What I like about Africa, apart from the daily drama, is that we like to personalise things, whether important or petty.
I don’t know about other African countries, but here in the land of mama Samia, we have gone as far as personalising sickness.
It is common to meet someone you know on the streets, and out of curiosity he decides to ask you “Ulipona ule ugonjwa wako?” which means that he wants to know whether God was cruel enough to snatch away your long time sickness from you.
That is why for some of us who walk around with what we call ‘Public Opinion’, or a healthy pot belly, we tend to be very attached to them, that is why I decided to call my healthy kitambi ‘Kero za wananchi’.
Don’t be surprised when two buddies meet after a long time and one of them tells the other “Kitambi chako kimeongezeka” while the owner of the said kitambi rubs it the way a proud parent rubs the head of his child.
Therefore, it has come as a great shock to me when someone told me that a certain hospital has vowed to deal with our public opinions and turn us into thin fellows who resemble Somali pirates.
I am planning to launch a campaign against this hospital, and if possible request for an urgent meeting with the chief of this country, Chief Hangaya herself and complain about this invasion of our hard earned vitambi.
If that fails, I am in the process of drafting an open letter to her, telling her that there are some people out there who are out to tarnish her leadership.
“My dear President, I believe it is high time you use your authority and ban this hospital, because imagine if tourists come to our beautiful country and are met at the airport by men who look as if they have permanent kwashiorkor.
My dear Chief Hangaya, I know that you have been fighting day and night to promote this country abroad, but these fellows who call themselves surgeons are out to destroy that hard work, while they know very well that there are some women who travel from far and wide just to come and play with the vitambis of your obedient citizens.
I don’t think it portrays a good picture of your hard efforts if tourists mingle around with people who look like pirates who have escaped from their ship…it is a scary thought madam!”
If that will not work, then I am ready to mobilise my fellow citizens who are proud of their pot bellies and have a peaceful demonstration to that particular hospital and demand immediate withdrawal of kitambi killing surgeries.
Some of the banners I intend to distribute will have heavy messages like ‘Kitambi sio mimba, leave us alone!’, another one will read ‘Kama kinakukera meza wembe’, while another one will read ‘I will die with my kitambi, the whole kitambi and nothing but the kitambi!’.
But while I was busy trying to defend the rights of my fellow vitambi carriers, I was surprised to learn that these doctors from that hospital are not targeting vitambi owners only, their eyes are also trained on our women.
What I have decided is that in the case of women, I believe that all the men who are really men, whether they have vitambi or they look like starved pirates, should come together and get rid of these doctors.
You see, that day when I was told about the doctors who have a grudge against healthy, vitambi carrying men, I was also told that these fellows are also advising our women to change their shapes and appearances.
“Baba Boyi, I understand that these doctors can turn a woman who looks like an angry gorilla into a striking beauty within a very short time. Apart from that, I understand that these chaps can also transform a shapeless woman like the ones from that region where they believe that all the money belongs to them into a woman with such a shape that can make Jennifer Lopez green with envy,” a certain chap who smelled like a broken brewery told me.
Things got out of hand when I went home later in the evening and found mama Boyi standing in front of the mirror, scrutinising herself as if she was looking for a hidden tattoo.
She continued studying herself, turning from side to side, as if not sure whether it was her body or someone disappeared with hers.
I did not have to be a rocket scientist to know that the news about those doctors who transform human beings have reached her and she was starting to have some strange ideas.
“Baba Boyi, I don’t have to remind you that I am the mother of your children. I also don’t have to remind you that those children of yours took turns to suckle my breasts, and they did it as if they were in a competition, especially that boy of yours, that is why my breasts look like empty airbags,” she told me as she started examining her ‘airbags’ in front of the mirror.
She told me that she was thinking of going for surgery so that her ‘depleted airbags’ can be restored to their former glory, and I was the one who was supposed to come up with the money for the surgery because my children (especially the boy) were responsible for her ‘condition’.
Of course I told her over my dead body (and she told me it can be arranged!), telling her that at her age she should be sitting tight and wait for grandchildren to pamper, but the woman was adamant.
She told me that while other women were proud of their breasts, she has to hide hers because some children who are heartless like their father had terrorised them and left them slumped.
That is when I did something very dangerous, I put my beloved kitambi on the line. I told her that if she was determined to go for breast surgery, then we should go together to the hospital because I was also planning to get rid of my kitambi and replace it with some serious ‘six pack’, without forgetting hair transplant. She told me she was just joking.