OPINIONPeople Daily

When breast milk made the bad headlines

Long before the indefatigable Raychelle Omamo breezed onto the scene, her father, Odongo Omamo had been there.

Now, Omamo was not only the first African principal of then Egerton College, but was an achiever in his own right.

But we are not here to list his achievements. My memory of the man is a politician with a massive sense of humour.

For instance, his reasons why breast milk is best for babies at a gathering of women nearly two decades ago brought the house down. The most attractive feature, he said, was that it came encased in a natural thermos (breasts), was always warm and available 24 hours a day.

This is definitely not how scientists put it when they advocate for mother’s milk. They will wax eloquent on how the milk boosts immunity and creates healthy infants and such boring semantics. Which is all very well.

The debate about breasts and their products is as old as time itself. It took a weird twist, however, last week in Uganda, with reports that husbands were competing with their children to breastfeed.

It was not clear if the two ‘babies’ breast-fed at the same time or there was a sort of shift arrangement for each party. But that is beside the point.

Why the wives allowed this, or what they gained from this is a story we must discuss another day. I do not know whether consent is given or not, or whether it is needed in the first place.

One wag opined on social media, where the debate was robust, that for an adult to do that was tantamount to a person continuing to take medicine after they had recovered from their malady. But we have digressed.

Closer home, one Faith Nyokabi was in the news last week for demanding Sh100,000 from her husband before she could breast-feed her own baby. So, this was first installment!

Of course, we could ask a hundred and three questions why Faith had faith that she was going to have her way.

Why would this enterprising woman want to “sell” what nature has given her for free? In fact, we can convincingly argue that she is just a custodian, the product rightfully belongs to the youngling.

And how did she arrive at this figure? Why not ask for, say, Sh15,000 or Sh7,500?

Maybe it is the spirit of enterprise that drove her to make this eerie demand from her husband. Maybe if he paid for the milk, there would be other demands ad infinitum. And then, the man would have to think twice about putting the woman in the family way.

But come to think of it, precisely why was this demand being made? Could the man have been a beneficiary of the milk in any way? It’s not totally unheard of, you know!

Unfortunately for Faith, magistrates, judges and other stern-faced employees of what I hear is called Judiciary do not like stories of that nature.

You know the folks, the guys who address each other as “learned friend” (I believe they are the only ones who are truly learned). They refer to a book they call the “Grey Book” and by the time they are through, you are in trouble.

You will hear terms such as “mutatis mutandis”, “prima facie” evidence and other intimidating words and phrases, mostly borrowed from Latin.

But back to our story.

If breast milk is to be made that costly, perhaps it is time other producers (on industrial scale) cashed in on the situation and lowered the price of fresh milk and yoghurt.

You see, I am now thinking like yet another entrepreneur, keen to see an opportunity where others see challenges. If anyone is interested, I am available for consultation on how this great opportunity can be made a cash cow.

Did I say cow? Back to this milk issue, again! It seems we cannot run away from it just yet. I am now waiting for calls, before this chance becomes spilt milk. (Again!)

Enjoy your week, folks!

Show More

Related Articles