Among the Baganda and many other tribes in Uganda, it’s very rare to find parents talking to their children about sexuality. Apparently it seems like a parent has no business talking about sex to their off springs. I don’t know about the Americans and other ethnic groups in Africa but for Buganda that I am sure, I grew up in a Buganda setting and all those talks of sexuality and body changes I should have gotten them from my father but that didn’t happen.
During my adolescent stage my father was always on the move and I didn’t get that talk of “son, now you’re turning into a man and blah blah,” though what I remember vividly was one day when I had dodged a shower and he found out, He got furious and said a lot and lot then mentioned something about the stage I was going through and to him it’s not adolescent stage rather stupid years.
On a few occasions in the evening before supper, when my father sensed supper was to delay a bit he could keep us awake with riddles and brain teasers (Read: “Koi Koi” and “awo olwa tuka olwa tuka” stories). And that could happen once in a long while and that was the father talk we could get nothing about sexuality and the adolescence changes, though my parents did their best in equipping morals and values into us, that I applaud them.
So here I was in adolescent stage and all the knowledge about sexuality and reproduction I knew was got from school and some stories from older friends who had experiences but also didn’t say a lot. But let me ask, won’t it be impactful and great if all this knowledge and information was from the father? Because we respected and loved him ooh and we still do and we took him to be all knowing and a trusted source for the information he was passing on to us.
Fast forward [Ten years later] recently on the 3rd October 2015 I attended the intergenerational dialogue where “Nurturing and strengthening linkages between the young and older generations to address the current sexual and reproductive health needs in Uganda” was the theme. And this dialogue brought together the young people, parents, religious leaders, cultural leaders and professionals and we talked about sex and health.
Among the many sessions we had, there was that special one where the cultural and religious leaders had to tackle the roles of empowering youths with knowledge and skills for informed life decision making, Dr. Christine Mbabazi Mpyangu said something that sunk in about parents talking to their children “Parents don’t have to talk to their children about issues of sexuality everyday but even once in a while that could be enough” she said. As it was still sinking in deep a thought crossed my mind how could this be possible.
Well I simply just want to suggest; in this day and age we’re living in where technology is here to stay and changing every day, How about if our parents use the internet tools like social media to reach and nurture young generations? Imagine a blog or a post from a parent sharing about moral, value, health and sexuality regularly! Just imagine that. . .