Header Graphic
Articles on political and social issues in Cameroon, Africa and the world as seen by Njei Moses Timah > Buying condoms Yesterday

15 Oct 2013


I work in a pharmacy and I know how common the purchase of condoms has become. Prior to the advent of HIV/Aids, it was uncommon to see young people buying condoms openly.

While we were in secondary school, a classmate in his teens gathered courage to go and buy a condom to use as a contraceptive device. At the counter in the pharmacy, he whispered to a pharmacy staff that he needed a condom. He did not want the adult customers present in the pharmacy to notice that he was buying condoms.

Instead of the pharmacy staff handling his purchase in a discrete way, the cashier made a blunder. When the article was placed in front of her for billing, she asked in a loud voice in Pidgin English “Na who get condom?” My totally embarrassed friend stepped forward under the visual scrutiny of bemused elders and paid for his condoms and vanished as soon as possible. He later told me that he felt like melting when the adults rolled their eyes in his direction. Interesting how times have changed.

Njei Moses Timah