Abdul Hayi Moomen writes On When a Nation goes to the Loo


Nyaba, In recent times, especially at night, I have been more awake than asleep. And oh, it has nothing to do with the daughter of my father-in-law. I have been losing sleep thinking about why some of our people, particularly, our leaders think the way they think.

Nyaba, the other day, Shikpa the well-known village bicycle repairer, the one whose wife sells bambara beans under the baobab tree in front of the village square, suddenly felt an awkward movement in his belly. He first brushed it off as one of those moments when gari and beans and a few rotten eggs were making their way down the long line of intestines.

Not long after, there was another movement. This time, the movement was accompanied by a loud sound akin to that which is produced by a moving pot filled half way with water. The movement was followed by a sharp pain from within the walls of his belly. Shikpa knew it was time to release something. What he wasn’t sure about was whether if he pushed to release, he would release a stream of flatulence or a solid fecal matter from his rear end.

Shikpa tried the first option but before he could reach the final stages of the pushing that would eventually result in the release of flatulence, there was another sharp movement in his belly. It had become clear to him, that this was not a problem that could solved through flatulence. It was diarrhea. A man with a running stomach dares not attempt a bout of flatulence. Shikpa knew this.

He quickly made a mad rush for the nearest Bush.

Nyaba, why is it that a man is able to hold onto urine and “number 2” sometimes for several hours, but as soon as the same man sees a place of convenience, both urine and “number 2” suddenly assume autonomy status and begin the push out themselves?

That is what almost happened to Shikpa. Before he could untie the knot that kept his torn trousers on his waist, there was a machine gun-like sound “kpakakakaka”.

Within a split second, the trousers went down and out came the fecal matter. It was watery and phlegmy. Shikpa wiped off the sweat that had invaded his face in the melee, his eyes rolled up with a sigh and he breathed deeply.

It was all over……

Shikpa had not taken along a piece of toilet paper. Of course, in the mad rush, there was no time to think of such trivial things as toilet paper. But now his rear end had to be cleaned. He looked left and right, up and down, in search of something to clean with. With nothing in sight, he reached for a smooth stone and made a wiping journey from the front to the back of his rear end.

His trousers was soon back up his waist, supported by a rope.

Two children walking down the path picked up the stone and began to chase lizards and other domestic reptiles. As one of the boys swung the stone, it landed in Shikpa’s compound just when his wife was looking for a stone to grind pepper for the evening meal. She made a remark about how children can be so careless by just throwing stones anyhow. She picked up the stone, and began to grind the pepper with it.

That night, when Shikpa returned home he ate a very sumptuous meal. What he didn’t know was that he had eaten his own feaces too.

Until we all rise up against political hooliganism, until we all remember that even in our diarrhea of political excitement, that we need to pause and take toilet papers with us, like Shikpa, we might end up eating our own shit.

What a shame that our politics has been reduced to this man and that man. In twi that man is called Papano. What a shame!


by: Abdul Hayi Moomen


Iddrisu Muftaw |



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