alexa Witchcraft has many forms; breastfeeding isn’t one of them - Daily Nation

Witchcraft has many forms; breastfeeding isn’t one of them

Saturday August 10 2019

Zuleikha Hassan with baby at Parliament

Kwale Woman Representative Zuleikha Hassan (R) addresses the press outside the National Assembly chambers after she was ejected from the House with her five-month-old baby. PHOTO | COURTESY  

GABRIEL OGUDA
By GABRIEL OGUDA
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It is difficult to catch a break in this country.

Our politicians’ affinity for drama is higher than the chances of a Saint getting admitted into heaven.

If they are not gate-crashing people's funeral services with leaking mouths and zero shame, they are making fun of childless women and embarrassing grieving widows — and just when Kenyans thought they had seen enough of this week's quota of attention-seeking, our Members of Parliament ganged up on one of their female colleagues and ejected her from the debating chamber for carrying a toddling child to work.

You have to be out of your mind to pick a fight with a lactating mother holding a five-month-old child. Even wild animals do not rough up their newborns despite having less developed brains.

That a five-month-old child did not cry despite the humiliation tells you a lot about this country. The child kept her cool, watching old men shout down her mother, perhaps wondering why someone’s grandfather would spend a lot of time grooming in front of the mirror only to leave their brain behind.

MOTHERHOOD

When five-month-old babies act with maturity while adults behave like children, you know we are living in the end times.

There is no standing order in the world that can teach you common sense. If you weren't brought up well and have no regard for the honour of motherhood, you should have paid for remedial classes instead of burning taxpayers’ money to learn how to use an iPad.

All of us were once babies before we became adults. Except for special cases, we had the benefit of drinking baby milk from its natural source.

We did not care where or when we interacted with breast milk, and neither did our mothers who carried us along everywhere they went.

They tilled farmlands with us firmly strapped to their breast, and no one would run to the chief to report the sighting of a stranger on the farm.

When we jumped on our mothers’ laps and gleefully suckled uninvited; we never complained that our mothers were exposing themselves. Fashion wasn't an issue.

WORK-FAMILY BALANCE

If breastfeeding was good for the goose when you were a child, it should be good for the gander now that you consume milk directly from the shop.

The three arms of government need to make up their mind. On one hand, they are in full support of a new curriculum that encourages closer interaction between parents and their children, and on the other hand they are entrenching standing orders that separate children from their parents in the workplace.

You want women to keep up with competition in the workplace while jumping hurdles you only watch during athletics events.

You are quick to embarrass women struggling to strike a work-family balance when the only balance you know of is the see-saw between your loose tongue and your porous mouth.

Babies do not arrive into this world off the back of trees, neither are they made in a test tube. The last time someone converted wet clay into breathing humans the planet earth was still a virgin and death was still dead.

POLICY

If we hate our babies so much as to not want to see them enjoying their natural food in public, why do we still engage in the business of procreation?

If children were to choose which parents should give birth to them do you think they would choose the ones who'd rather see a woman's breasts only in the movies?

Taking advantage of a five-month-old's inability to defend her mother should be considered the greatest act of cowardice, only second to the man who got frightened by his shadow.

When other parliaments are busy crafting laws that govern artificial intelligence and making the world carbon-free, ours are busy picking fights with five-month-old babies going about their nutrition in the manner in which health experts have prescribed.

If Kenyan MPs fear turning blind from watching mothers breastfeed their babies in public, why haven't they passed a law that requires them not to ask for votes inside homes that have women with young children?

RIGHT-THINKING

The same people who scramble for photo ops with babies during campaigns now want us to believe the same babies are a bad omen once they already got what they wanted and are now safely in the House.

If you feel you must fight five-month-old babies, your first priority should be to find someone with some extra common sense and ask them if they will share it with you, as you are clearly lacking in it.

If lactating mothers needed a lecture on exclusive breastfeeding, they wouldn’t ask for it from men who think flashing a boob in public is tantamount to witchcraft.

Mr Oguda comments on topical issues; [email protected]

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