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“At 23:56 on 23rd October 1963, Zambians rose in reverence of the Union Jack, the de facto national flag of the United Kingdom, for the last time as it lowered, signifying the end of British rule in Zambia.”

― Precious Mwansa-Chisa

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I have been in love with Zambia but not exactly what you would think the reason is. Yes, the family, the friends, the bush, the amazing wildlife, the places to visit. These are all very appealing, but I love Zambia for one strong reason. Due to my work over the years I have travelled the length and breadth of this country and have spent a night in virtually every town of every province. This coupled with my market visits to the compounds on foot is what has made me fall in love with it. It is the Zambian people, the most accommodating, humble, peace loving, friendly and ever smiling people. Every time I am in a compound, I am just happy, very happy from within. I get to meet and interact with such a diverse population and personalities.

I was recently in Kanyama compound of Lusaka. For those who don’t know the place, this is one of the largest compounds in Lusaka. So, walking through the market with a colleague of mine, and came across a place called ‘Natural Healing Clinic’. Now Zambia is awash with ads plastered on every single street pole offering you more size, stamina and the promise of curing you of any disease that you might be contracting in the future. I have my own views and reservations about the same, however I am sure it is quite popular and has a substantial following that so many people are into this nowadays. Fortunately, I have never felt the need or been in a situation where I had to call on of those numbers.

My curiosity was aroused and I asked my colleague if this was one of those places which offered natural and borderline spiritual healing? He replied in the affirmative and I, having a bit of time on my hands, was keen to see if something about my can be picked up by the person (not sure if he was a Dr.) which modern medicine, hospitals and equipment might have failed to diagnose and cure in the past. This building was off the main road and down a gravel one, I hesitantly went inside with my colleague.

There was what I would imagine a reception room (which I entered) and then I could see another room at the corner whose entrance had those funny beaded curtains. For some reason beaded curtains have always given me the jitters. There was no one in sight and the board in front of me caught my attention. It said of course ‘Natural Healing Clinic’ on top and below: “Services Offered – General Examination, Body Scanning, Detoxification, Natural Weight Reducing, Blood Cleaning, Diabetes Management”. This was like an epiphany for me and I was craving to see how Natural Weight Reducing would work and also maybe detoxification tricks if I end up having too many to drink on the weekend.

Before I could share my excitement with my colleague an elderly-ish gentleman walked through the beaded curtains and welcomed me in. He was a very warm person and asked me to follow him to the room. I was looking at my colleague with concern and then after receiving reassuring nods I proceeded. Now in the room I was asked to lie down on a bed, which I obeyed. I found it a bit odd that there was hardly any equipment at all in the room. I mean to justify the claims on the board at the reception you would want some serious gear. Then I asked the Dr. (he had by now mentioned he is one) as to what would be his general opinion of my health.

He said that was an immaterial question and I should ask him help with some ailment of mine and he could sort it out. I wasn’t sure how this would work as self-diagnosis is quite stupid. We all behave like doctors because we know how to differentiate between a cold and a cough. I then distracted him by asking him where the scanning would be done and what equipment he had for the same? He replied saying that scanning doesn’t always require equipment and he was able to look at me and determine conditions in my body. I really wanted to take him up on that and he agreed.

He looked at me from head to toe a couple of times in slow motion and then repeated the same after a minute or so in the middle. At this point I was on the border of worried and confused as to what was happening. He said that he had seen the issues I have. I couldn’t wait to hear it and urged him to spill the beans. He replied saying “You my friend, should not be worried. But there is a problem. You are fat. That tummy is a problem. A big problem”. I was very confused at this stage. I mean you would know if you have read my previous articles that I am quite a sizable human being. I don’t think you would need Optimus Prime kind of scanning. You can see from quite a distance that I have a pot belly. I wasn’t sure what the merit was in his scanning system for finding out that the man lying down in front of him with a visible belly was indeed fat and not 7 months pregnant.

I was indeed very disgruntled at this stage and wanted to get up and leave his natural scanning turned into sonography. Then I remembered seeing the sign Natural Weight Reducing and took him up on the offer of the same after his diagnosis of my problem. I asked him to help me get rid of the belly the natural way. He replied saying, ”You my friend, will lose this problem tummy, you need to eat less and exercise”. There was me hoping for some magic potion or remedy. I went from feeling confused to insanely stupid and decided to stick to visiting outlets where I have work and to in future skip any exploration. I handed him the first note that came out of my pocket and said, ”Zikomo” before walking out. At the reception area, my colleague stood visibly confused as well, shaking his head. He must have heard the conversation.

Once out, we proceeded with work, walked up to visit the next store which had the shutter down and a notice hanging outside which read ‘Notis – This stor is not open today becos it is closed’. My head still hurts and so does my fat tummy.

Dooderonomy will resume later, until then goodbye.

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