Ooh my! How times change!
Just some few years ago, we lived in a society where morals mattered. A society where our culture and traditions were as important as the current Kenyan constitution. The pride of our parents was the purity of their daughters. It meant so much that an elderly woman had to be installed to preside over the first Coitus between newlywed couples to ascertain if their female partners were indeed virgins. Virginity was everything; a symbol of wealth to ones parents and dignity.
Well, we all understand that our society had to evolve. We therefore embraced modernization and even abandoned our rich cultural practices and beliefs for these western cultures. There came slogans such as “my dress my choice, my body my property” and we all watched our new generation suffocate and choke to these new norms in the name of civilization. Parents became spectators of their own children’s obdurate evil deeds instead of being the whips. We, the parents, cheered them on to their own funerals and now we are all complaining to our government to intervene upon our failures. What a shame!
Over the past five years, Kenya has recorded high cases of teenage pregnancy with this year taking the lead. My fellow compatriots, where did we go wrong? According to my understanding, factors such as peer pressure, lack of role models, low socio-economic status, forced marriages, low educational level, need for dowries, drug and alcohol abuse, sexual abuse and non-use of contraceptives could be some of the causes of teenage pregnancies. However, there are two factors that should be handled seriously, that is lack of parental care and communication and media influence on teenagers. Teenage girls need to have reliable and trustworthy adults to confide in. Approachable and knowledgeable parents greatly reduce the chances of teenage pregnancies. However, when parents neglect their responsibility of explaining the body anatomy to teachers not knowing it is an extremely important protective factor against teenage pregnancies, then these problems will never end.
Parents need to create an open conversational time with their children, support and equip them with the knowledge on birth control techniques and even help them in making better decisions in regards to sexual behaviors.
I remember owning my first mobile phone after high school. Owning a mobile phone before then was a grave offense. Our only focus then was on education. We wouldn’t even dare to borrow our parent’s mobile phones. Look, I don’t want to crucify those who issue their mobile phones to teenagers but judging from the disturbing viral teenage sultry words and videos making rounds in social media, something needs to be done. Parents should control the media contents viewed by the children especially the ones that glamorize sex and teenage pregnancies.
Let’s not wait any longer. The time is now. Let’s all raise our voices in unison to shun away vices like teenage pregnancies, abortions, early marriages and sexual abuse. This is the time to redeem and bring back sanity to our society. Yes, it is the time to bring back that society where children belong to the whole community and not a single parent or family. Let us all wake up from these sickening sounds of a dying generation, become the guardians of morality within our society instead of watching and dancing to their insane tunes. Let’s bring back the days when African oral tales was valued more than the current WWE and soap operas. Let us all take up our responsibilities, stand up against teenage pregnancies and bring about the change we need.