By OYUNGA PALA
Nothing draws eyeballs like nudity. When opposition activists in Uganda stripped to their bras to protest a sexual assault against one of their leaders, it made headline news.
The action was triggered after NTV Uganda showed footage of police forcefully arresting Ugandan opposition politician Ingrid Turinawe of the Forum for Democratic Change.
The opposition leader resisted arrest as several police officers tried to pull her out of her car. In the ensuing melee, a uniformed hand was seen squeezing and clawing at the opposition leaderâs bosom. Turinawe screamed and attempted to smack the offending hand, but the assault was unyielding.
After the incident, a group of offended female activistsâ marched to the police station headquarters in various states of undress to express their outrage. A few women were arrested for refusing to put their tops back on but were released later.
Women always successfully make a powerful political statement when they employ the power of their bodies. An attention grabbing placard read, "How would you feel if we squeezed your balls?"
Well, they should ask Makadara MP Gideon Mbuvi aka Sonko who was manhandled and bundled into a car by security forces in a televised scuffle with authorities some time ago. Sonko complained that police squeezed his vitals and there is footage showing his moment of distress. It made the headlines a comic relief from hard news.
By the standards of nude protests, the Ugandan opposition activists were tame. Many years ago, I was made aware of Peta, (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), through their naked protests. The famous, âI would go naked than wear furâ campaign drew a range of compassionate celebrities speaking up for animals. The list was populated by the finest supermodels of the day: Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford and Kate Moss among others.
The Peta campaign was marketing genius. The airbrushed photo of the svelte Naomi Campbell posing nude in a poster is the only reason I know what the mammal called a mink looks like.
The nude female form, irrespective of the motivation for its exposure, will always draw attentive audience. I do not remember one single political statement made by a male streaker, bursting stark naked onto the fields of the worldâs greatest sporting events. However, I remember clearly when Janet Jackson flashed a boob during a live broadcast Super Bowl grand finale.