The Schabir Shaik guide to healthy living

Today marks 1 001 days since convicted fraudster and Zen Master Schabir Shaik was released on medical parole due to terminal illness. His continuing enjoyment of life against the odds and his never-say-die attitude are a shining example to sick people the world over — especially sick people stuck in nasty jails.

Now, for as little as R50 000 deposited in a Swiss bank account, you too can be part of the Shaik ‘n Bake Health Club. For a full programme and diet plan, please mail [email protected] In the meantime, here’s a small taster of what you can expect.

The key to the Shaik ‘n Bake Lifestyle Plan, as revealed by the master himself, is simple. Shaik pays careful attention to his nutrition, and maintains a healthy balance of relaxation and exercise, while making time for the spiritual aspects of his life — a simple lifestyle that’s doing him the world of good.

Follow Master Shaik’s example with these top health tips.

If life hands you a bowl of prison gruel, make goji berry shake. It’s a well-known fact that a healthy diet is an essential part of overall wellbeing, and this becomes even more important when one’s health is below par. For Master Shaik, there is no better place to make sure your body is getting exactly what it needs than at some of the finest restaurants in KwaZulu-Natal. It makes perfect sense — slogging over a hot stove can be tedious, especially when you’re sick.

Just ensure you make wise food choices — something Master Shaik is very good at. The pasta dish named after him at Spiga d’Oro, one of his favourite restaurants, contains garlic (good for the immune system, and a homage to great Health Ministers of the Past), olives, tomatoes and basil. Delicious and nutritious. And Ile Maurice, where he celebrated his wife’s birthday, is renowned for its seafood — a great source of protein. And don’t forget the Tibetan goji berries. According to the Sayings of Shaik, the rules by which you will live your life, you should be “f***ing gorging goji berries” until one is “sh**ing the things out”. Inspiring words from one of nature’s survivors.

Physical exercise is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle in the face of a terminal illness. Being chased around a jail cell by a man called, to choose a random name, Mac, does NOT qualify as exercise, unless he catches you. Physical activity gets your heart and blood pumping and gives you a nice healthy glow. Master Shaik certainly takes his own advice to heart. A round of golf provides gentle exercise along with a chance to get some sunshine and fresh air. If you’re feeling up to anything more vigorous, practise martial arts. But Shaik, bless his cotton Crocs, recommends you sign up for a class rather than trying out your moves on random members of the public. That’s Level Three stuff (another R50 000 in the Swiss bank account, please), and only safe for adepts. And anyway, the stress of having charges laid against you won’t be good for your blood pressure, even if they are dropped.

Which leads us to …

Take relaxation seriously. When you’re unwell, you deserve a little time out. Three nights at an exclusive luxury lodge might just do the trick. To make sure that no one disturbs your R&R, hire a R47 500-a-night private villa — if you can afford it, of course. And if you can’t, no matter. All good things come to those who wait, especially if while you’re waiting you’re compiling your memoirs, tentatively entitled: Scuttlebutt: The Untold Story of the Arms Deal. Trust us, someone else will eventually decide to do their bit for your spiritual and physical wellbeing and help out.

No matter what your religious beliefs, many believe the trick to healing lies in finding time to explore the spiritual aspects of your life. Just not jail time, obviously. So it’s a lucky thing that Master Shaik’s parole officers allow him the time to attend mosque each week. Inner peace and quiet reflection cannot be underestimated. Just be careful that you don’t undo the good this does by getting into violent altercations outside your chosen place of worship. Sure, there may be no charges brought against you, but a two-day stay in the Big House while authorities assess what actually happened is really the last thing a terminally ill person needs.

If you act now and purchase the Shaik ‘n Bake Lifestyle Plan, you’ll get a limited edition commemorative The Sayings of Master Shaik booklet, hand-lettered on exquisite prison-issue toilet paper using a Bic pen smuggled into jail in the rectum of a government-approved minister. This includes philosophical conundrums such as: “If a terminally ill man doesn’t die in a forest of lies, and there’s nobody there to hear him, does he in fact not die?” But wait! There’s more! You’ll also get Shaik ‘n Friends, a CD of Master Shaik singing with some of our most lovable and charismatic politicians. The disc features favourites such as Me and Jacob Zee, with its touching verse: “Terminal’s just another word for nothing left to tell/ nothing, I mean nothing honey if I get free/ yeah feeling good is easy Lord if I don’t sing the blues/ so get me the hell out of here/ you know feeling terminal was good enough for me/ good enough for me and my Jacob Zee.”

It’s 1 001 days and counting! Be part of the miracle, sign up now!

See where Shaik spends his days with our Shaik spotting map:

View Shaik spotting in a larger map

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Chris Roper
Chris Roper

Chris Roper was editor-in-chief of the Mail & Guardian from July 2013 - July 2015.

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