SEX! SEX! SEX!
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In many African communities, sex as a subject matter has completely been neglected over the years. Be it in summary or in a detail, many people, especially African parents, shy away from talking about it. And it is not because they fear their children or anything, but because of the ’embarrassment’ that this topic brings up. But worry not guys, for I, Bildad, the brazen one, is here to talk about it.
Let me start by asking,
When was the first time that you learned about sex?
Who was the first person you talked to about sex?
The most common answer by many will be that primary school was where they first learned about it and that their teachers and friends were the first people who they talked to about it. However, this may not be the case for all as some may have different answers which is okay, but among these different answers, at home and parents are answers which are least stated.
It is saddening to see that many African parents abhor sex education in the current era that we are living in. Most of these parents tend to overlook and ignore talking about this vital topic with their children, all as a result of one surprising reason that I had earlier mentioned, embarrassment. Folks, this is the influential reason as to why many Africans, especially the African parents, shy away from talking about sex.
Consequentially, their fear of being embarrassed has made their children to know sex as a bad thing, or how most of the little children in Kenya term it in Swahili as “tabia mbaya” which when translated to English simply means “bad manners.”
As a result, when these little children grow up into their early teenage years in primary school (let’s say at around class four or five); when they start experiencing puberty and the feelings that come along with it; they unknowingly find themselves engaging in early sex and sexually related activities like caressing and osculation. And once their parents come to find out that their children engage in such activities, what do they do?
Don’t the parents rebuke, beat, curse, chase away, and even take other strong and hurting measures against their children? Children whom they failed to talk to and educate on such matters!
But even after these parents rebuke, curse, and do all other sorts of related things, will anything be changed?
Of course not! On the contrary, these children suffer even more! They’ll end up having early unwanted-pregnancies, sexually transmitted illnesses which will then lead them to be guilty, fall into depression, opt for abortions, and in worse scenarios, commit suicide.
So, let us talk about sex. Let us not shy away from this topic. Let us openly talk about this sex and sex education matter without any fear whatsoever.
Let us change this whole sex education narrative that our children currently know, that when it reaches that moment when our children will be asked, “From who did you learn about sex education?” Let them proudly answer by saying, “It was from our parents.”
The time is now that our children may learn about sex education from as little as when they are eleven years old. So that they become aware and be able to avoid the possible dangers that come along with issues related to sex.
Stars, this is the sixth episode of the “I’m an African but…” blog chain started by Valentine and Bolaji Gelax where we’ve had people from different countries in Africa write about things they’re expected to like, love or be as Africans, but they are not.