By Ng'wanza Kamata
I am in the same confusion, but yet I won’t budget an inch to agree with the hundred testimonies I have heard so far. But for me, as a Materialist Africanist, the Loliondo is (to those who are going and those planning to go, and those who are still making up their minds) like a New Jerusalem! If New Jerusalem means emancipation, Loliondo is revealing before our eyes that people want freedom!
What a coincidence, while in Egypt and Tunisia they marched in protest against the regimes, and in Libya they are fighting (a bit confusing!) against Ghadaffi (!), and in Ngugi's Wizard of the Crow they are marching to Heaven (what a prophetic novel) in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi, as we are told, are marching to Loliondo.
One point which attracts my curiosity about Loliondo is that they are all queuing, in one long queue. Rich and poor, big and small, powerful and weak, men and women, old and young (ajuza na vikongwe - I don't know the english words that expresses this age category!), you name them! They queue waiting for their turn to see the minister (Mzee, Babu Ambilikile). I find this interesting and would perhaps try to explain it, but after you tell me what you have witnessed.
In ‘the Marching to Heaven’ portrayed by Ngugi’s Wizard of the Crow, the rich and poor had different queue! In Loliondo, the arrogance of the Arab Rich Hunter is nothing, it is easily humbled by the free and crudely administered liquid in a plastic cup, not the expensive gold and silver glasses, like the Holy Grail most churches have.
There are so many questions, and perhaps you can help answer them after your sojourn. When it comes to bodily health, Loliondo is saying, we are all equal! But are we drawing any lessons from this? In life we live to show off, but in Loliondo there is no chance for that. Sick rich, or poor sick, will all want to show off. Which hospitals they went (India, America, South Africa) you name them! In Loliondo there is only one doctor and one medicine for all. There is no fast tracking, no first class. No classes! There is only Medicare for everyone. There is no emergency; there is no Intensive Care Unit (ICU). There is one doctor and one medicine for all, and the price is fixed – not more not less – it is 500. The Loliondo will pass, and the most important lessons would not have been learnt.
It does not matter whether it cures or it does not, but it reminds us of our humanity.
The freedom we want here, which makes all of us equal is the health of the body. On this the rich and poor, no matter how they became unhealthy (because the sources can be different) are united by one hope, cure of their bodily needs, which unfortunately in most of the testimonies are not revealed.
And you pay only Shs. 500. What a bluff, to the rich especially.