We need to be daring and courageous enough to talk about reproductive sexual health to save our teenagers from drowning in the ocean of unwanted pregnancies and STI's.
Sneak peek at "Hayazoleki" Kenyan film [Pulse Contributor's Review]
Hayazoleki tells the story of a 16-year-old girl, Mbone
My name is Barone Oindi. I am a media personality and enthusiast. I have featured in popular television shows such as The Real House Helps of Kawangware, Varshita and even TVC ads such as Jumia Ad as an actor.
I have also featured in short films such Blind by Dylan Habil, Akothee by Japheth Ayieko, Darling You by Kim Proper and currently in production Life ya Tony na Jonte by Eastmond Mwenda.
You might ask yourself why I’m talking about reproductive sexual health education. I recently featured in a short film titled Hayazoleki as the character Karl.
The film’s title is derived from a Swahili saying 'Maji yakimwagika hayazoleki' which can be translated as 'spilled water can’t be collected'.
I fell in love with the project immediately director JaFee told me about it.
Hayazoleki tells the story of a 16-year-old girl, Mbone, who is a Form Three student. She is a very beautiful, brilliant, high performing student at school and her parents are conflicted on educating her on matters reproductive and sexual health.
Where her father believes their daughter is intelligent and that she knows what’s wrong and what’s right, her mother believes they still need to talk to her.
All the while, Mbone secretly carries on a relationship with a 24-year-old man which later lands her in problems and the parents begin the blame games.
This is a fictitious story, however, I find that even in reality we often wait for "water to spill" before we start the blame games.
What if we could have tried preventing the water from spilling?
According to statistics, the number of teenage girls who presented with pregnancy between January and May 2020 were 151,433.
A majority of these girls are likely to drop out of school due to fear of stigmatization and health related issues. This hinders the steps being taken to ensure girls and boys have equal opportunities of getting educated and achieving their dreams.
Hayazoleki film seeks to bridge the gap between parents and children in holding productive dialogue on sexual and reproductive health matters.
The importance of holding these conversations in our homes is that we educate girls and boys on avoiding unwanted teenage pregnancies.
I believe these kinds of projects, especially ones in film and theatre, will change the narrative around sexual and reproductive health education because if we don’t teach them then who will?
It doesn’t matter if you are a parent or not, if you want a better future, then you are the one to make it happen. If you can educate one teenager on the importance of abstaining from sexual relationships until they are ready and mature enough for them, then we are a step closer to our desired future where the number of teenage pregnancies and early marriages is low.
Kama sio sisi, nani? (If not us, then who?)
The foregoing is an Opinion Article submitted to Pulse Live Kenya for publication as part of the Pulse Contributors initiative.
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Barone Onyango Oindi is a spirited 22-year-old Kenyan. He is an actor, comedian, commercial model and a film enthusiast. He also writes film scripts once in a while in addition I love vlogging, shooting random videos and making comedy skits.
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