A journey concluded.

In last week’s article, we had part of the story The pastry guardian. We left off where the writer (Chilumo Mbwana) walked out briefly to check on the state of his violin strings. I then asked you, dear reader, whether you regularly take the time to sharpen your tools…Read on!

All good. I walked back in and waited for the signal. Almost immediately, Mama Irene gave me thumbs up and shouted

“Okay everyone, settle down! Settle down! Eugene no cake for you unless you keep quiet! Dorothy no cake for you”

The children all went quiet and sat round the table. The cake threat was effective, very effective! I couldn’t get my students to keep quiet in class. Perhaps I should be carrying cake into every lesson.

Mama Irene gave me a look and another thumbs up. I picked up my bow and began to play the happy birthday song.

As my bow rushed through my strings, Baba Irene walked into the room with a cake with eight candles on.

“Wow!” the children chanted one after the other

He placed the cake on the table.

“Irene, make a wish”

Some things I only saw in the movies ha!

Irene closed her eyes for 30 seconds then blew out the candles. She proceeded to cut the cake afterwards.

As the celebrations ensued, I requested mama Irene to allow me to leave. She got up and expressed her gratitude and excitement.

“Pardon me for asking but…why allow her to eat all that cake yet she suffers from diabetes?”

“It is a cake baked without processed sugar provided to us by a baker by the name Brendah Naly. She’s actually here. Can I call her? “

An astute lady came up to me and we had a candid conversation. Her names are Brendah Naly. She is a nutritionist by profession.

“Sugar free cake? Really? That cake was superb and sweet.”

“Yes, well, it was sweetened with fruits.”


I couldn’t believe it. Turns out this pastry business was a covid-19 baby. She was inspired by the many requests of people who desired to have cake but didn’t want to consume the high levels of sugar. She decided to start baking cakes experimenting with sugar free cakes. After having some of her friends over, she had them try a sugar free banana cake. They were all amazed and thus the journey to sugar free cakes began. As the requests began to grow, she started to experiment with vegetable cakes too, constantly applying her nutrition expertise.

“Vegetables too?”

“Yes, Zucchini cake is a favorite”

“Well, I guess you are a savior, especially to Irene. Imagine if she had to have a birthday without a birthday cake.”

Even though I wasn’t a fan of cakes, I wanted my family to try out these sugar free cakes. I found her catalogue here. The carrot cake fancied me the most.

As I walked away, violin case in hand, I was more than convinced on buying a vegetable cake for my birthday.

Still there oh ye reader? After the all important ‘sharpening of tools’, we have seen that adversity can breed creativity. The covid-19 bake inspiration that resulted in a lot of happy smiles all around the birthday party. When faced with adversity, do you crumble or do the creative juices  come into play?

In a previous article scent-sible, I spoke about scent enhancers and stinkers. I asked whether you are aware of the difference as you interact with people. Let me get to my point. In the story above, the fruits made all the difference, so much so that the creative juices morphed into vegetable cakes. It is all well and good to know your scent enhancers, but what do you do about it? We have all met a person who makes us grow, who challenges us to change our perceptions, who’s mere presence gives so much hope. But what do you do about it? Do you maintain the status quo? Do you nurture each other so that you both reach your full potential? Or do you strangle the ‘scent’ such that it cannot exist in the same space as you? Do you turn a scent into a stinker?

In closing, it is my hope that your tools are regularly sharpened..it is my hope that you nurture the scents around you..it is my hope that your creative juices start/continue flowing…because the world needs you.

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