“Trouble dey sleep yanga go wake am, wetin e dey find? Palaver e dey find, palaver e go geti ooo…” (in Fela Kuti’s voice)
The lyrics of this song best describes the sad experience I had when I decided to bow to the pressure mounted on me by my peers to have sex at the age of 14. Mum had warned me several times to watch my company but her words did not hold water because I assumed she was too old fashioned and overly religious. As for dad, he was not always there so I never had the opportunity of sharing my fears and concerns with him.
My friends became my confidant and because they were more exposed than I, they became my top advisers. They practically had answers for all my questions. It was in the process of answering my question about sex that I got entangled in a serious mess and this time, they could not help me out.
I have heard so much about sex, watched erotic movies and visited porn sites, courtesy of my friends but I had no real experience. I was the only odd one amongst them and when the jest became unbearable, I decided to give in last Valentine’s Day. Funke, my school love, was my ‘specimen’. We had been going out for a year and everyone in class knew she was my ‘babe’. I saved up money from my feeding and transport allowance, which meant I had to forgo lunch and trek home most days so I could get her a beautiful Val gift.
Eventually, my sacrifice paid off and I was able to get her a bottle of perfume and a beautiful card. Not only that, I took her to an eatery after school for a nice treat. We were not alone of course, my friends had their ‘babes’ beside them too and I guess that was what made Funke more relaxed. We agreed to spend sometime watching movies at Ben’s house afterwards since his’ was the closest and ‘safest’ place for us because his parents were out of town and his elder brother wouldn’t come home till late. I was a bit nervous at first but because I wanted to prove I was not a weakling, I summoned courage to do the unimaginable as Ben suggested; I drugged Funke so I could have my way…
The atrocity I committed that day got me kicked out of school because Funke’s parents did not handle the matter with kids’ gloves. It was a case of rape and they were ready to deal ruthlessly with the perpetrator. My mum was heartbroken and dad being a deacon in church, could not bear the shame. Not that I cared about him though, I was already used to the fact that he was more of an absentee father. I felt so disappointed in myself because I jettisoned the priceless teachings of my mum. I blame myself for succumbing to such an evil act and making an innocent girl experience the trauma of rape because I wanted to prove a meaningless point…
Wow! It is Valentine’s Day again with a lot of ‘vibes’ attached to it. Dear teen, some have fallen victim of lust in the past, which left them with bitter stories to tell while some did not survive it, losing their lives in the process. You do not have to add to their list, because there are more important things to life than having premarital sex. Guys, what are your Valentine plans? You don’t have to give in to undue pressure from your peers to eat the ‘forbidden fruit’; why hang around negative influencers, when you know that you want to be great in life? Do you want to jeopardize your future for a short-term pleasure? Why create horrific memories for yourself and others? Instead, get busy with plans of becoming a great achiever in life and watch how beautiful your future will be.
Girls, watch your back! If he values you, he will wait for you. Do not allow gifts and ‘sweet talk’ cloud your sense of reasoning, you are priceless! Your future is bright; do not allow anyone dim your light. Love yourself, set the right boundaries and you will be glad you did.
Dear parents, teach age appropriate sex education to your wards, if you don’t, someone else will and trust me, it won’t be the best for them. Teach moral and biblical values from an early stage and back them up with prayers. Lastly, parenting is teamwork; both partners should work together to train and spend time with their wards. May God give us the grace to do the needful in Jesus’ name, Amen.