The Mythical Karimojong Medicine Man

He towers over a taxi as he swerves his way through a couple more to get across the highway. Wrapped in a Stripped double colour rob, His hair is short and he hasn’t missed the nomads’ signature footwear either; The Rugabire, sandals made out of old car tyres. Its mid-afternoon and the dust all over him can produce a ten-kilometre prediction of distance walked today if it were fed into a data model. If you get a glimpse at him, you’ll quickly spot his shiny white eyes and teeth! and.. well, they are surprisingly not mean with smiles.

Thanks to CRumanzi for this tentative picture :)

That is the typical K’jong medicine-man whose classic Masai robs hover in uniqueness as he joins the daily city hustle; that's our man. He carries a trademark five-litre jerrycan that contains a thin deep reddish liquid; the medicine. My perk of interest in these medicine-men is that their package is always identical, with identical packaging but most of all; they present it as the solution for every ache, ailment or pain they suspect you to be describing. Yes, they suspect. They seldom understand the Luganda local language but If you call one of them and seem to be complaining about anything, The speed at which they offer you a glass of this standard solution rivals that of a striking eagle!

Where they come from, its a flat arid land; that's void of forests and hates farm crops; they are traditionally herdsmen; tough ones, I must add. Back home, The liquid they carry is made for a specific disorder but when they came to the city, the city happened. To low-income dwellers, This city is characterized by dishonesty and a desperate thirst to survive. If you one were honest enough to trade the solution for specific illness only for the first few days, you may hardly turn a dime because the people supposed to buy from you are in a similar financial situation as you the seller. With a high cost of living and the scorching sun, the decision to fraudulently offer it as a solution for all while increasing sales comes damn easy! This is Kampala, and you have to survive.

Seated in a taxi, nearby passengers start murmuring the same story; they laugh at how the same portion is offered for every affliction described by the people who are daring enough to shout out a calling signal to the jerrycan carrier. I wouldn't blame them for that though, I think they are also trying to catch up with the way of the city. As the Kampala traffic jam that takes 15 years off our lives slowly resettles our taxi, I notice him pouring out into a held cup in the near distance; he has closed a sale! and that's what each one of us aspires to do.


Reports indicate that they’re usually Kenyans. Akamba, Samburu — some tribe like that.. maybe Pokot? But most of the time, it’s Ugandan #Bafere and all sorts of individuals. — CRumanzi (

That? Definitely, not surprising. Its what adds mythical to the story title. As Ugandans, we are just too flexible in a funny way. If the Nomads are making money, why not turn into one yourself? That’s the basis of Kampala fraud; pseudo-identity!

Thanks for reading this till the end. I love writing and I hope to write more.
More about me:

I write myself out. Code Chef | Athlete | I Dance and Love travelling. I’m diving into Data Science.

I write myself out. Code Chef | Athlete | I Dance and Love travelling. I’m diving into Data Science.