Making The Fight Against HIV/AIDS Sexy By Sending The ‘Clown Approach’ To Hell On A Single-Ticket


 

 

Ok…good morning superstars!!! That’s what I call you, that’s who iam, and that’s who you gonna be Smile I hope every one had a good weekend Winking smile Lets just say, a weekend of no-home-works? lol No one got drunk and drove, no one had unprotected sex, no one drove without putting on a seat belt etc…eish, let me save you from the speeches! Wooo…and to my superstars who work day time, bloody monday returns Crying face Crying face What can we do? haha…get out of those bed sheets, stop playing the ‘Lazy song’…take a shower…good break fast and jog to work! Hell, yeah, there is a lot of mess to sort out…and you are going to make the difference….allons-y!

So, as usual, the love of my life “HIV/AIDS and Young people’ reverbated in my ears over the weekend while attending a public lecture at Lake View Hotel-Mbarara, Uganda. Now, as many young people out there may know, HIV/AIDS topic has some what become a boring topic..yet only 40% of young people have good knowledge of basic facts about HIV/AIDS! Of these, 31% are females! I bloody-hell like hearing the views of participants after every session-blame it on my education back ground as a teacher, and well as a public health freak interested in process and impact evaluations. Here is a master class of views I got from some of the young superstars in attendance:-

  • ‘I thought it was going to be any sexier! But, it was like the rest!’
  • One said, with a wrinkled,I don’t care, 50 cent-like face ‘These dudes come in here, spend lots of dollars, and all they do is just a wordy-filled power point presentation? Would have instead spent my time more useful’ Surprised smile
  • ‘This whole HIV/AIDS talk was shit, Brian, do you want to say, you were attentive for the whole 60 minutes? The presenter kept talking about People Living With AIDS, The LGBT Family, Young People in conflict zones…has this guy an idea of being like one of them? ‘Surprised smile

Feeling that was enough feedback, I pulled (not really pulling) aside one of the girls from UNFPA who was one of the organisers and shared my views and feedback from the superstars. She quickly run all over the room like a headless chicken and before I knew it, I had been ushered into the VIP room packed to capacity with 6 ‘professors’ of AIDS! Deep in my head, I was thinking, if these dudes were going to scare me to death, they were messing up themselves because I had had my single-ticket-to-hell book with me. I’d find no problem donating each one of them the tickets! haha….but yes, there, I stood uprightly, focussed, and thousands of my English-HIV-Vocabulary pushing themselves closer to my tongue, as if to say, ‘lets come out’!‘Please have a seat young man’ said the chair. ‘We understand that you have something to tell us’, he continued speaking. ‘As you may know, we are…introductions proceeded…we would be happy to hear what you wanted to tell us. Adjusting myself authoritatively (you know, I’d received a hell of trainings in advocacy and public speaking), I said, ‘I actually have nothing new to tell the professors. But, there are a group of young people outside this room, outside this district, outside this country, outside Africa that are the professors of the war against HIV/AIDS. They are the great soldiers who fearlessly will run at night, in dangerous zones in this war. They are multiskilled, they are united by the blood of solidarity. That’s why, at the end of this lecture, I spoke with them because they are the worst-hit-group as regards HIV/AIDS all over the world. One thing, we shall need to change, my dear professors, is the way we are making these public lectures…they have to be in the language of young people-our targets! The power point presentation was action-filled with technical information, we would have loved to see simple, easy-to understand information, we would have loved to see the people affected speaking at this event!!!!!!!!!! In a country where the LGBT family  is not welcome, legally, we would still have some one from this family talk to the audience…if I may ask, ‘Is it possible for me to tell the how honey is, if I havent tasted it myself? Surprised smile It’s a common phenomenon, it happens many times, that we use clowns in places of human beings! Now, that’s ok..but that happens in the movies! Not in the real world. Clowns have no idea about how the human feels, sees, tastes, responds to, hears etc…

Bottomline, instead of fighting the war against HIV…we are facilitating the war to continue by supporting the use of clowns instead of the target population. Clearly, we can not fight a war without enabled-soldiers. they must have the guns, the will power, the relevant trainings and consequently the experience! Over the weekend, I appreciated the fact that public lectures need to change the way they operate or are organised. If the lectures are organised targeting professors, decision makers etc..let it be clear on the adverts that are made lest, we will continue to successfully put the ladders on the wrong wall!

NB>>>> my usage of the word ‘clowns’ doesn’t mean any abuse to anyone. I use the word to mean shadows of the real.

 

Have a good week every one…oh and that includes those suffering from monday-phobia. Iam aint a doctor..so, I cant help you! Winking smile © Brian Kanaahe Mwebaze Bilal

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