Last week, I got an invite to be speak and inspire students in some Secondary Schools in Lagos. This is something that Ilove to do as I am of the opinion that , we need to catch these young ones young. We need to be telling them the reality that exist in the real world and help them form the foundation of what would become their life principles.
When I got there, I had a good time with the girls. It was easy relating with them as I spoke on the need to pay attention to what you are passionate about. I have a passion for writing and it comes naturally to me. Those who went to Secondary School with me can attest to that but I never knew it would form the core of my career today. We spoke on personal hygiene as well and I hada one-on-one moment with a young girl who had this idea that actors are bad people and she wanted to be an actor. Every profession has its ugly sides but it is what you do that determines if your profession is bad or good.
It was after speaking to the girls that I made a discovery on how much work we need to be doing in seeking to eliminate domestic violence and sexual assault. I walked into a class full of young boys who I was told that were between the ages of 17 and 18. First things first, I was glad that they weren’t hostile to me even if it meant allowing them to address me as Omababy and Omalicious as they chanted when I was introduced to them. I only got worried when they began to make sounds and sigh at the mention of, ‘You MUST respect every woman’.
Boys will always be boys but it is no excuse to encourage what is wrong. We need to start early in teaching them what is right. Truth be told, they didn’t all agree with me but some did and one of them who even asked how he would react if he was being provoked by a woman. The scenario he pointed out was certainly one that required absolute self control which is where we need to also speak to our young girls as well. If you have ran your mouth to the point where he walks away, please don’t feel the need to pull him back and hit him. However, I said to him, see yourself to be stronger than she is and still let go. It is hard but it is the right thing to do.
It is our responsibility to teach them dialogue as a better means of resolving conflicts. We need to be teaching them differently so that they can do better. Make it your responsibility to teach them what is right not by the words of your mouth but even by our actions. Let us do more than a 1day seminar for this should be at the core of our lifestyle!
None the less, I had a good time with them and I am very grateful to everyone of them that allowed me to speak to their hearts. I am hoping that they begin to think differently and grow up to be men that take better life decisions especially when it comes to violence against women and sexual assault.
What more can we do to drive home this message?
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