Some politician recently said that the internet was corrupting kids, and that kids in rural areas are now accessing all manner of filth on the internet. ‘Back in the day’ (the ‘80’s) the only filth we could access was in movies borrowed from “video libraries” – these were full of nothing but pirated copies of tapes. Usually, the pirates would add a couple of episodes of Top of the Pops for good measure after the movie. There was a section in the video library with “adult” movies which, in actual fact were just often harmless 18Certificate movies that were on general release. So I guess we didn’t access any filth. Having said that, I was once off school and I trawled around my Esto (it was largely quiet during weekdays) to find one mboch being fondled in open air by a watchie, and another Esto woman was being snogged by her mano. If it was Sato they would have been behaving like Mother Theresa, so I guess Kenyans have just become less hypocritical and they are open about snogging, fondling, etc, in public.
Although, living in Europe, I am accustomed to seeing nudity in posters, on TV, and such salacious stuff is “normal,” I was checking out the East African Standard’s magazine – PULSE – and there was some chick (she looks like kid-sister material) wearing hot pants, posing with one leg up like in a porn shoot. Recently, also, there was an article in a Kenyan paper about plastic surgery and they showed a woman’s breasts. I was outraged! But why should I be? I don’t like the nudity stuff in Europe, but to see it in the Kenyan media is like aargh why are they going down that road? On the one hand, its great, it is every woman’s right to wear what she wants, even to walk naked, but on the other hand, it is just another example of how Kenya tries to be like a Western nation (it is NOT).
Of course ‘back in the day’ we had our curiosity, but I was shocked to learn that majority of high schoolers are bed rumping, drug-taking, alcohol-swigging, smocking so and so’s. Personally I didn’t taste alcohol till I was nearly 21 and as for snogging I was a grown woman before I experienced that. What is it with Nairobi kids nowadays?? The whole “nimechill” campaign (where there was I think a two-finger sign to symbolise that someone had decided to abstain) just shows that majority of teenies nowadays are at it like rabbits. Mpaka even many party all night long. I know what it was like to be ‘locked up’ (hmmph- even speaking to boys was adventurous) so I can sympathise with these kiddos who want to party and experiment with stuff, but if it was my kiddo I don’t think I would hesitate to lock him/her up. Actually I think it would be afadhali to lea a Kenyan mwana in the rural areas (hata akishrub as a result, sawa tu).
It’s one thing having a teen cultural liberation, but where will it take young Kenyans – other than to rehab or VD clinic?? In our day, to even have a boyfriend/girlfriend was like woah! Such relationships consisted entirely of walking up and down the Esto (chick would wear her Sunday best), holding hands in an alley, the chali buying the chick a “treat” (kumbuku ice-cream on closing day or chipos or soda), and the exchange of occasional notes or cards. That was it.
Ah the ‘80’s. The age of the close of innocence in Nairobi?