It is time for parents to come out of their dugouts By Burns Noah

Lately, there has been so much fuss revolving around the bold proposal orchestrated by distinguished judges of the Court of Appeal to lower sexual consent age from 18 to 16 years. This move comes in amidst a crucial time when there has been relentless mechanisms put in place to empower the girl child. Furthermore, parents around the country are yet to come to terms with the Court of Appeals mouth gapping proposition.

A substantial number of Non-Governmental Organizations, churches detest the idea claiming that it will grant ill minded folks a free pass; to molest their adorable naive daughters and sons at a tender defenceless age.

Nonetheless, conclusive facts as well as figures from the Performance Monitoring and Accountability 2020 report stipulates that our innocent boys and girls have gotten way ahead of themselves. Yes! They engage in sexual intercourse under our noses. Here are some of the contributors facilitating their sexual endeavours.

Poverty is an undeniable predator raging terror and havoc in the society which ultimately renders people vulnerable to questionable schemes. It’s unfortunate that teenagers have fallen culprit to advances that involve partaking in sexual activities in exchange for favours. The perpetrators of such heinous acts choose their prey wisely and present themselves as friends yet they have a deadly plan to execute.

Life is full of challenges and teenagers do battle with their own Goliaths from time to time even though adults seem to dismiss this obvious fact. It is at this moment that their instinct for survival kicks in and it only takes a little psychological nudge to seduce them into something. Lack of basic resources creates awkward situations which enables wicked individuals to sexually exploit kids in exchange for favours and kickbacks.

It is time for parents to come out of their dugouts and have that decisive sex talk with their teenagers by streamlining as well as highlighting crucial details. Our young adults lack a sense of awareness and direction which leads them in an expedition to explore sexuality guided by curiosity.

Pursuing this further, along the way they get bombarded with mind-blowing ideas from friends, interested suitors which they will be tempted or lured to try out. The changes in teenagers happen so abruptly and they cannot fully comprehend what is going on. This is where you as a parent come in to provide insight as well as guidance to enable the young adult cope with the situations as they arise.

Lastly, the society has played a crucial role in ensuring that our young adults are fully exposed to content beyond their cognitive comprehension. Additionally, the things we do as adults do have long lasting impressions on our kids since they learn by picking up clues from our actions.

Consequently, the society as a whole needs a complete overhaul in terms of moral uprightness since our actions are betraying the values we believe in. We tend to shun and mock immorality yet we openly engage in fornication, adultery.

Written by Burns Noah an undergraduate at Kenyatta University pursuing BSc Petroleum Engineering
Twitter: @The_Analyst00

Aluta Continua By Burns Noah

Our beloved nation, Kenya gained sovereignty from her annihilator a lifetime ago and has since undergone transformational change as well as her own fair share of challenges. In the same line of thought, the youth have been a contagious issue when pondering and tinkering around matters relating to national development.

Furthermore, the government in addition to, reputable Non-Governmental Organizations have spearheaded the efforts of creating, modelling a better future by empowering tenacious young souls. On the other hand, despite the endless endeavors of finding amicable solutions to problems facing the youth, the situation doesn’t seem to be getting any better as expressed by majority of the young.

Corruption has been a cancer eating through our distinguished systems by consistently derailing our morals as well as ethics upon which the modern contemporary society is based on. Additionally, the vice has had negative adverse effects to the well-being of the Kenyan citizens who struggle to meet their needs on a strict budget of one dollar a day.

Our subscription to capitalism ideologies have played a significant role in ensuring that corruption finds a serene environment to thrive. Whenever cases of corruption surface, the accused individuals act as targeted victims of circumstance or disregard charges levelled and advice the complainant to wait for their turn to mercilessly loot public resources.

The youth overwhelmingly pledge allegiance to the esteemed office of the president in the war against corruption nightmare. Our only plea is to the office of criminal investigations to provide sufficient evidence to enable the Judiciary perform its mandate.

From a psychological point of view, the youth have successfully been brain programmed by conservative doctrines which foster selfish gains and undermines public interests. Pursuing this further, Kenyan youth have been fixated to believe that they are incapable of standing out for themselves as well as incompetent to give insight on matters affecting the society.

Consequently, this has made the youth to reluctantly take a back sit as they watch things unfold from a distance. The youth should step out of their slumber, comfort zone and take charge or else we are trading on a very treacherous path. There are excellent examples of youth whom have defiled the status quo and are now living their dreams like the young talented KTN news reporter Timothy Otieno, the charismatic Nerima Wako and the vocal Babu Owino.

Its ironical that a good number of the Kenyan electorate approximately above 50% as depicted in the 2017 general election are youth yet the number of representatives in elective posts is less comparatively speaking. This clearly shows how the youth don’t trust each other when it comes to choosing leaders despite having youthful qualified candidates vying for various seats.

It’s no secret that every youth has a goal and a plan for the future nonetheless, without adequate support from each other we are headed towards a frustrating end. It’s a challenge to the youth to find it within themselves to support each other in building a majestic nation.

Written by Burns Noah an undergraduate at Kenyatta University pursuing BSc Petroleum Engineering
Twitter: @The_Analyst00

My Experience with the Political – Religious Ecosystem Written by Wanjiru Nguhi

It’s a Sunday which means I’m in my second home; church. The place I get nourished and prepare for heaven because “what does it profit a woman to gain the world and lose her soul?” The monthly afternoon service is a big deal probably because of the human need to have for validation, restored hope and assurance. This was a most special service because God would speak directly through his prophet or directly speak to me: A day I would be called to the podium and declared relevant by the deity.

This Sunday literally marked two days to the 2013 general elections and the church leader was adorned in a red flowing sparkly dress, red lipstick and on her head, an equally red fascinator. She was a charismatic powerful woman with an aura of mysterious wonder. Politicians sought her out due to her influence among Christians across the country. The 2013 elections were very significant because both the Presidential candidate and his deputy were facing charges at the International Criminal Court on Crimes against humanity for the post-election violence of 2007-2008.

About 1,000 lives were lost. People were locked up in a church and burnt to death! Those that tried to escape bear deep scars. Children witnessed their parent’s bodies being cut to pieces. Women and girls were raped and men were maimed. More than 600,000 people were displaced and a nation moved on like this was all a fictional episode. Those who survived these atrocities were left deep in trauma and unimaginable loss. Diana who is one of the survivors was present at this service.

She noted how quickly the tone of the service changed from justice, judgment and finally to mercy. The Nation was expected to be on its way to healing because the two rival communities were now united. How can the people responsible for the massacre of her entire family be the ones anointed to lead the nation? No one was talking about actual justice or reparations. Diana was expected to move on. Silence was the price she had to pay for peace. Justice to her meant that everyone responsible was going to be put behind bars and that she would be compensated for everything she lost. She was told that vengeance was the Lord’s and she was told to forget it all because behold, God was doing a new thing.

One of the things I find unforgivable about religion is its ability to suspend you in time by forcing you to forget your past yet at the same time convincing you how the present does not matter. There is zero intention of fighting to end oppressive systems that cause harm to the worshippers. Only focus is heaven. The church’s glorification of suffering is probably the reason we are dangerously passive in the face of oppression and poor governance as a country. The more we are oppressed, the harder we pray just like in the case of post-election violence where prayer was assumed able to cleanse injustice.

The service should have been dedicated to the survivors of the post-election violence. We must all commit to holding space for each other to grieve without the need to hurry, silence or numb each other’s pain and grieving process. The service moved on to an altar call for sick people in need of a miracle and financial breakthrough. People made their way to the front. Those who could not make it to the front stood on aisles yet the problems that continuously drove us to the altar were not spiritual.

We were about to elect individuals who had been accused of committing crimes against humanity and it was accepted without question because obeying the “prophet” was more important than interrogating who was being elected. The political environment has a direct bearing on the socio-economic environment. In a
country where everything is regulated and controlled by the government, it goes without saying that the quality of our individual lives begins and ends with the quality of leadership at the government level. It is a combination of personal responsibility and leadership. Nothing works without the other. A majority of young people dancing on stage were jobless, struggling to pay school fees, some had dropped out of school and life was a jungle.

What if these young people embraced the table turning, foolishness whipping spirit of Jesus to fight for better services from public institutions? Would that not be a true revival? Instead, we pray for leaders and remain silent on their role in the dysfunction. When Jesus talked about being anointed to preach the good news to the poor and setting the captives free his mission was to comfort the oppressed and make the oppressors uncomfortable, but the oppressors got so uncomfortable that they crucified him. If your sermons don’t make you crucifiable, who are you really comforting?

Written by Wanjiru Nguhi
Co-Founder of Mwafrika Mwenzangu | Lawyer | Political Strategist | Writer | Feminist

At the end of the day, we only have one life to live, and one body for it By Victor Sijenyi

Courtesy of Read A Hand Uganda.
The kind of experience a young person often has when visiting a Kenyan health facility is just a nightmare. This is even more the case if you go for reproductive health issues. Some young people report that health officers become arrogant. We have had young people failing to go for their health checkups because of the incompetence of health officers and lack of confidentiality. Some young people have had health officers even come out of the office, and announce their diagnosis to the entire clinic. This is humiliating, stigmatizing and against every ethical code of conduct.

We often encounter long queues, receive improper drug prescriptions of drugs, face drugs being out of stock, and generally receive poor services. We may blame the health officers for all these situations, and for their lack of “know how” to speak to and support young people, but that is not enough. It is actually bigger than that – it is all about funding; government priorities and the real needs of the people. Most government priorities are never directed into investing or allocating funds to the services for the people, drugs and service providers we need; instead they channel most of their allocated funds towards roads and construction that may never reach completion.

The government also pays health service providers very low wages, which causes health officers to lose their passion and lack motivation. This in turn leads to the poor services being offered. We see each year the nurses association on the roads demonstrating against poor working conditions, poor payment structure and un-honored memos between them and the government. The health officers also have had issues with the decisions that the government makes in their field without inviting them to contribute.

In order to create change on these issues, as a popular youth reproductive health initiative, we have independently worked with our member organizations in different counties and regions to advocate for funds to be responsibly and accurately allocated for youth friendly services in our health facilities.

We advocated for health budgets in over five counties to increase the amount of money set aside for contraceptives and general youth friendly services as well as youth-only spaces within heath facilities to provide a safe and welcoming space. We also stressed the need for the government to provide better motivation to health workers, to employ a specialized team to handle youth issues and to provide training to health officers.

Because we understand how important health care is to each one of us. Each Kenyan citizen according to our constitution should have access to standardized health care, and we will not sit quiet and hope that someone else makes our constitution a reality.

Victor Sijenyi is the Chair at Kasarani Youth Empowerment Centre and a volunteer at OAYOUTH Kenya | Email: thelegendsartsproduction@gmail.com