SEX, I said it out loud. In the African context and our setting though prejudice at times is a sacred act, reserved for indoors, closed windows with thick blinds drawn.
When I was a teenager, sexual curiosity sparked letters and fondling, a few times people crossed the line but that was left to the imagination of others. Have they done it? They would mumble.
I am not one for diplomacy, I must say my heart is broken. Shocked and saddened that Cyber Sex, Pornography and sexual conquests have suddenly become the ‘New Craze’ in Sierra Leone. Sadly most of the ‘ videos’ created for a few minutes of pleasure would live to hurt the parties involved in more ways than one.
Let’s assume that we have innocent victims who are hungry to make a few leones, what would it profit them in the future? as most end up fighting for good health, that they themselves shoved down the drains. Let’s look at how sexually transmitted diseases are affecting our young people? Check the data, it’s startling. The rampant spread of hepatitis, HIV etc.? How about the countless numbers of young people who in their latter years have become sterile due to underlying health issues. Wait, are we not tired of having children without functional homes?
Our younger sisters, brothers lay in watch as we set horrible examples of what it means to be Young and free. Free to dream, Free to explore opportunities and create solutions.
It’s time we make Cyber Sexual Harassment (CSH) i.e a range of sexually aggressive or harassing images or texts delivered through the use of digital mediums a crime in Sierra Leone. Maybe this will stop us all from increasing the damage by forwarding cyber sexual harassment images and videos irresponsibly all over social media. Today it’s someone else’s daughter, tomorrow it might be your son or brother.
We need to support our young people in re-building their confidence and self-esteem, value for self and respect and others.
We need to let them understand that technology used as a tool builds generations and when used wrongly destroys. Information once shared online can never be retrieved. That naked picture could be seen and downloaded by thousands of people within seconds of posting.
Having sex with a person does not constitute a relationship, choose wisely if you are of age the role of consent in social media relationships. Understand how social media can be involved in sexual violence.
Young person, protect yourself and guard your dignity. Then you will have a lifetime for beautiful and safe sexual experiences.