Condom sales hits the roof over Malawi state funeral

Malawi’s late president, Bingu wa Mutharika’s funeral on Monday had seen condom sales in the city of Blantyre hit the roof suggesting that many people who travelled to the burial ceremony engaged themselves in extra-marital  safe sexual escapades, Nyasa Times can exclusively report.

According to reports reaching Nyasa Times condom sales rocketed sky-high in Blantyre and surrounding areas from Sunday through Monday when millions of mourners thronged the city to bury the fallen head of state.

In the war against HIV and Aids, condoms have been touted as one of the ways to protect the sexually active; the other is to lead a celibate life.

A teenage prostitute holds on to her one remaining condom as she waits for a 'client'to pick her up

Malawi is among the countries worst affected by Aids, with about 12% of the 13m population affected.

And bearing in mind that Aids is the leading cause of death for adult Malawians, scores of mourners who turned the poignant moment into a sex party, played it safe.

Hot cakes

A random check in most shops by Nyasa Times correspondents in Blantyre revealed that most outlets who sell condoms especially drinking joints had run out of stock as people are said to have bought the protection rubbers like hot cakes.

“It sounds bizarre but it is true that in the last two days people have bought condoms like never before,” said one trader speaking on condition of anonymity from Blantyre city centre.

“Condoms all of a sudden became a highly sought commodity. There were hordes of men and women who had came to bury the late president from all corners of the country and it seems they took advantage to engage themselves into a sexual marathon.”

He added: “I have doing business in this city for close to eight years now but I have never seen people buying condoms like they have from Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Most of the people who have swarming my shops for condoms are not familiar faces and somebody actually confided in me that he had used the president’s funeral as an excuse to spend time with his girlfriend away from his nagging wife.”

Another trader from Kamba said  he had run out stock after a lot of ‘strangers’ came buying condoms from him.

In an interview one Kanyenya (roast meat) seller, Elias Nankhuni a resident of Zingwangwa Township in the city but pries his trade at Kamba disclosed to Nyasa Times in a telephone interview that after he noted that most people were looking for condoms he bought as many condoms from the pub and resold them at a higher price.

“At first, I was like what is happening, as everybody came to me and asked if I could buy them condoms. I was dazed because most the people that were buying condoms were not regular faces. Actually, I made more money selling condoms than selling the roasted meat,” explained Nankhuni.

Nankhuni added that most of the people that were hunting for the ‘rubber bullets’ came in cars and didn’t even stay for a beer after getting the ‘protection rubbers.’

“Some of them were big men (bosses) who on a normal day could not come to Kamba for anything else. I’m glad I made my money,” he said.

Other spot random checks carried out in Chilomoni, Ndirande and Manja townships in the city by our reporters also revealed that condoms were a special commodity during the funeral and burial of Mutharika whose funeral ceremony was attended by seven heads of state and included Zimbabwean leader Comrade Robert Mugabe,  president Mwai Kibaki  of Kenya and Armando Guebuza  of Mozambique among others.

One Golda Nkosi remarked on social network Facebook forum that condom sales at her shop went ridiculously high.

“I can witness to that. My shop sold a lot of them and they were only buying RR ones. When I went to stock up again at Chipiku plus, the supervisor was even laughing. He couldn’t believe how the sales increased,” she remarked.

And commenting on the same post Malawian US based renowned broadcaster John Chongwe Jr said this on the other hand is a remarkable development that people are using condoms rather than bonking skin to skin or meat to meat.

“This is very positive news. Am inclined to think the campaign for use of these things is gaining momentum. Folks are living real bearing in mind the consequences of engaging in conjugal obligations without prophylactics. It’s also really interesting to learn the sales of went up during the mourning of Bingu. Malawians, we never stop to amaze. We do get some solace in intimacy when we are bereaved” what a phenomenon. Life is something,” said Chongwe Jr, a journalist and former newscaster at the state owned broadcaster MBC.

And making his contribution on the matter Jesman Chintsanya posted: “The big question is where the people using were them saying it would be interesting to have a study to see if there is also an upsurge in number of births occurring 9 months from the last two days, so are HIV incidences.”

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