The current instability in our lives is appalling. December was a ball; some would say, but then came the actual dance. We had no idea the storm that was coming, a literal pandemic. Some words, like 'pandemic', never appear anywhere. Even when they do, we do not pay them any mind. Pandemic.
The COVID-19 Pandemic and The Resulting Lockdowns
The ring in my mouth while saying that word is detestable. But it is here, and the reality is that we all have to buckle up. Experts say that the dance has just started. That we should brace ourselves for repeated ‘storm’ swells from Covid-19. It has been quite a ride, and what a year. Who knew we’d be stuck up in our homes sipping life from the panes of our windows? The boat has gotten rocked, and it is about to buckle.
How COVID-19 Has Affected the Kenyan Economy
As a young fifty-something-year-old nation, we are in deep and unchartered territory. I mean, if we were struggling before the pandemic, who are we to weather this global storm? Recessions don’t happen in a day but cascade over a few months or even years.
Even with repeated efforts to rescue the figurative ship, there is still much left to get desired. The country is at a cliff economically speaking, and we are about to plummet into inflation and recession. I am no economist, but I’ll tell you that the financial times will worsen.
The Detriment to Our Collective Emotional and Mental Health Caused by COVID-19
When we speak of health, we forget a huge part which is mental and emotional well-being. Add a pandemic to the mix, and it is going to be quite a year. I would hate to be a naysayer, but a lot of concentrated effort needs to get channeled toward mental and emotional health. In my personal view, we have not started ailing today. It has been a constant deterioration of how we, as a society, relate to the world.
We live a foreign lifestyle expecting natural and somewhat traditional African society results. The healthcare system gets strained, add mental and emotional health to that, and the outlook becomes even bleaker. That said, there is and should be more avenues where individuals, young and old, can seek help for issues or matters about mental and emotional health.
The Teenage Pregnancy Pandemic in Kenya and How COVID-19 has Exacerbated It
Forgive me for being forward, but the problem is a nine-month to a year (already happened) problem. The news is awash with complaints about the issue of teenage pregnancy. Ours is the same country where after school, children come home to music shows that are full of half-naked women shaking their ‘creation’ gifts.
To me, this is so hypocritical. I mean, if we are going to expose children to vulgarities in music, and media that have become populated with sex appeal, what then can we expect. Children learn by seeing and hearing, and what they see and hear is what they will do. As such, we all need to deal with the problem, starting with its causes.
Is Sex Education the Way to Go in Tackling Teenage Pregnancy in Kenya?
We also need to ask ourselves whether sex education is the way to go. I am not a parent or educator, but my view on the matter is that a severe and well-researched review should get done on the applicability or feasibility of sex education in our country. I am not advocating for teaching children that sex is good or bad, but instead departing enough knowledge on the topic.
For example, children should get told that sex should be a post-marriage affair. However, when teaching this to high school or university students, then contraceptives can be discussed as a failsafe. Primary school children should get educated against involving themselves with such matters. They should also get taught that our bodies change around that time, and this can be troublesome if, as an individual, one does not take care of themselves and how one interacts with others.
Our Kenyan Culture and Transitioning Traditions to the 21st Century
We are an interesting lot, and to us, our culture, traditions, and religions are everything. As such, these should work to better society and our lives and not as a detriment to how we articulate and deal with issues.
As a nation, a cultured and religious nation, more needs to be done to ensure that we are all educated on modern life and what it means to be and to live in the twenty-first century. I feel like we borrow too much from the western world. Again, as I have said, we live American and European lives in Africa. It is not right.
Preserving Our Kenyan and African Culture
We should learn to have our own culture. It includes our own mode of dressing. We need to educate the girl child that wearing short and exposing clothes will only earn disrespect and a lot of unnecessary stereotyping. It is a heated topic, and since I am not female, I will not speak to that or at length.
Decency is vital, however, and in my view, it is not a necessity for everyone to see your ‘physique,’ so to speak. Modern feminism is a bone of contention and an issue for another day. Thanks for reading. Enjoy. Leave a comment and feel free to reach out on Instagram & Twitter: @daviemaniaa.