Bosibori is awaken by the cries of her one year and half old daughter.
Her greatest fear is that she will startle her baby brother who is still asleep.
The baby brother is 2 months old.
Bosibori their mother is barely 18 years old. A single mother.
Clearly, she has to feed herself and her two children but, she sometimes doesn’t understand how she makes it because she has no regular job and her family neglected her when they found out that she was pregnant. So, two months after delivery, when other ladies are in luxurious beds or at least decent ones, relaxing a little…to catch breath; Bosibori would be in someone’s shamba tilling from sunrise to sunset only taking a short break to breast feed her youngest child. The child would be lucky to found enough milk from a mother who hasn’t eaten any food. But, she survives anyway; She has to!
At this point you must be asking why she repeated the same “mistake”-having a second child when she wouldn’t comfortably take care of the first one. She says that she found a man, or a man found her if you like and promised to save her from the anguish she was going through. She even moved into his house. But, after a week, the man chased her away. But, she didn’t go alone. She discovered much later that she was pregnant.
She was once a serious student at a local school and her performance oscillated between a B plain and a C plain depending on how difficult the exams were. Even then, she never missed a top 10 position.
Irrespective of this, she always scored an A plain in Maths; her favourite subject.
Being the only girl in top 10 in her form 2 class, most teachers admired her tenacity. She was destined for greatness. And she was the favourite in her extended family. She carried the hope of her poor family, until she attended a Music festival. It is there where she met an equally young boy. A teenager too. Within no time, they started having unprotected sex.
And voila, she was pregnant!
The boy vanished.
She tried walking into a facility for contraceptives when she started getting intimate with the teenage boy, but she wouldn’t get the contraceptives because of a standoff between the national government and the county government over a policy in the provision of contraceptives to adolescents.
“Data from the Performance Monitoring for Action Kenya 2021 report reveals that about six in every 10 adolescents nationally did not use a contraceptive method during the last sex they had and only 14 percent of all adolescents (15-19 years) are using modern contraceptive methods” as reported by the Nation on March 15th, 2022.
Some counties like Kilifi have continued to lessen their hold on the laws and to provide contraceptives to their young populace who are becoming more and more actively involved in sexuality.
According to a report released by the Kenya Health Information service in June 2021; about 15,000 adolescents aged between 10 and 19 years in Kilifi were on contraceptives.
The case of Bosibori is only a reflection of that of many other adolescents in various communities. Adolescents who were reported by major news agaencies as absent from school when classes resumed after the lockdown that was orchestrated by Covid-19. It is still a case that continues to be reported upto now.
Besides the prevention of pregnancies, people above 18 years have been adviced to use contraceptives to protect themselves against HIV/AIDs and other sexually transmitted diseases. The research on how contraceptives have aided in the above in enormous, but, will we be willing to make contraceptives easily accessible to the younger generation? Being an African Society, sexuality is often not easily and freely discussed within the family set-up or other public forums and this inhibits the progress we should have done already in so many areas, sexuality is one of them.
Thus, we are asking the question…should adolescents get access to contraceptives? Or should we turn a blind eye and assume that they are not engaged in sexual activities?
What is your opinion?