Call it Jaba or Tepa, Mogoka is a Stimulant that is well known and valued by Kenyan Youths. It closely resembles Miraa though its leaves are chewed to extract the liquid. It originated from Embu District, Central Province. Farmers grow Mogoka for Local and International trade.
Mogoka has had its popularity among youths in recent years as many had gotten used to Miraa. The biggest misconception is that mogoka is consumed by low class citizens while Miraa is associated with the economically stable. All over Kenyan towns and urban centres, you’ll most probably see youths out in bandas, usually chewing green leaves which are inside a transparent or dark polythene bag.
Mara Hiyo Hiyo managed to speak to Hezekiel Gatonye, a long time mogoka consumer from Gilgil town. He shared with us the reasons why he uses the stimulant. “I started using mogoka as a way of quitting heavy alcohol consumption. I was a terrible drunkard but mogoka helped me to stop alcoholism though I became addicted to the leaves”, he said.
Apart from confessing the merits of chewing mogoka, he also stated the effects which include sleeplessness, loss of appetite, tooth decay and stomach ulcers for advanced consumers. He however emphasized that eating to satisfaction is important before starting to chew. Despite all the misconceptions like weight loss, impotency, mental problems and its association with the lazy, mogoka’s consumption by Kenyan youths is one the rise, and it spreads faster than forest fire!
Most consumers argue that mogoka is a quicker stimulant than miraa. They usually consume an average of 2 bags for complete stimulation. Its cheap price of Kshs. 50/= per bag make it easily available as Miraa is quite expensive. It is chewed together with sweets, bubble gums, peanuts or soft drinks. This makes the leaves sweeter and easy to chew. Drinks prevent the body from dehydration.