Do you know that eight in every ten electricity poles from Chelstone to Kamwala have atleast 3 penis enlargement posters stuck to them? All from different herbalists peddling a variety of sexual performance treatment. This leaves one to wonder, could there be something wrong with Lusaka men? Is are the posters just a case of advert saturation?
A lot of sexual problems are psychological, but one cannot ignore the physical aspect of these problems so the real question now is; Do herbal sexual treatment, of which penis enlargement is the common one, really work? I went undercover to one of these clinics in the disguise of looking for ‘help’ and found out a few things from the woman who owns the clinic. She answered my questions to the letter. She showed me a lot of herbal remedies, powders, creams and syrups that she claims can enlarge, give strength, boost sperm production, increase libido.
I asked her what causes these sexual problems in the first place and her answers were blunt, straight to the point and very unapologetic. “Kambili ngati mwamuna anadwalapo STI ma muscles yaku bumuna yanankala weak. So mankwala aya ya mangusula ma muscles kuja so that blood ikazipita mushe mushe. (Sometimes if a man has an STI the penal muscles get weak and he can’t perform so these herbals help to loosen the penal muscles so that blood can flow freely.” She said pointing at a certain bottle that contained a grey powder. “You put a teaspoon of this powder in a tea, Chibuku or Juice every day until you get the desired results. When the penis is the right size you stop and once you stop it won’t shrink back. The powder is multi-purpose, it works to enlarge, boost libido and thicken the sperm and even when the sperm comes out it jumps.” She said animatedly, shaking the bottle with the KR 120 price tag written in pen and the potential customers in her sweaty little shop laughed.
Her business is booming, in just the 20 minutes I spent with her she had filled half a page of an 80 page book in sales. When I mentioned my concern about side effects she quickly cut me off and said her remedies were safe and that lots of people had used them. “I started selling these drugs a long time ago and so far no one has come back with a problem because of using them. Ma soldier bambili nima customer yatu, ndiye bama bwela maningi.” (Most of our customers are soldiers, they come here more often than other people.)
Could a hectic urban lifestyle lead to low sexual performance, in turn prompting men to seek the help of herbalists? Nchito ze tisebenza timankala bolema every day. “Some of these jobs we do leave us tired every day”. Says captain, a bus conductor. “So kupezeka ati ukafika che kunyumba ufuna che kudya nakugona ndaba mailo futi uzacokapo 05. So kumankala ati mukazi wako naye ankala alindila ati bamuna banga bakafika tizaonana manje adabwa ati ufika ndiwe olema ndiye ve timayesela vimankwala ivi kuti mukazi asadandaule.” (Most of the time all you want to do as a man when you get home is eat and sleep because the next day you are starting off at 05 again. Your wife is usually waiting for you to love her when you come but you are always tired and she is unsatisfied that’s why we try these remedies to give you power so that your wife does not complain.”
I tried to find anyone who has used the remedies before A certain man who tried the remedies says he regrets using them because at first they worked for the first 3 days or so but then something else happened. “I was happy with the results but after 3 days I noticed that my stamina went down, it went down even lower than it was before I took started putting the powder in my tea. I had to stop taking them but it was a long time before I became normal again. These drugs are like ARVs, once you start you have to keep taking them because you get used to them and cannot function without them.” He says in street lingo.
But Chilembo, a medical student does not recommend the use of herbal remedies for sexual performance enhancement. He says that if people were better informed they would know that most of them don’t have a problem at all. “These herbalists take are preying on the insecurities of men, the majority of whom believe that when it comes to penis size the bigger the better, which is all because of peer pressure. If only they talked with their partners about their insecurities they would find out that they have no cause to worry. It’s all in the head.
Chilembo goes on to say. “Plus, there is no proof that these remedies really work and that they have no ill effects. For a drug to be commercialized, it must first go through clinical trials so that it can be declared fit for human use. Plus if you check they have no dosage so you do not know what harm they do to the liver and if anything happens to you because of taking them you will have nowhere to go because most of these herbalists are not registered with the Herbal Association Of Zambia.”
Perhaps the saying ‘it’s not the size of the dog, but the size of the fight in the dog that matters’ is overused, yet still when referred to penis size and other sexual performance related issues, it stands true.