Should we talk about the binary of sexuality and shame in our African society?
Years ago, I was in jss1 reading everything that came my way and throwing questions to any adult that comes my way not caring about what he or she felt.
As a child, the first adults you look up to are your parents. You ask them anything by anytime you want.
Early morning one day before I was leaving for school I went to the kitchen where my parents were talking and asked them what a condom was.
That was the first time I shut adults up in my life.
I didn’t know what a condom was but by their reaction of undiluted silence I felt I had committed a sacrilege. They didn’t talk to me. Until this day.
I left them and used a dictionary.
That afternoon in class, my home economics teacher was teaching puberty and all that was involved.
The topic fascinated me in a way that I couldn’t wait to go home and ask my parents questions about the wonders human bodies can do.
I got home excited and asked my dad what menstruation and masturbation meant. In his face I saw a tug of war going on. Disgust and complacency taking over a major part of it.
I was a smart kid. I immediately switched the question to something that will make him proud of me. I asked him about something in the Bible. I can’t remember exactly what that was.
But, I was stunned that a face that had a not-so-pleasant look had lightened up within seconds because of a Bible question.
I remember this almost every other day and shake my head.
Our African parents are just a bunch of something I don’t want to describe. It irks me that something as simple as a penis and a vagina can be given a crown of euphemism.
I went to school to argue that there was nothing like a penis. I argued that it was pee-wee.
My parents thought that private parts were very special things that we should be shy about and talk about in hushed tones.
Note: this is not a party to bash my parents. No! This is a party to let new father’s and mothers know that they should not walk the paths our parents walked.
Our private parts aren’t as special as our brains. But, our parents made these things look as big deals and when they talk to us about it you see on their faces dread and beads of sweats as if they are solving equations older than them.
We all have our fair share of this madness.
Sometimes I feel that the reason our politicians are stupid is because they were raised by mother’s who were told that if a mans shoulder brushed against their own they will be instantly pregnant.
I will soon get married and the question I asked my parents haven’t been answered.
My father died years ago and he didn’t answer my question.
Because of the shame tied to our private parts you see kids ashamed to tell you what the house help did to them while you were at work.
What the uncle downstairs did when he came to charge his phone.
What the aunty upstairs did when she called your son up to give him ice-cream.
You see that something as serious as molestation goes on and you dont know.
Because you’re hiding trivial things from your children.
Look at me who they were hiding things from.
What don’t I know now?? Just what?
So, what was the point of hiding?
In all you teach your children, shame shouldn’t make the list!!!
My mother will read this post and call me inside her room this night and we will sit before each other while I tell her all I have been through.
From house helps to family friends and all what not.
It is sad my father won’t know about this because he didn’t want to tell me what condom was.
Many people are like me.
Sitting on their pasts for eons of years.
Because their parents will blame them for not telling them.
Why will they tell you anything when you don’t come out open to talk to your children about sex.
What is wee-wee?
Who came up with that madness??
Call it penis! Call it vagina!!
Call it what it is.
If you call it wee-wee in a biology exam you will FAIL!!
At Ake festival last week, people were asked at what age they will tell their daughters about sex.
As expected, a woman said “When she is ready for marriage”
I shrugged and said in my heart “After she must have aborted like four or five children”
You see; I don’t have strength to keep up with playing hide and seek with my children
I will tell them what they should know at 10 years old!
That’s if I don’t reduce it to 7.
The world is moving real quick
I was speaking to her last night and she told me that in the labor ward during the day time, a girl of fifteen years had given birth only for them to find out she has hepatitis b.
I wouldnt be surprised to hear that her parents are pastors and all.
Telling their kid about things as vital as sex could be a sin.
What brought me to mother earth is what they hide.
Many girls have sat on their stories on molestation till they get married and have their own daughters.
You will see that they go on and train their daughters like they were trained.
They will tell you it is our culture. That we are not whites.
The same culture that endorsed killing of twins.
The same culture that turned women to slaves of lowlifes who masqueraded as men.
The same culture that says that male children are better than female children.
They will say religion.
That religion doesn’t endorse sex education.
Okay. Maybe it endorses harms that are aftermaths of ignorance that could be stopped by knowledge!
In fact, argue with me not with culture and religion but with common sense!
To all of you with kids and planing to have kids, the ball is in your court.
But, the society which teaches your children faster has your balls in its palms.
Written by Mark Anthony Osuchukwu
Mark Anthony is a young writer who lives for the truth, books and amebo!
He could be reached via markanthonyfoundation(at)gmail(dot)com