By Wangu Kanuri

As the country grapples with the issue of food security, two men in Kibabii, Bungoma County, flexed their pallets to duel in a match of clearing mounds of ugali in an eating contest.

The rules of the competition were simple, munching down two kilograms of ugali, with an accompaniment of ‘omena’ stew and washing it down with tap water.

What started as a simple village banter, led to Tony Wamalwa and Anthony Nyongesa locking horns in a challenge for the ‘ugali king’ title.

The two had been advised against eating anything, to prepare their tummies for the gruelling competition ahead.  

The dish, comprising stone-hard ugali and wet fried fingerlings was prepared ahead of the competition and the time was set.

The duo, Nyongesa dorned in a red t-shirt and shirtless Wamalwa, took their position against plates of the steaming hot maize meals and bowls of their preferred accompaniments.

After 35 minutes of hand-and-mouth coordination aiming to win the game as fans rallied them on, Wamalwa emerged as the winner with Nyongesa barely quarter way through.

The event takes place annually during the planting season, and the champion usually receives maize seeds and fertilizer to use on the farm.