Let's replace obsession with Vera-Otile drama with candid talk on teenage sex

Friday November 23 2018

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I admit – I was one of the people reading, and sharing, Vera Sidika's infamous posts on Monday.

I will confess today. I was relishing the descriptions and the drama, and passing it on to other people who too could enjoy the descriptions and the drama.

I will also admit that I really don't like it when people share private phone or DM conversations on a public timeline. It smacks of a very specific type of betrayal; this person was being open with you, or disclosing information that they trusted would not get out. Instead, their business is out in the open. And if you know you're going to put their messages up, of course, you're not going to respond the way you usually would (you'll be acting up while they'll be keeping it real) – but you have not given them that opportunity. That's not fair.

That being said, regardless of the ethical questions behind whether or not to share conversations you had with your ex, the messages were indeed out there, and they blew up on social media, obviously.

Everyone loves a little salaciousness. And while I did agree with Vera – listening to your partner's needs and wants is essential in a relationship – I was even more curious about the number of Kenyans who were actively followed the resolution and or commentary of this major timeline event.

Hot on the heels of this scandal came the Lyle story – the chap who disappeared for a few hours over the weekend and then his girlfriend put out a notice saying he was missing, throwing many people into a panic. Turns out, he was just drinking at some girl's house. Vera has it right – communication is so important, in every relationship.

But once again, I was befuddled at how many people had opinions for something that is supposedly so taboo. Kenyans want to talk about sex – who is having it and who has been busted doing it, but no one is willing to have the very real conversations concerning all parties having sex.

I am talking about basic conversations, like with your children, who are having sex much earlier in life, or conversations with your legislature, who are perfectly willing to ban abortions but not take care of the children born from mothers who did not have that choice.

We can't be here sanctimoniously saying that no one should have an abortion, without thinking of the main problem first – that someone is having sex with teenagers in the first place, which accounts for almost a fifth of unplanned pregnancies.

There are definitely bigger problems at hand – we're plagued with corruption, scandals, an economic crisis, among other things – but as a first step, can we, at least, be honest about who we are as a people, even, instead of acting like sex and all things surrounding it are sins to not be accessed till marriage?

We're not ostriches. Let's stop behaving like them.

Twitter: @AbigailArunga