CHINESE DELICACY

I enjoy eating dog, cat and tortoise meat - Migori man

Migori watchman lives on diet of snakes and tortoises

In Summary

• Thomas Odembo said he started feeding on cats, dogs, tortoise, other reptiles and worms after being a guard at Chinese contractors’ compound.

• Odembo, a father of seven, said he has created an insatiable appetite for his strange diet and even started rearing chameleons, lizards and tortoises in his house to supplement the diet.

Thomas Odembo, 35, with a tortoise he was ready to prepare for lunch at his home on Wednesday/Manuel Odeny
Thomas Odembo, 35, with a tortoise he was ready to prepare for lunch at his home on Wednesday/Manuel Odeny
Image: MANUEL ODENY

A watchman from Ogongo village in Nyatike subcounty has taken to rearing chameleons, lizards and tortoises for consumption.

Thomas Odembo, 35, said he started feeding on chameleons, lizards, tortoises, cats and dogs after working as a guard for a Chinese contractor.

Odembo, a father of seven, said he has an insatiable appetite for the unconventional meat and decided to start rearing chameleons, lizards and tortoises in his house to supplement his diet.

“I have lost appetite for cow and goat meat, and I am ready to supply the village,” Odembo said.

When the Star visited Odembo on Wednesday, he was preparing a tortoise for lunch.

Wearing a light jungle green jacket and black trousers, Odembo calmly led us in his house after killing the animal.

“I took chameleon last night for supper, this tortoise was brought by a neighbour who found it in his shamba,” Odembo said.

Thomas Odembo, 35, preparing a tortoise in his house on Wednesday when the Star visited him/ Manuel Odeny
Thomas Odembo, 35, preparing a tortoise in his house on Wednesday when the Star visited him/ Manuel Odeny
Image: MANUEL ODENY

While the animal simmers in the pot after washing and cleaning the meat, Odembo sat down for an interview outside his mabati house.

“I have worked in several Chinese contractors’ and miners’ compounds in the area, I learnt this diet from them after realising the animals we don’t eat have not affected them,” he explains.

Odembo said the animals just taste like normal meat.

Odembo hails from Kasigunga in Homa Bay county and works with Chinese firm in the neighbouring  Nyatike.

“My favourite meal is often reptiles especially snakes, lizards, chameleons and tortoise,” he said.

He said his wife Pauline Akoth and their children do not indulge in Odembo's diet.