Memories of this liberating experience came last week after reading a report about Ugandan men who were reportedly complaining about the size of condoms. Apparently condoms are too small for them.
The story, which quoted the MP, made world headlines and Tweeter went crazy too. One tweet asked “How endowed are Ugandan men?” This reminded me of my Ugandan tour at beginning of this year. I remembered the day I skinny dipped in the River Nile at Bujagali Falls near Jinja. This is still the most liberating thing I have ever done this year.
I walked inside Bujagali Falls park. There is entry fee so I pretended I was just a regular khat chewing local guy like those I found at the gate. A guard with an old rifle stopped me about 50m inside the gate and demanded payment. Mxm, I didn’t totally cut it as local, there must have been some ‘new guy’ in my pose. I didn’t protest though, I walked back to the guard and confidently gave him 2,000 Ugandan shillings ($1), an entry fee for the locals. He gave me a receipt and I proceeded inside. This is one of the few benefits of touring Africa if you’re black. No Mzungu price for a black man.
Inside. I met guys by the riverside trying to sell me a boat ride. But I was not really interested. I have done many of those. Then I saw some guys swimming at some rocky river bank. They were skinny dipping. And I immediately wanted to join them. When I approached them, they seemed to be little uneasy because I was holding a camera. I then packed it inside the bag and started slowly undressing.
They were boys, they looked quite young, possibly mid teens. For a while they covered their groin area when they got off the water. But after a while, they got used to me and began to be free to swim without worrying about exposing their packages to this stranger.
The tallest guy was the first to freely hang it. I must add, ‘proudly’ hang it. Ok, get me right, the River Nile water was cold and this boy was like he just woke up from a warm bed in the middle of a wet dream. I wondered what will his future look like. Actually I think the Ugandan MP is speaking for that guy. Then the other small boys followed. Hanging them. Proudly. They were gifted young men. Athletic ribbed dark skinned. These boys were not really good for my ego. So I never dropped the pants because I was thinking I couldn’t come all the way from Botswana to Uganda for this embarrassment.
So I went further by the riverbank where the kids were skinny dipping in shallow waters. But the kids were quite small and I decided against joining them for fear of being viewed as some kind of child predator preying on these little happy skinny dipping kids. I then returned back to the ‘big’ boys’ section. I kept reassuring myself saying, they don’t know me anyway. I’m not dating their sisters. I’m a tourist.
I took off all my clothes and ran into the water. The ‘big’ boys cheered and laughed. I was cleansing in the waters that has just began a 6,853km journey to the Mediterranean. I focused my mind on this thought and forgot about the “men sizes” of these ‘gifted’ boys.
Quite liberating, if catch my drift.