Monday, April 27, 2009


Is the 'dudu' curable or not?
The almost desperate struggle to find the cure for HIV/Aids is going on and on. One thing about this struggle is humankind’s effort to wipe it out of the face if the earth.

The solution to the cure of the pandemic has ranged from the plausible to the ludicrous. Every herbalist swears by everything: “HIV/Aids is not a disease. It has its roots on poverty.” Claimed former South African president Thabo Mbeki. I wonder what South Africa’s president elect, Jack Zuma thinks of the war against HIV/Aids. Uncle Zuma is into wives. He has two wives and co0ming soon is a third nchumba.

Anyway Thabo Nbeki ended up getting a very bad press. But more thoughtful Africans have kept a deafening silence over the matter. Ask any African president whether he had drunk herbs as he or she was growing up and they will gladly say yes.

Of course the herbalist would not be wearing fancy white gowns and gloves. But people get cured. I once met a guy having a beer and I quickly pointed his foot. The last time I met him he had a very bad ulcer. Frankly he was stinking.

Now he was okay, having a beer and gave me his story: “I met this aunt from Dodoma. When I explained, she pooh-poohed the whole story. Then she ground a few leaves into a pulp and applied the stuff into the ulcer. The rest is history.”

The rest is for this scribe to tell you the guy who gave me his story is a medical doctor trained at Muhimbili University College of Health and Sciences

You see there are other cultures who are very brilliant at pinching from other cultures. The Europeans pinched the secret of destroying various fevers from the use of quinine. The Aztecs and Incas knew about the ball games ages ago.

We have been using local herbs for ages. But when quacks came in from foreign lands they got us proper medicines, with fancy wrappings to add value. We know that they spend ages in our forests looking for potions which has made Africans survive over centuries.

We have been stung by Africa’s deadliest snakes, we have survives slave trades – the American and Arab ones, we have been made dinners by lions and other carnivore.

All that abuse by other races and the African is still round. Enslaved and now you see the African competing against another African in the 100 metres of the Olympic finals. Wasn’t he a Kenyan last year?

Oh, they are about to find the latest way to fight HIV/Aids. Male ‘cuts’ could hold back HIV spread says a report. So they have discovered that, eh? A study shows that if the males have ‘cuts’, meaning circumcision this could significantly reduce new HIV infections in the population as a whole.

But the experts hastily add that you must wear the condoms. It seems that many have opted for local herbal potion. The foreigners are told to wait and use ARVs. They could work. I does not mean the end of the world. And they ignore the ‘roots’ Some even call it outright quackery.

But if that is quackery, how come once in a while you find some ‘experts’ in some bush eagerly sampling out our roots. Are they doing that for fun or has the African forests have something to offer the rest of humanity. It will be presented and discovered to the world by Western scientists, of course.

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