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Ever smooth IK’s secret to staying young

By Mukosha Funga Njenga
IF your favourite pass time activity is drinking alcohol till your oesophagus speaks to you, I am sorry to report that aging gracefully can never be your portion. And if you’re a sugar junkie like me, I have the same news for us. Unless we change our ways, we can never be like Innocent Kalaluka, alias Smooth IK, who literally refuses to age! I mean, this guy has been running ZNBC’s Smooth Talk for the past 22 years but his face and body don’t seem to be aware of this.

During the Growth Podcast last week Wednesday, Smooth IK was asked how he managed to stay forever young and he attributed it to the fact that he had never taken alcohol and had always led an active lifestyle.

“Firstly, I was very privileged not to partake [in alcohol]. And I have no issues with that, people that abuse, it is always abuse in everything. People that abuse alcohol especially will have their skins starting to fall, there’s that kind of way that you look if you’re abusing alcohol. The people who smoke, even their lips look different. There is cause and effect, if you are going to take a lot of alcohol, something is going to give,” he said.

“So, I think I am very lucky that I have never taken alcohol, never smoked and I have always been a sports person. And also, I started a lot of things very late in my life, I think that helped, I had a very strict brother, who I didn’t like very much to be honest because I felt he was too strict on me, I felt certain things I should have started doing like he was doing, he was stopping me from. He passed on, and it is only later that I realised that maybe God had a way of speaking into my life, maybe God had said he was going to be my guardian angel, so he is not going to start the girls thing, he is not going to smoke, he is not going to drink, I didn’t do a lot of things growing up. My first sexual encounter was in college because even though he had died while I was in school, it had become me and I was very shy also; I couldn’t approach a girl.”

Smooth IK said whenever he watches a football game at home, he exercises for the entire duration!

“I deliberately take a lot of water, I deliberately exercise, it is a regime for me. When I am watching football at home, I have that stationary bike, there’s a time I read about how football is 22 fit men chasing around an inflated animal skin while thousands of people who need the exercise sit and watch. So, I was like I am never going to watch them exercising, I am going to watch them while exercising, by the time the game is ending, 90 minutes, I am sweating, I have exercised. So, I don’t need to go to the gym, those days I used to go to the gym a lot but I don’t need to now, I built my own little gym at home. I am not about building muscle but cardio,” he said.

On the Wednesday that this episode of the Growth Podcast aired, my article titled “Sugar is sweet poison” was published and I just love the coincidence! My article got a lot of engagement on our social media platforms and I remember one comment which read, “Everything basically kills us, why not die with sweet treats”, I chuckled when I saw it, but I think Smooth IK’s life offers the best response to that question. So, I caught up with him and asked him some follow up questions, what I learnt will stay with me for a long time.

Firstly, one thing I loved about his story is that he NEVER gets sick. Why is this so intriguing to me? Well, from my observation, non-communicable diseases like type two diabetes and hypertension have kind of been accepted as normal for a certain age bracket in our society. But Smooth IK is a good example of what a good diet and exercise can do for someone. This doesn’t mean that he doesn’t crave junk food like the beloved Big Bite 2 from Hungry Lion, he does, but he deliberately doesn’t eat it as frequently as others do. Others can argue that maybe he just has some good genes but from my conversation with him, whatever he has achieved in terms of his body and looks is out of discipline, deliberate effort and a lot of sacrifice.

“There’s so much sugar in our food. Everything is oily, it’s fried, but it has to be a deliberate policy that I am not going to eat this. I mean, we all love what we call Hungry Lion, it is Zambia’s number one snack, and it is nice. But for me, it is a treat, I will treat myself to Hungry Lion, it is not the norm so when I eat it, I even say ‘today I am going to eat Hungry Lion!’ I will buy the chilly one, I will eat, but I don’t eat it every day or every week, I can eat it once a month and the same applies to everything else, I can eat ice cream maybe once a month. I eat everything else, except for red meat, but it is in doses because it is not very good for the body,” he said.

In fact, he says the majority of the food he eats is from home because he wants to know exactly what is in it.

“What I eat is controlled. For example, here at work, some people have never seen me in the cafeteria. And there’s nothing wrong with the cafeteria but I just want to know what is in my food, I want to be in control of what I am eating. At home, there’s food that is cooked, I know how it is cooked. My wife knows what I like and what I eat so why can’t I carry that food and eat it from here? That way, I am also saving on money, and somebody shouldn’t say Lozis are stingy,” he said.

Another thing Smooth IK does everything possible to fuse into his day? Exercise. He says he actually drinks a lot of water because the constant visits to the toilet allows him to get some more exercise in! And when he visits some high-rise buildings, he takes the stairs rather than the elevator even if he’s going to the 13th floor!

“One other thing I do, I take a lot of water because also, going to the loo is a good thing, it keeps you exercising, at least you move instead of just sitting. One reason why we have a lot of [people getting] hypertension is because most people just move from their cars to the office, sit on their chair and that’s it. If they’re taking very little water, then they won’t even stand up at all. So, I move around a lot. I don’t take lifts in buildings that have lifts; if I can do the stairs, I will. I go to the Ministry of Sports and Fumba (Chama), Pilato, is on floor number nine, I walk there. Jason (Kangwa Chileshe) is on floor number 13, I walk there. By the time I am coming down, I am even feeling my legs, I have exercised,” Smooth IK said.

“You have to find time for your body. It is sad but you only have one body to live in, there is no Plan B, so just take care of it.”

Now, to be this high on energy, one has to have their mental health on point. So how does Smooth IK take care of his mental health? He simply doesn’t let other people’s problems stress him. And when he has his own problems, he deals with them while knowing fully that some things are just not within his control.

“When you post on social media that you have lost your aunt, what does that have to do with me? It’s your aunt; talk to your family members. If you are crying, you are showing us tears that your aunt has died, in truth, we really don’t care, we don’t know who your aunt is and I am saying this respectfully. You can’t tell us about your whole life, then we do what? If you want me to send you an emoji, I can do that, but it doesn’t mean that I am crying with you. Just do you, work on yourself…what I can’t change, I just live with. Sometimes we stress over something we can’t do anything about,” said Smooth IK.

There you have it friends, Smooth IK’s secret to being forever young. Now, do me a favour. You know that friend of yours who hates reading? Kindly inform them that my chat with Smooth IK is up on my YouTube channel (Chat With Mukosha) so that they too can benefit from the gems he was dropping. I can assure you that some of them just typed comments complaining about the length of this article because they’re too lazy to read. We’ll keep gossiping about them and they’ll never find out, LOL.


Uncle-P Pro

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