Does the National Aids Council realise that children rarely have sex among themselves? If a 12-year-old is having sex, it is with an adult and this mainly applies to girls? What would a 15-year-old girl say to a 30-year-old guy, “use this condom I got from my teacher?”
The woman who gave me condoms in Tsholotsho many years ago was old enough to be my mother, she knew me very well and she knew my girlfriend, a local girl. She could have sat us down and talked to us if she had any concerns. My girlfriend was still under 20 then and we were abstaining.
I was also young, but mature enough to dismiss the condoms as something we didn’t need. But that elderly woman made an error of judgement: she assumed we were having sex and we needed condoms. She relegated sex to the level of say chewing gum. Her logic was: they can have sex, as long as they are using condoms. How ridiculous!
The same stupid approach is being used by those calling for condoms to be given to schoolchildren. We know they are having sex, so they might as well be “safe”. How we all wish life was that simple. Have we really thought about the circumstances under which these children have sex and thought that condoms will be used under those circumstances?
Do we realise that there is a huge percentage of kids who do not indulge in sex because we have told them it is wrong to have sex and they believe us or are scared of us and it has worked until someone delivers boxes of condoms to schools and with it the message that whatever parents say at home is wrong.
Have we really thought about what a condom in hand will do to the youth who is abstaining? Have we thought of the bathroom conversations that will go something like, “Have you used your condoms yet?” And how several children who would have rather abstained will rush to find sexual partners so that they will be cool among peers? I can hear someone saying, “But they will be using condoms, so it’s okay”.
No, it’s not okay. If you are expecting schoolchildren to use condoms correctly and consistently when adults are failing to do so, then you are delusional. And have we thought of the emotional implications of thousands of schoolchildren having premature sex?
And who exactly will be distributing these condoms? The teachers, I suppose; the same adolescent, mass produced teachers who are on a daily basis having sex with schoolgirls in their offices and storerooms. And the elderly teachers are not exempt from this.
Where are the parents in all this? I have not heard of any consultative meetings with parents to get their view on what they think about the whole charade. Let’s not get carried away with the love for donor money and forget that at some point we have to examine who we really are and what we want as a people. If seriously this is the path Zimbabwe wants to travel down, then I might seriously consider emigrating.