Too much of anything...

Why didn't someone tell the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, that too much of anything is bad? Even fine winning and dinning!

Why didn’t someone tell the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, that too much of anything is bad? Even fine winning and dinning!

The “Dear Leader”, known for his love of Swiss cheese and exotic wines, is reportedly suffering from gout, diabetes and high blood pressure, just like his father and grandfather before him.

Something tells me the millions of malnourished and starving North Koreans must be smiling behind closed doors because this surely is karma for a man who lives lavishly when his countrymen have to rely on food aid to survive.

But should we be surprised that a man, who threw his own uncle to the dogs not so long ago, doesn’t think twice about spending millions on luxury cars, yachts and fine food?

Closer to home, there are many Kims – those people who love to feast alone, so to speak.

Growing up, we always heard accounts of step parents starving their step children.

There is also the case of housemaids. I have friends and relatives who reprimand their maids for daring to eat some of the chicken or beef they prepared. Others have had their salaries, which are already meager, cut because they had some of the treats meant for the children they look after. Usually, it’s fruit or milk. Good for the baby, not good for the maid.

Then there are colleagues who spend upward of Rwf5,000 on lunch almost every day. If they don’t order pizza or a couple of burgers during the day, they pass by the bar in the evening and buy a round for the pretty waitresses.

All the while, their wives are expected to feed the family on a budget. Poor women have to endure ubugali and sombe most of the time while their husbands’ bellies grow bigger from grilled chicken and fish.

It reminds me of a childhood experience. I must have been about five, when my parents sent me to live with an aunt during school holidays. It was a village setting and I remember finding a couple of other children, about my age at my aunt’s house.

While that meant I’d have many playmates, it also meant there wasn’t always enough to eat as I was used to at home. We also had our supper quite early and while at my parents’ we all ate together, at my aunt’s, children ate by 6.00pm and were expected to be in bed immediately after that.

I guess that’s why I always woke up hungry. One night, I woke up at around 9.00pm and wanted to use the bathroom. I was still half-asleep when I stumbled into the dining room but the six or so adult voices yelling at me to go back to sleep left me wide awake. It was like a feast. Steamed Matooke, rice, smoked beef and probably many other dishes I didn’t get time to make out before I was chased out of the room.

This, when all we kids had was a few fingers of hard boiled Matooke with eggplant or beans on a good day! Even at that young age, I knew that was not fair and I made sure I told my parents the minute they picked me up. I guess Kim is not the only one who reserves the fine things for himself.