Ivan Musoke

The Beginners Guide to Grasshoppers

It’s that time of the year again.

Your usual roadside traffic is going to be interrupted by the addition of something more sinister and less filling than the typical chapati/rolex, somersaulting chicken or chewy meat hybrid that purports to be from a form of livestock but is easily the lovechild of PK/Big G and oil left over from frying meat.

Yum, yum, bubble gum

Brace yourself for bright lights and mabati installations that almost rival floodlight rugby or the ambience of an up and coming prophet/evangelist’s fellowship in a tiny field…

It’s nsenene season.

Grasshoppers are not for everyone. Not many people can fathom the appeal that lies in crashing down on a hapless hop-less hopper mere seconds after looking at its pleading face – (“Please human, I have a family counting on my hoppity hop tendencies to get by. . . have mercy, don’t eat a bread winner”)


Fewer still are excited by the prospect of having grasshopper sting stick out from between their teeth. (Is that a toothpick in your mouth or are you just happy to see me?)

However, on the other side of the spectrum lies the lot that would have no qualms about moving about with their mouths open hoping to grab these insects mid-flight.

That said, here’s a quick intro to the world of this, er, delicacy.

If one is going to go the way of the nsenene, one must catch and kill these little guys.

You want some of this…

You can do this yourself by lying in hiding like a knock-off predator and jumping your prey as it makes its way to grasshopper proggie or wherever they tend to be going, but that also means you need to put the poor thing out of its misery.

You need to be humane about it, after all, you’re not a monster, just a person that’s going to eat it, so it might be better if you smack it on the side of the head instead of subjecting it to reruns of the early editions of Be My Date.

Once your meal-to-be is ‘not with us’ anymore, you will want to choose what you want to keep. Hoppers are not cows, so you won’t have the benefit of skinning the damn thing and using that for something (there are some dodgy looking shoes out there, so I could be wrong), you also can’t do much with their legs and antennae…

So you’re probably better off thinking back to those lessons in school where they said the main parts of the insect are the head, thorax and abdomen and ditching everything else the teacher couldn’t be arsed to teach you about.

At this point I’ll gloss over the cooking bit because any one of the chef types I’m friends with will likely call me out, “You forgot to mention that you should let it sit in Apple Mustard Marinade first then glaze it with teri-yucky… oh, you could also sauté some garlic and…”.

So let’s just hop on to the eating bit.

This is where it gets a bit messy. Yes, this part. Killing the grasshopper and dismembering it was a walk in the park compared to what you have to deal with next.

Now you have to stare at this thing dead in the face and prepare to eat it. That’s right; the victim comes lifeless face to hungry face with its murderer.

You’ll know it’s dead and looking down at you from grasshopper heaven, but when your eyes meet, that won’t matter. It will be like peering into an abyss, losing yourself in the guilt of it all, knowing that you ended a life that was so full of promise and hope.

People probably sang to your snack, “happy birthday, may you live to blow one candle” and you got in the way ike a Boda-Boda guy at the Shoprite – Lugogo traffic lights.

Looking at it looking at you Will. Mess. You. Up

… or not. I mean there’s no accounting for people’s consciences anymore, have you been to Twitter lately?

Having established that you really have no soul after all, you are now ready. Throw that little guy in your mouth and revisit science lessons with every chomp…









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