Thursday, January 13

"To Pull-Pull"

Kuponya is a Tumbuka verb meaning "to pull." Kuponyaponya means "to pull-pull," and is usually translated as "to masturbate." (Saying kuponyaponya makes grown Zambians giggle like schoolgirls.) Considering the HIV/AIDS rate in Zambia (21.52%), there are countless groups working to prevent the disease's spread. Many teach abstinence, emphasizing masturbation, but this is disregarded by many Zambian men as "impossible."

Recently, condoms have gained in popularity, although many Zambians feel they are a nuisance, "unbiblical," or simply work better as bicycle valves. Zambians are nothing if not inventive.

In 1992, PSI, an international social marketing organization, introduced Maximum Condoms ("Strong for MAXIMUM protection, Sensitive for MAXIMUM pleasure") to Zambia. According to their research, they have been effective at helping to curb the spread of HIV/AIDS and STDs, as well as reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in the country. Not to be outdone, the Planned Parenthood Association of Zambia recently launched the Success Condom with the slogan "Because you want it!"