Sambiassa seksistä puhuminen on edelleen tabu
“In Zambia you can't tell someone who is older than you about sex.”Interview with Mercy Kambulu, 23 and Bernard Kaumba, 24, Zambia.
1. Have you ever had any sexual education?
Mercy: Just a month ago we did a project with Barefeet theatre about teenage pregnancy, we were going to different districts talking about teenage pregnancy and how young people can prevent it, by not having sex at a tender age. It is really common in Zambia for girls to start having sex at a tender ages of 13 and 14. We did shows and performances, we worked with kids and older people like parents and talked about sex. It was really hard because in Zambian tradition you can´t tell someone who is older than you, about sex and how they can help their children not to have sex at a tender age. It was hard but I managed. That´s the sex education that I have experienced.
Bernard: I have never had any sex education!
2. What is the right age for someone to start having sex?
Mercy: I would say 18, because when you are a teenager you don´t know what you are doing and because of peer pressure you would want to try out things , and you end up having sex at a tender age of 15 or 17. You start having sex and get pregnant or contract STI´s, you may not see it as a problem now but after a few years you start feeling the effects. So I would say 18 is OK but make sure you use protection.
Bernard: I think when you are 18 it´s the right age because then, you are mature and you know the consequences and can protect yourself.
3. Is it still a taboo to talk about sex with older people in Zambian tradition? Are things changing?
Mercy: Yeah it is changing. If you talk to your parents about sex, they think you are going mad, but if you have artists go out there and perform and use theatre to talk about sex, kids become more free and they find a way of talking about sex with their parents.
4. Is there a right age to start educating the kids about sex?
Bernard: I think as early as possible.
Mercy: For me as a mother, I would like to start teaching my son when he is 11 years old because when his is 13 he will become a teenager and his going to have a lot of peer pressure, so he needs to know about sex and what his going to find, the bad things and good things. I wouldn’t say that sex is bad, there are good and bad things about it.
5. What do you think about gay rights and discrimination based on someone’s sexual orientation?
Mercy: I’m fine with any person that comes to me and says that they are gay and they love their fellow man or woman. I’m fine with that! It’s not about pointing fingers at other people, saying what they are doing is wrong. You have to think about where they come from and what they have been through for them to be like that. I don’t look down on them.
Bernard: I think its right (equal rights for gay people), but when you look at Zambia and religion, because it’s a Christian nation people tend to hide and they don’t show their true selves. As for me, I’m flexible, its right!
6. Have you ever experienced anyone being discriminated against because of their sexual orientation?
Bernard: I have been in a situation where people were talking bad about this gay person. He was just sitting alone. I think that’s not good, you have to accept how people are.
Mercy: I have a gay friend. We play basketball together. I can understand her because of her background. But other people thinks that she’s crazy and run away from her.