Walking down with my infant and adolescent nieces along Nakasero Market Street in Kampala, I hear blaring and familiar megaphone sounds, and I wonder what diseases or conditions is the trumpeter trying to conjure money from this time; is it high blood pressure (pressure), stomach ulcers, or sickle cells? No, no… not any of those, but the lyrical medicine for “men’s power” (virility) and all tribes of malfunctions of the male genitalia, graphically explained in the local language of the area, Luganda.
I ignore the sound and pretend to my tender-aged nieces there is not a decibel of any sound for only two or three minutes, because yet again, nearing the big MEGA STANDARD Supermarket another herbal medicine seller waxes musical about the same kind of diseases and malfunctions, not living aside the cure for “men’s power” for when and how and what – for the enlargement and rectification of any manhood disorders and so much else. It pulls at my heartstrings and I suffer for what the youngsters make of all this mire. I cringe with concern and consternation wondering how on earth this kind of trade and information dissemination has come to pervade our streets.
This ubiquitous trade and its concomitant blaring are now planted at every corner of our city and its suburbs, and we are all invaded by this private human situation conquering, and sweeping us off our lanes. I am so much aware of the number of school children and infants that walk along with their parents every single day listening to this kind of mature talk and cacophony. I am left to wonder if some of these human sexuality issues are not meant to be dealt with in the privacy of clinics and counsellors’ quarters. Are issues of the human male genitalia real national, Ugandan, or African issues we need to continually hear about and address as key national or continental issues as it really feels around Kampala and its suburbs today?
I strongly feel that there should be guidelines given and laws enacted to kick back these issues of men’s virility and other human sexuality issues back into the private arena where they can be discussed and dealt with without confusing and tainting the minds of our unprepared and young children who cannot process such information.
We need this broad gaze to see and understand how the lope-sided and often unreliable information given by most herbal doctors can paint an unbalanced and unrealistic world for our unprepared children who have no capacity to process this psychologically untrained information. Let us work together to educate our posterity in the best environments, where they are not abandoned to learn by hearing and observing what they do not need to learn at their age. I believe that their minds’ liberation awaits not in some imagined future but right here and now on our streets and in the buses, they board on their way to and from school.
DR. SOLOME NAJJUKA
PHILOSOPHY CENTRE – JINJA