Thursday, October 6, 2016


Be careful what you wish for! So, few months ago I was in social media airing out my concern on what I termed as “Kitamentality”. You see in our society socio-economic status is gauged by the ample protrusion of a conspicuous pot belly. It is what fislets use to sort the broke blokes from the sponsors. My main concern arose from my grandmother’s complaints, well intended as she was, that I was still as thin as a stick praying mantis. She blames the town life for it and of course unemployment, which is one of her prayer-points, thankfully. I had tried to get the kitambi, consciously, by occasionally indulging in junk. But the hustle is real; by the time I got back to my crib I was angry and tired. So I gave up.

Then it happened! Most of my day is spent writing online. Sitting down more than six hours every day, only standing to visit the toilet or kitchen which is a step away did it. Soon there was some weight on my laps. My “fitting trousers” now required breathing in for the buttons to get into their holes. My shirts began shrinking. Then I realized my stomach was starting to form some “Michellin tyres” which were accentuated on lose t-shirts. It is happening. At first I was glad. At least I could now buy adult trousers without asking for the vendor to get number 28, or visiting the tailor to trim the baggy ones. It was good. Some people even started calling me “mzee”…which is something for some people.

Then I decided to at least visit home. Just shortly to see what grandma will say. I am standing there, the next day looking yonder with hands akimbo after a heavy lunch. She is seated on the verandah. She starts laughing. She spoke in vernacular like: “You mean you have not even got real job or married and the kitambi is already overtaking you?” Okay, not in those word exactly but that is what she implied. I just laughed, bitterly. After the short trip I returned to the city. Things were not getting better. My appetite was at all high mode. I could eat even eight times a day. My belly button was now a belly-hole sunk by the belly fat. At this rate things may not be looking good somewhere along the way.

I am not used to being big, I mean wide. In fact I even do not know how it feels but one image flashed in my mind. A short (almost my height) guy with a big belly used to be my neighbor. The stomach was so big his fingertips could barely touch when he put his hands over it (kitambi). His legs were thin and could barely support the center of gravity which had by now shifted elsewhere. That was the future with this trend. I had to do something before this scenario plays out for me. I could hear my heart bit every time I went up a long staircase or a steep hill. All the initial excitement about my acquired asset was turning into gruesome prospection. I started googling things like “how to reduce belly fat home exercises” or “burn belly fat exerciser” or even better “Getting a six pack in 1 week!” As of the time of writing this post, I am staring at a roller. I am not yet there but that perfect shape is a push-up, pull-up, roller, plank away!
John Kalya
John Kalya