Uganda's beauty products tax angers women

He has slapped a 60 per cent on our hair extensions, forgetting what our real hair looks and feels like.

Hearing Uganda’s budget speech the other day filled me with rage at first. But after deeper reflection a smile formed on my beautiful lips and it is still there ten days later.

How I love this finance minister! If he hadn’t been in his seventies…mmh. Anyway, Mr Septuagenarian first alarmed me with the stiff taxes he slapped on beauty accessories that make us attractive.

When did the old geezer last date? I angrily asked. Half a century ago, when they went to school and graduated, with an assured good job waiting, and got married straight away.

He must have forgotten what a natural Ugandan lass who has not been touched by the modifying effect of accessories looks and smells like.

I wanted to write a long letter to Mr Finance Minister and tell him to drive in his air conditioned SUV or, since he is a busy man, fly in a chopper to some of our remote villages where they have not been touched by modernity.

Once there, I would have wanted Mr Minister to get a 'bare' girl and put her in his car, switch off the AC and start presenting his 'manifesto' to her.

Since he has slapped a 60 per cent on our hair extensions, forgetting what our real hair looks and feels like, he should start by touching her hair. Our real hair comes in very hard, tiny balls that can scratch his delicate hands until they bleed. The only thing he can think of using her hair for is maybe scrubbing the tyres of his car.

If he can dare put his hand around her shoulder and draw her close to him, I dare him keep a straight face as he inhales the emissions from her sweaty armpits that have never even heard the rumour of a deodorant.

Did I say deodorant? They have not even seen much soap in ages. This is a luxury in her poor village in the first place.

Of course the young lass would not be allowed to stay in the minister’s company much longer. Thankfully for him, he will not get to be injured by the gully-like cracks on her heels, or get an infection from an accidental scratch of her nails on his delicate skin if they got any closer.

The minister has lived the high life for too long and thinks all girls in Uganda are like the ones who work in his office. Those whose long, straight or wavy hair and nice scent that waft after them as they pass by him he assumes to be natural.

The economist he is, he thinks the high taxes will encourage local production. Does he really believe the steel wire that grows naturally on our heads can be converted into nice wigs like Indian hair?

On second thoughts, I realised the minister is smart. By raising the taxes on beauty products, he knows they will still be bought. And he knows who is going to foot the bill – men.

Our demand for the Indian hair and perfumes is not going to fall just because their price has doubled. We shall buy them even in bigger quantities.

Men will have to reduce their expenditure on less urgently required things, like milk for the babies in their homes. The fall in demand for baby milk as the men divert the money for our hair and perfume will mean the price of baby stuff will start falling.

Then the poor families will be able to afford better nutrition for their babies. In the end we shall get a healthier population of future leaders. Bravo, Mr Minister, sir! I now see how patriotic you are.

 


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