Tuesday, May 5, 2009


What’s your foreskin status?

If I heard Dr Kigoda right in the Bunge, circumcision among men in the fight against HIV/Aids helps. Some MP from Pemba, appropriately called Hafidh Ali Tahir (Dimani) had been asking about the joys of circumcision in the Bunge.

Joys? I don’t know about that. In his biography, ‘The road to freedom’, Africa’s icon, Mzee Nelson Mandela told the rest of us what happened when his group of young men reached puberty.

Mzee narrated that when the ngariba (cut-man) cut off the foreskin, you were supposed to jump up and yell: “I am a man!” When it came to our Mzee’s turn and the ngariba struck, Mzee said the pain was so intense that he forgot to yell the magic words.

Today times have changed. I got the ‘cut’ on day one. My old girl told me that when tots are born they have to do a wee and a pooh, which is good practice for stuff you are going to do for the rest of your life. I poohed but there was no wee. So the doctor searched my naughty parts only to find no pee hole on it. So he decided to do the operation of cutting it right there and then. I hear my pee flew all over the doc’s face and he called me a toto tundu.

But I still have memories of my brothers being hauled to the theatre howling for dear life. They will be awaited with a ‘cut-man’ with a sadistic glee on his face. I would never like to meet such a guy in the dark.

Today there is anesthesia, local anesthesia. The medics isolate your naughty parts and remove the foreskin while you are reading a newspaper or eating a sandwich. Then you go home. No need to yell that you are a man. You may have to walk a bit gingerly as the painkiller wears off, and might not be able to have fun with it for awhile. But that’s about it.

Trouble is, how to ask our honorable MPs if they have done the job themselves. Hon Tahir has obviously had the job done to him. In Kiswahili it is easier: “Mheshimiwa, umekata?” Even then, you could get extreme answers.

The MPs who comes from a ‘cut’ culture could feel offended that you even dared ask them such obvious things. You have to apologies effusively if you want to get away with such a question.

With an MP who doesn’t come from a ‘cut’ culture you might also get into trouble; “What is it to you, damn it? Whether I am cut or not, does it matter? The people of my constituency elected me to come and represent them in the Bunge. Not, I repeat, not how I look down there. I think this is a violation of human rights and I am going to sue you in court.”

“Sir, we have just heard that ‘cutting’ helps in the fight against HIV/Aids and…”
“You can bloody go to hell with your cutting business! Aids, or swine flu, I don’t care! And, by the way, my wife likes it as it is! Get out of my face, now!”

And, come to think of it, the question is awkward enough to ask our honorable MPs. The language must be couched appropriately. Now there is a question on ‘marital status’ to ask if the Hon. is married or not.

Maybe we should ask about the ‘foreskin status” of the Hon.? If it is negative society should assume that the MP is circumcised. If his foreskin status is positive, society would assume that that the Hon MP needs a cut. Ou-u-c-h!

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