“No Gain without Pain”

Surely, I was trapped, like an animal in the zoo, with nowhere to run and nothing to say. 

Surely, I was trapped, like an animal in the zoo, with nowhere to run and nothing to say.  As a matter of fact, my tongue was tied as the Kinyarwanda saying “nta uburana n’umuhamba” (you can’t argue with your undertaker) and so I had the right to be silent lest anything I said could be used against me!

My second prayer was answered when the doctor sent her for some mentholated spirit.  I was afraid that she would be the one to inject my gadget with anaesthesia (ikinya) because the mere thought of her fingers touching my gadgets in order to administer the injection sent cold chills down my spine.  The anxiety drove the poor ka-gadget to hide. 

After administering the injection, the doctor waited or about 5 minutes and then he gently knocked on the gadget and asked me if there was anything I felt.  I almost shouted out in fear, I quickly sat up to see if the ka gadget was there or he had “amputated” it off!   Cold sweat was running down my neck amidst the well air-conditioned room.

With his gloves on, Dr Aberi picked a pair of scissors and began cutting off the “chafu” (trash) as if it was a piece of cloth and he was tailor! Chop, chop, chop, went the scissors, this took like ten or fifteen minutes.  When he was done, he picked a piece of cotton gauze and rolled

it into a thick threadlike structure and he wrapped it around the gadget, to be precise, around the sector he had chopped!  He then went on to begin sewing or stitching in such a way that, the stitches were holding the cotton gauze in place. The gauze was to stop any bleeding to take place. 

Just as he was beginning the stitching, the anaesthesia gave way and all of a sudden, I began feeling something very heavy had been put in place; maybe this was because it was beginning to gain its original weight!   For sure, the stitching was more than a nightmare.

When one is in pain, even a minute can look like a whole hour!  Within a few minutes, he was done and he instructed me not to take any alcohol since he was going to put me on antibiotics.  I would have obeyed any orders as long as my gadget would heal and return to its normal “mechanical” condition.  

By the time we left the clinic, it was already 10:00pm; we were not only thirsty but hungry as well.  This time round, we were going to behave like Simba eating grass!  So when we began taking sodas in place of beers, everybody noticed, many were left wondering, they scratched their head but no one ever got to know the secret behind the change in character. 

After a month, we were back to our normal “mechanical” conditions.   Though there were some hard times, all in all, nobody regrets ever having the “nyakatsi” “demolished.  As I write this third class story, we are marking the tenth anniversary of the exercise.  As they say, “there is no gain without pain”!


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