A peep into London’s diary of a stressful week

Friday January 21 2022
Prince Andrew

Britain's Prince Andrew, Duke of York, on September 7, 2019 attends a ceremony commemorating the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Bruges in Bruges. PHOTO | AFP

By Freddy Macha

That word ‘Stress’.

If we peer through last week’s London headlines and start with the pressure on men. One news item by science reporter Victoria Allen cried: “E-Cigarettes can damage men’s fertility.”

E-Cigarettes have been the alternative to natural cigarettes since they were developed by Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik in 2003. Also called “vaping,” they are supposed to diminish male sperm production.

Quoting the British Fertility Society, Victoria Allen wrote that men were also cautioned “against using laptop directly on their lap and having very long hot baths as testes need to remain cool for optimal sperm production. A huge decline in sperm count in recent decades is thought to be partly caused by lifestyle changes.”

Here we have to come to East Africa and plead for our young males aiming to be fathers to wake up and smell the coffee.

That word: Life style. That phrase. How do you conduct yourself, your food, exercise and sleep? Speaking of sleep. The other stress is insomnia. Stress, is causing people to sleep less.

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Insomnia is a direct effect of stress in developed countries.

London’s Consultant Neurologist Professor Guy Leschzine was paraphrased saying Covid-19 has caused a lot of anxiety, which contributes to insomnia. To beat this, Professor Leschziner developed a podcast that helps sleeping. For example, he says, using sleeping pills aggravates the situation. He gives hints such as using the bed only for sleeping (and sex ) AND NOT for mobile phones and laptops etc.


So that word stress ruled.

According to eminent scientist and 1921 Nobel Prize winner for physics, Albert Einstein: “A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness.”

We have seen stress in males and the fertility issue. What about women? A recent research at USA’s Arizona State University led by assistant psychology professor Dr Michael Barley concluded that women’s feelings depend on how society looks at them. In East Africa we have words for female body shapes. Such words exist in all countries.

Looking at the way fat is distributed, the research (of over 1,000 ladies) concluded “apple” shaped females feel “worse about their body” than pears. Apple physiology means fat around the abdomen, while pear is distributed in the lower areas e.g. thighs, hips and the back side.

Published in the journal of Social Psychological and Personality Science, the findings highlighted the fact that being obese is not as simple as thought. That where fat is prominent can have a more positive outcome to a person.

On the international front, the saga of world number one, tennis champion, Novak Djokovic, matched on in Australia. Djokovic who has refused to be vaccinated against Covid-19, was detained then released, then blocked again; by Australian authorities, over his visa procedures. The Serbian’s stressful incident caused a media frenzy.

Meanwhile, Africa Cup of Nations kicked off in Cameroon. Tanzania has only qualified twice in the entire Africa Cup history, in 1980 and 2019.

Wikipedia: “Tanzania is one of Africa’s weaker sides and often don’t achieve much international honour.”

Wow.

Embarrassing.

We are however, leaders in other things. Peace and tranquillity. And this peace is no more visible than in Zanzibar, where smaller islands have been put out for sale. Zanzibar is among our biggest overseas attraction. Stats say in 1985, 19,000 tourists flocked to the Spice Islands , and rose to half a million in 2018.

Consequently news of selling some of the islands startled overseas Tanzanians who shared a clip stating how billionaire Bill Gates actually owns Mnemba Island. Money is the name of the game.

Money buys power and power is politics.

London this week was packed with political scandals.

A satirical (constructed) photograph of two eminent government personalities was circulating on social media.

The Queen’s son, Prince Andrew has been accused of sleeping with a female teenager, Virginia Roberts, at the home of the late American tycoon, Jeffrey Epstein in 2001. Prince Andrew denied and claimed that day he was having Pizza with his daughter.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was last week, accused of attending a private party, during the lock-down two years ago. This “bring a bottle” party has been chiselled and scrutinised. Accountability reigns here.

Calling for him to resign, the media also revealed that opposition Labour leader, Sir Keir Kramer, was photographed drinking beer at another “work event” during lock-down in April 2021.

Now, The so called “photograph” implies Prince Andrew advising Mr Johnson: “So, first of all you were not there, secondly if you were there you stumbled in by accident, thirdly you were there because you thought you were at work. If that fails you were having a pizza with me at the time, I will back you up. Good-luck.”

If we chuckle at what happens in African politics and the state of hypocrisy and debauchery, then spread eyes.

Its everywhere.