.
The ripe tomato is that which represents people who are ready for a cause. Ready to die to defend what they believe in. They can fight the fight. They cannot easily be shoved away because they know what they believe in.
Ugandan’s at this stage are like that unripe tomato. They are not ready for the cause. But just like the tomatoes in my garden, ripening is a process and surely Ugandan’s will also get to that point. Tomatoes also tend to ripen faster when placed under some conditions. The same way with Ugandan’s being kept in a particular situation and they could be triggered by this situation and react.