IN MEMORY OF SAMUEL WANJIRU

It has taken me almost a week to get over Samuel Wanjiru’s tragic death,since Monday morning when i heard about it i couldn’t stop asking myself why the young man died in such a manner.I have scoured the internet reading the articles and forums discussing the circumstances surrounding his sad demise and still there aren’t any answers that can explain it.The ensuing drama and controversy among his immediate and extended family has not made things any better and at this rate he will be remembered as much as for the records he broke as well as for the manner in which he lived and died.

I never met Samuel but having watched him for the first time as he won Kenya’s first gold at the Olympics in Beijing in 2008.At a steady pace he entered the stadium amidst cheers from the huge crowds attending the games.When he got to the finish line,he made the sign of the cross then knelt on the track head bowed as if in prayer.At 21 he was the youngest ever marathon champion since 1932.

Then last year he went and did his magic at the Chicago marathon,which he won for the second time.Just before he went to Chicago for what was to be his last marathon,he appeared on the comedy show Churchill live and the host Daniel Ndambuki (Churchill)asked him for a favour,that when he won the Marathon he would make a two finger salute just so Churchill)could remember he had been on the show.He went won the race and Churchill got his salute.When the show was aired this past Thursday Churchill played clips from the interview and he sterling finish at the Chicago Marathon in October and i teared up.I could not help crying for this young man who met such a ad end at such a tender age.

For the first time,i realized what a troubled young man he was.Like all child prodigy’s he had problems.These children ,young men and women who show extraordinary ability and talent face so many problem including self esteem and anxiety issues.The BBC had a beautiful article in 2006 highlighting the problems these children face and you can read it here

Samuel had all the classic signs of a troubled young man but the people around him seemed to have missed all the signs.At 24 he had money in his account that would take me several life times to earn,drove top of the range cars and lived in a lavish house,he was rolling in money as Americans would say.But he was also battling with alcohol abuse,marital problems and just early this year he was taken to court by the woman we knew as his wife Teresia Njeri.Kamau was accused of threatening his wife,security guard and domestic help with an unlicensed AK 47,the wife was also seeking separation and financial support.She later dropped the charges and the couple reconciled on the 14th of February this year.

If you are reading this and remember watching the sitcom Different Strokes in the late 80’s you will recall Arnold(Gary Coleman) and Willis(Todd Bridges) who played African American brothers who were adopted by a wealthy business man Mr Drummond(Conrad Bain) who had a daughter named Kimberly(Dana Plato).The comedy was a hit and garnered the child starts immense popularity.

However for the child stars their lives were a far from the perfect,all of them except for Willis(Todd Bridges)are alive today.Dana Plato died from a drug over dose at just 34,Gary Coleman died from complications resulting from his congenital autoimmune kidney disease at 42 years.Dana had been arrested twice for armed robbery and for forging a prescription while Gary’s life featured legal battles with his parents for financial mismanagement,troubled marriage,assault charges and disorderly conduct.Todd Bridges while still alive has battled drug abuse but eventually he cleaned himself up.

Without laying any blame on any one person for Samuel’s death it is at least clear that somehow we missed the symptoms of the inner struggles he had.The athletic industry being the cut throat business it is pushes athletes to be nothing but the best ,care should be taken that these young people at the camps are not pushed to the precipice.The sudden thrust to stardom when they break world records maybe too much for these young people who still haven’t matured emotionally enough to handle such stress and pressure to perform.Even the lavish lifestyles they follow after winning millions at the races maybe too much for them.They are being forced to grow ip so quickly with society and the country expecting so much of them that we are seeing 20 year old men being forced to act like they are 40 years.

Something i am sure of is that this should be a wake up call for the athletics body in Kenya,the mangers who train the athletes,parents and older athletic fraternity to take a careful look at the way these young talented boys and girls are being brought up.They need to be nurtured,mentored and managed in such a manner that they are allowed to be children and to mature like any normal child and in an environment devoid of pressure and the stress of bringing home medals and cash.It is only be making sure this happens that we will not see another young man walk down the road Kamau walked in his short life.

R.I.P Kamau,you made Kenyan proud.

Tribute from the IAAF on learning of the death of the young Kenyan can be read here.

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CHRISTINE LAGARDE-First Woman to head the IMF?

Christine Lagarde the French Minister for Economic affairs,and the only woman to ever hold the position is among the leading candidates touted to head the International Monetary Fund.This follows the resignation of Dominique Strauss-Kahn who is facing alleged sexual assault charges.

The Monetary body is 60 years old(read history here) with a membership of 187 countries and among its many roles is to provide policy advice and financing to members facing economic difficulties.It also assists developing countries to maintain macro economic stability as well as reduce poverty levels.

The lawyer who is a former member of the national French synchronized swimming team,was in 2009 was ranked among the 17th most influential women in the world by Forbes.Ms Lagarde believes more women are needed in high places because men if left on their own make a mess of things.The UK guardian newspaper in February of this year had an interesting article about the 55 year old and you can read it here.

He advocacy for a stronger work ethic among her country men and women who have a 35 hour week have touched a raw nerve.But this is probably informed by her work experience in the US where after joining the firm at 25 in 1981 ,she rose through the ranks to chair the Brian McKenzie law firm in Chicago in 1999.She is famous for saying that the France “must stop thinking, stop dithering and simply roll up its sleeves.”She received a lot of criticism for the statement but this strong work ethic saw her nominated as one of the best performing European Finance Ministers in the European Union.

If she gets elected for the top job at the IMF,for which she has a lot of European support it will be interesting to see how she leads this 60 year old institution.More interestingly will be her approach in tackling the current economic crisis being felt the world over especially among member countries and her policy towards the developing countries.

All the best Madame Lagarde!

NB:An updated post is available here

BRAND KENYA:Going Beyond Tourism

National branding or building the global perception of countries is quickly gaining popularity and one of the pioneers in this field of branding is Simon Anholt a British government advisor who specializes in this field. This trend led to GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media and Simon Anholt coming up with an index that measures global perception of countries on several spheres and it is known as the Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands Index (NBI).Some of the parameters used in ranking countries on the index include how people both local citizens and foreigners view the country, its governance record ,a country’s quality of goods and services globally, the level of interest tourists have in visiting the country, its cultural heritage be it in the arts,music,film,sports or literature and its ability to attract investment and immigration appeal to foreigners.
Looking at the rankings over the years, there are very few countries from Africa that have made it on the list, so far only Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa have featured in the top 50 rankings and none of them have been on the top 10 or 20.Most of the countries on that list are from the more developed countries, though rankings have differed depending on the classification used. In last year’s ranking Japan topped in the exports category while Australia topped in natural beauty. Just like 2009 America remained the most admired country globally, with Germany, France, United Kingdom and Japan following closely in that order among the top 5.
It is in following with this global trend to stand out globally, as a country that can be reckoned with in an increasingly competitive market for tourism and investment that Kenya launched Brand Kenya. The state corporation was launched and tasked with the responsibility of identifying and refining key attributes about Kenya that contribute positively to the image and reputation of the nation.

Localizing Kenya the Brand

So far the Brand has been focusing mainly on the sports arena and they have been organizing exhibitions to promote Kenya’s image abroad at various athletic meets, most recently being the Boston Marathon that was held in April. While this is commendable seeing that Kenya is renowned for its sporting prowess, it is time they approached the whole branding idea differently if we are to make strides both locally and internationally.
Anholt in his book Brand New Justice says “the image of a country determines the way the world sees it and treats it”.Further on, along the same page he says “while the image may not be at all justified, fair or even true as it may be based on prejudice, misunderstandings, differences in culture and half forgotten events from history, it does need looking after just like any reputation. It is as important for countries to be properly and fairly understood as it is to ensure that the world gets the right message about it.” (Anholt, 109).
He says that reputation is something to be guarded by countries jealously, because perceptions are based on that. It does not matter whether the perceptions are based on half baked truths, lies or plain ignorance .It is important that countries to protect their reputations by ensuring that they put their best foot forwards in all areas.
Kenya in its quest to be a recognizable brand needs to project an image in all its dealings with its citizens or foreigners in a manner that can be easily understood by all . It needs to ensure it send out the message about its brand in a simple, clear and as concise a manner as possible. This should be in everything it does such that the brand itself because a way of life that can be transmitted from generation to generation and that is clearly visible to any visitor to the country by the way we live our lives, or conduct our businesses and the way the government is ran.
It is safe to assume that building a national brand is more than touting it as a tourist attraction, building a brand is a comprehensive affair that covers everything from the way a country is governed to the type of films we make about our country. While Kenya is not fairing too badly in terms of its brand we still have a long way to go before we can play in the big league of the countries that dominate the top 50 slots in the NBI ranking.

In charting the way forward for the Brand that is Kenya we first of all have to have government support for the project, everything the country does form the statements their Ambassadors in its foreign missions spew to the press to the way we treat our athletes should shore up our brand equity. It needs to be first of all become a national brand before it becomes an international brand, its people need to believe in it before we can sell it to the rest of the world. Our equity as a brand is the only guarantee that tourists, investors or local citizens have that they are going to get the best the country has to offer, it means unparalleled quality in whatever it is that makes us who we are as a nation.Therefore it only makes sense that we should have systems and policies in place that protect the interests and rights of interested parties. We need to ensure our justice system is trusted; our police are respected and trusted by all to be upholders and protectors of the law. In addition, our politicians need to be people of integrity and who put national interest before personal interests.
For the 40 million people from diverse ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds who reside here, the country should be a home. A home is a place where we know we are loved in spite and despite our differing opinions and views on political, social and religious matters. It should not be a place where people are shunned because of their color, or their tribe or their sexual orientation.

One of the biggest exports Kenya has in the world market are our athletes, these men and women who bring so much fame and glory to our country are hardly recognized at home. Yet go any city be it New York,London,Milan and someone will instantly recognize Paul Tergat,Catherine Ndereba or Tegla Lorupe.Our athletes are so admired that countries like Qatar an d Bahrain have been known to buy out our athletes nationalities just so they can have one of these Kenyan runners flying their country’s flags. We need to celebrate these men and women who have made our country a brand to be reckoned with in long distance races, a marathon that does not have a Kenyan runner is to say the least bland and lacks the sparkle our athletes bring to these events.

For the longest time Kenya has ridden on the “Magical Kenya” theme to market the country’s appeal as a tourists dream location. The country has some of the best scenery, wildlife and climate this side of the equator, it is unrivalled in these parts but for far too long we have concentrated too much focus on our beach theme. We have forgotten that Kenya has famously featured as being the cradle of mankind and among the collection held by the National Museums of Kenya is a human fossil knows as Turkana boy that is said to be 1.6 million years old that was found along the shores of Lake Turkana.Other archeological sites include Olorgesailie, Koobi Fora among others that offer interesting and unique insights into prehistoric man.

Among the most recognizable cultural Symbols of Kenya are the Maasai, whose settlements straddle both the Tanzanian and Kenyan borders though they have evolved to be more of a Kenyan symbol. This community of warriors’ is renowned for their brevity in the face of danger, their men are held in so much awe partly because among the requirement for young men entering adulthood was for one to kill a lion. In the days before these kings of the jungle became endangered they were hunting sport for the Maasai morans.Kenya however has 42 other ethnic groups and it is time we celebrated these diversity in the way we brand the country.

In this growing battle to stand out, countries want to attract investors to spur economic growth or it may be to increase their human resource power by attracting the best minds. None has done better than America in this regard through their diversity lottery program where they attract thousands of immigrants to the US. It can be said that US growth has been fuelled by immigrants and they are the perfect case study as to how investment and immigration have produced one of the world’s largest economy. Kenya needs to borrow some lessons from there such that our policies especially those that focus on immigration and investment are attractive.

In conclusion Brand Kenya is a project that will not show any immediate gains in the future, right now the focus should be to provide an environment where first of all Kenyans’ feel proud to be Kenyan, our governance system has to be right, our politicking needs to be of the right kind, we need to provide an enabling environment for businesses and private enterprises to grow, where Kenyans from all walks of life and backgrounds feel they belong and where our rights as human beings are upheld and respected. Brand Kenya is not the work of the Brand Kenya team alone it is the responsibility of every Kenyan from the chief executive sitting in his corner office to the coffee farmer in the highlands, it belongs to everyone.

For Brand Kenya to make the national brand project a success it needs and must involve the civil servant working in the government office, to the taxi driver picking up his passengers at the Jomo Kenyatta Airport. It needs to be so imbued in the national psyche it should become as normal as breathing air. It should be seen in the athlete winning the marathon in London to the Kenyan writer nominated for the Pulitzer, it should flow from the pores of our Nobel laureate and should be heard from the mouths of the Kenyan Mp on parliamentary business in the UK, only then will we know what Brand Kenya is.

KENYAN CHIEF JUSTICE:His fashion sense is more important than your brains

“There is perhaps no phenomenon which contains so much destructive feeling as “moral indignation,” which permits envy or hate to be acted out under the guise of virtue”-Erich Fromm

Update:The Prime Minister and President just apporved the nominations,let us see what Parliament does now.

Out of all the candidates who were interviewed for the CJ position in Kenya by the Judicial Service Commission Willy Mutunga and Nancy Barasa were found most fit for the position of CJ and Deputy CJ respectively.Both of them have been activists in the past with Dr Willy Mutunga having been an active participant in the fight for democracy and Ms Nancy Baraza being one of the founders of FIDA a non governmental organization that provides legal assistance to indigent women.The two have been labeled as “outsiders” having come from outside the judicial circle but are a sign of the new order of doing things as envisioned y the new constitution.

The interview process by the newly formed Judicial Service commission was carried out over two weeks and when they announced the nominations of the two for appointment by the Prime Minister and the President ,the chair of the interviewing body Professor Christine Mango herself was all smiles.You could clearly see the pride they had in their choice of the two and it was hoped this would be a chance to whip the judicial system into shape as well as to give it a new lease of life with the overhauling of the system that was expected when the new CJ took over.

The names were forwarded to the President and Prime Minister for appointment together with the names of other candidates who qualified for other judicial offices.However it seems as Kenyans we love squabbling over non issues and already these two appointments have generated heated debated over the way they have been appointed , none has bemused me than the one that some individuals,politicians and part of the church have objected to Willy Mutungas appointment because he wears an earring.

The good professor who was once a political detainee,taught law at the University of Nairobi,chaired the Law Society of Kenya and is regional head of the Ford Foundation as well as being a Director of the Kenya Human Rights Commission scored very highly during the interview process.His credentials though showing stellar performance in all his previous posts and having been a pro democracy activist too pale in comparison to his fashion sense-the fact that he wears an earring is what is dominating debate over his nomination !

A very prominent politician was captured on national TV saying that if we had a CJ with an earring ,it spelled doom for this country and the only thing that could save us was prayers.For a country that boasts of being 70% Christian we sure arent showing any love for Dr Mutunga,his character is being crucified left,right ,center because of some jewelery he has chosen to adorn his left ear with.The Bible has the story of the woman caught in adultery(John8;7) and when the crowds brought her to Jesus hoping he would pass judgment on her he told them”let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”The crowd which had gathered baying for the woman’s blood walked away in shame because Jesus had caught them out in their hypocrisy.In my reading of the Gospels,i never recall Jesus condemning anyone,in fact his band of disciples was made up of people from all walks of life.The church in joining this debate has already taken sides against Dr Mutunga,this institution that is meant to be the standard bearer of Christ’s message of love has joined in the debate over non -issues when o many Kenyans are suffering as a result of a skewed and corrupt judicial system.

Time and again Professor Mutunga has said his earring is not a symbol of his sexuality but goes deeper than that.On his earring he was quoted in the Daily Nation here as saying “I wear my ear ring not because of my sexuality but spirituality. There is no way I can remove this ear ring even if I become the Chief Justice. If am told I must remove it to get the job of Chief Justice I will say keep your job”.The moralizing that is going on because he wears jewelery is shameful for a society such as ours living in the 21st century.The country has seen worse evils than this taking place and none of these politicians or clergy have come up in defense of the victims.

Recently CNN through its special feature program Inside Africa had a story of the beading practice in Samburu,where with just a beaded necklace young girls barley in their teens are forced to have sex with men.The story is a shame to say the least from a country that hopes to achieve its vision 2030 and you can read it here

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Kenya in the past recent months has been receiving a lot of coverage from CNN on issues from mental health,to the Nubian search for identity and i have never heard either the politicians or the church that is objecting to Willy Mutunga’s nomination speak out.

In casting aspersions on Willy Mutunga’s character and not his credentials the people objecting to his nomination have shown they are more concerned with appearances rather than substance.What we should be concerned about are whether we can trust Professor Mutunga and Nancy Barasa to deliver on judicial reforms,whether they are persons of integrity and if they can deliver in ensuring that Kenyans who have their day in court are heard without any brown envelopes exchanging hands.The objections to their appointments should be on facts and not the fiction that has been dreamed up by imaginative minds.

It is time Kenyans moved away from the endless squabbles that characterize nominations to high office.The new constitution that we passed into law last year with so much promise will prove to be nothing if we are still hanging on to the old way of doing things.What research has been done to prove that wearing an earring clouds your sense of judgment or renders you an idiot?Or how does wearing an earring influence the sexual orientation of those around you?Come on Kenyans let us get serious and get on with the program of change that is set to sweep this country.

THE PROBLEM WITH NORTHERN KENYA

Dr Adano was 7 years when his father was called out from a list that was being read by government officials as being a shifta sympathizer.That was the last time he saw him alive and more than three decades later he sat at the TJRC hearings in Moyale giving his heart wrenching story .He was crying and watching the rest of the people listening to his story at the Moyale High school in Northern Kenya you could see by the number of teary eyes in the room that what the good doctor had gone through was indeed heart breaking.All this was aired on a short documentary on one of the national channels of the proceedings the commission has been having.

Watching this man cry i could not for the life of me even believe i was hearing the story of a fellow Kenyan.North Eastern Kenya has for long been a part of Kenya that has largely gone unnoticed and as a result it is among the least invested regions while also among the most insecure.There are frequent attacks from bandits living in neighboring countries.There are also even more stories of cattle rustling among the communities living there and more children under the age of five are more likely to have seen an AK 47 than an Ipad.

Insecurity and lack of investment in basic facilities and infrastructure have all but sounded the death knell for this part of the country.For there to be significant development in this area,the present government and future governments need to prioritize this area.

Only by providing and enabling environment for economic activities will we see this area rise from its present state of being host to some of the poorest countries in the country.Security must remain a priority because no business activity can flourish in an area where business owners and customers are worrying about where and when the next bandit attack will come from.It is not enough to be sending anti stock theft unit personnel to these areas,we need to bring out the Calvary if need be to ensure business activities are allowed time and peace in which to grow and thrive.

Residents of these area also need to think long and hard about the people they bring to parliament.We have some of their best minds in the Judicial Service commission,at the Interim Independent Electoral Commission and serving in other high profile capacities in both the private and public sector.They have shown us that where you come from does not determine where you are headed and it is time they were in cognisant of the fact that it is time they changed the way they elect their representatives.Clanism will not do it for this region,only a leader with a vision big enough to accommodate all the communities living in this area will they see development in the region.

MOBILE NUMBER PORTABILITY SIDESHOWS

Mobile Number Portability(MNP) has not been the runaway success it was touted to be.Al we have seen so far have been sideshows from major players in the mobile phone industry with the regulator (CCK) acting as an uninterested bystander.The verbal fights have been playing out between Safaricom,Airtel and Porting Access Kenya..

Orange Kenya and Yu the other mobile service providers have been watching from the sidelines as the other two players exchange bitter words over the past 6 weeks since MNP was launched.

A little history a to why these two bitter rivals have been having these exchanges in the media is important.It goes back a long way but the recent spat was sparked off by the recent lowering of interconnection rates.Safaricom and Airtel have been outdoing each other in a bid to woo their rivals customers while maintaining a hold on their current subscriber base.These has seen customer enjoy all manner of freebies from reduced prices on high end phones,to free calls,to doubling of airtime to becoming instant millionaires.The reason this fight is this fierce is because like all business ventures they are ,looking at their bottom line against a backdrop of reduced revenue,increasing and recurring operational costs and a market that has become highly competitive.

None of the companies involved be it Orange Kenya,YU,Airtel or Safaricom can afford to sit back and relax as the battle for subscriber numbers has just started.Each one of them have to come up with innovative ideas and ways to retain their customer base while wooing those from th competition.This should be good news to the customer,but so far the increased competitiveness and customer choice that was envisaged has taken a back seat to the side sows.

What we need to see from all the players is a more transparent approach to portability,full disclosure and not the lies peddled as terms and conditions whenever you are signing up with a service provider.Better customer service,clearer networks,speedier resolution of issues and better incentives are what the customer is looking for.The verbal exchanges we are being treated to daily are just but mere diversionary tactics from the REAL issues.

Sex education will save our randy teenagers from self destructing.

Jenny(not her real name)comes from a family of seven,her parents separated and she lives with her mother and five other siblings in a two roomed house in Western Kenya.She will be sitting her form four examinations starting this October,i met her mother in February of this year struggling to get 500 Kenya shillings to clear the 12,500 shilling fee balance that she had at school before she could get registered for the national examinations.Luckily she got the money and Jenny happily went back to school with the sure knowledge that her name would be among the thousands of candidates sitting the national exam.

Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examinations are a national event in Kenya and the grades attained in this final exam which runs from mid October to end of November every year determines if one will get a slot in the highly competitive slots in both the public and private universities.So for a lot of parents and candidates being in the last year of high school is the final hurdle before university.

Every year as young Kenyan girls and boys sit their exams there are media reports of girls giving birth in hospital and with some even doing their examinations in the labor wards.Sadly Jenny is going to join hundreds of girls whose futures have been shattered because they rushed into sexual relationships too soon.

Some years back there was hue and cry when the government wanted to introduce sex education in school and parents protested over this.The plan was withdrawn as a result of protest by religious groups and parents yet going by the recent media reports and what i have heard and seen in my interactions with the young crowd,young girls and boys are engaging in sex and unprotected sex at that.

A local daily even carried a report of how a long distance company bus had been turned into a love nest by some randy teenagers in a part of Eastern province.With all the advertisements on sex,condom use,risks of promiscuity doing the rounds on tv ,radio and print media,why are young girls and boys still engaging in random sex?

Kenyan teenagers have taken a casual approach to sex and parents are not helping much if they keep quiet on the bees and the birds and hope their children will learn from the media or even worse their peers.I will tell a short story to illustrate the easy going manner in which sexual matters in the country have been viewed.

In a certain forum i was asked to give a short presentation on HIV/AIDS and nutrition to a group of corporate staff.Among the people in attendance were medics and a young lady not more than 25 who had been living with HIV for two years at least.I gave a short presentation on the need to maintain a healthy diet,effects of the anti retrovirals on nutrition and ended with a short summary of my previous work at Kibera and the challenges i faced there.

Now when the young lady’s turn came to do her short presentation on how she was living with the condition she rubbished the nutritional advice i had given.Her reasons for doing so were the fact that the crowd i had been presenting to did not have to be told about how to eat well,they had the money.She was very proud of the fact that she could go to any club and dance the night away with any guy she wanted and if she fancied him a pack of condoms would suffice for some time in the sack. After all she was taking her medicines and she was eating well and most of all she was being careful.Granted i did not hold any moral authority to tell her how she could live her life but i remembered how sad i felt for her that day.

Young Kenyans need to be told by their parents and no one else about how to approach their sexuality.For far too long we have been burying our heads in the sand and things are coming to a head if the increasing number of sexual escapades in the news are anything to go buy.

We are also living in a time where sexual orientation can no longer be classified as being strictly heterosexual and it is now accepted that in Kenya we have same sex relationships.There are even bars and entertainment spots that serve as meeting places for interested individuals.

It is time we started talking about the consequences we are facing as a nation when we have it on good authority reports of the sexual escapades of young Kenyans at musical concerts. There is existence of an underground pornography industry in the country and with even university students engaging in extra curricular activities whether for fame or fortune we need to admit we are being faced with a crisis.

The only safeguard we can give our youth is comprehensive sexual education so that they are well informed before they make the big leap into sexual relations.The church for the longest time has taken the abstinence approach but we still find some youth who despite all the pontificating from the pulpit they are engaging in sex and are either getting pregnant or acquiring a venereal disease.

Some Kenyan musicians are famous for glorifying partying,booze and women,and videos of their songs are streamed into our living rooms every day at five o’clock.I cringed when one evening i heard a young girl sing a popular song by some two Kenyan female artistes.The song lyrics are about the pairs escapades in clubs with an intention of just flirting and the young girl repeated the words word for word.

With such an environment it is no wonder that our younger generation has picked the cue from their icons -sex sells and the more you have it the more popular you become,it is worrying.

Engaging in early sexual relations especially for girls not only exposes them to risks of pregnancy and disease but it has also been linked to an increased risk of getting cervical cancer.This is because girls who have their first sexual encounter in their early teens are more likely to have more partners than those who wait longer for their first sexual encounter.The Human Papillomavirus which is a factor in the development of this disease goes largely undetected and if contracted early it causes more damage.

Parents,government and school bodies need to address this crisis that is happening right before our eyes before it explodes.Years since the debate first started,the world has changed,children have grown,the internet is in our homes and more parents work outside the home.School holidays have been reduced to cramming sessions in the name of holiday tuition and young people have no one to guide them as they transition from children to young adults,their parents are too busy looking for money and the domestic help at home have no responsibility to be teaching our children about sex.

Only by giving teenagers accurate information on their sexual and reproductive rights and how to have respect for them selves and others can this crisis be nipped in the bud.It does not do good to be preaching to the parents about “mpango wa kando’ and ignore the teenagers in our midst.Children are maturing faster,are becoming more sexually aware earlier and we need to equip them with information on how they can handle their sexuality before things get out of hand.The recent reports of videos,photos and sex blogs that are free for all on the internet are just a tip of the ice berg,lets act now before things get out of hand.