Nail Polish

Wilsons_2013 Posted by Rory Wilson on Tue, 22 Nov 2011 | 1 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to Post this to Facebook

Yesterday I did something that I swore I would never do! I put nail polish on Gideon’s toenails. It was the only way to pacify him so that I could get my own done. I told Rory that he wasn’t to tell anyone but as he hasn’t let me live it down since it happened; I have decided to ‘come out’ about the whole thing.

Fancy looking fingernails and toenails are not high on the list of things that you would associate with Uganda. Well I wouldn’t have. However, there is a whole nail thing going on over here. I am not just talking about basic painting but shaping the nail (square, pointed or rounded), painting with various colours and patterns and sometimes the use of sparkly stick on accessories to finish the glamorous look. If you attend any function here like a wedding or graduation party you can be sure that the women will have had finger and toenails dressed for the occasion.

These nails look amazing and it is impossible not to admire the artistry. The thing that makes it more amazing is the fact that not all of these nail canvasses are completed in beauty salons. If you visit any town you can be sure to see a guy (yes a guy!) with a small basket stuffed with nail varnish remover, various nail varnish colours, nail files, cotton wool and the list goes on. For very little money you can sit on a curb and basically have your feet decorated beautifully. How do the guys learn to do this? I have no answer, except to say that they can do it better than many a woman.

In Kampala there are beauty salons where they do manicures and pedicures. (I confess I have indulged but it is so inexpensive here compared to what it is at home). Anyhow you would imagine that it would have a majority of female beauty therapists – only to find that there are an equal amount, if not more men employed than females. Are things like that in the UK now? Have I totally lost touch with life in the UK by being surprised by that fact? While they are gifted in nail polish application, they can be a bit rough on the foot and calf massage, and often need to be told to be more gentle.

The passion for nail varnish appears to reach even the remotest places and seems to bring some excitement to whole families! We took some nail polish out with us for our friends in the village. I expected the mama’s and daughters to be the ones crowding around the bag. To my amazement the boys were also gathering around, lifting nail polish out of the bag and proceeding to paint their nails, albeit with a good bit of chuckling going on. One of the mama’s jokingly painted her husband’s toenails and despite his protests, he let her continue to the end!

Rory was very amused by my reaction. I have tried to gently tell them that boys don’t wear nail polish but no one seems to be listening. I swore that Gideon would never be found with nail polish on him! My only consolation is that it is clear and hopefully no one will notice.

So if you like your nails to look pretty, don’t feel like you have to dress down if you are coming over for a visit!


Gilian Maganda said Wed, 30 Nov 2011 02:46PM
I never laughed so much in all my life! Now there's something I never thought I'd see our Mission Partners doing - "Nail Polish Ministry"!

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