My twin sister and I were separated from birth, I grew up with my grandmother from my dad’s side and she grew up with my grandmother from my mother’s side. I was my grandmothers little girl, I was a snitch, and every night I would secretly give my grandmother a full report of what transpired at home while she was at the shebeens. I would then watch my grandmother beat up my cousins for stealing sugar/eggs and roasting the chicks (they used to strangle the young chicks and roast them) or for bringing boys into the house. I knew right there and then that what my cousins used to do when kuku was away was wrong, but I was exposed to it. I was about two to three years old but I still remember all that went on in our house, I remember the words that my grandmother said to my cousins. I also remember that when I was young my grandmother had to collect readymade maize meal from the clinic in order to prepare soft porridge for me because I was premature. One very painful encounter that I will never forget was the day that my aunt took me to the clinic for vaccine and we ran into my mom and my twin sister, my aunt immediately pointed out to me and said, “there is your mom”, my mom walked to me and picked me up, and then she bought us fatcake, after that my twin and I began to play in the sand and after we got our vaccines we headed for our different villages.
I am not saying that I suffered or that I had it worse in anyway, but the point that I’m trying to bring across here is that children can see and hear everything that is going on around them and they do not forget. Children are innocent and their childhoods should be as innocent as possible, don’t do things to children because you think they are children and they don’t know what is happening, they may not know now, but when they grow up they will definitely make sense of it. Protect your little ones and give them the nurturing that they need, let us be fair to them and not expose them to things that will harm their future; we have to be cautious about what they watch especially on TV and in our cell phones. Technology has completely taken over these days and as a result our children are now at risk because they stumble upon naked pictures everyday in our cellphones or computers with ease.
The first time I saw a naked picture as a child was in one of those explicit sex magazines that they had back in the days, my cousin used to hide one in his room under his pillow, how I found it I don’t know but I did and I didn’t know what exactly it was but I also became curious in my little mind. Furthermore, one of my ten- year -old nephews was exposed to porn videos that he discovered in his father’s laptop and this resulted in him trying to experiment on other children at a very young and critical stage of his life. Growing up, my stepmom was very strict about what we watched on TV, she never allowed us to watch anything containing sex scenes or violence and I am grateful to her for this. I remember that there was a film called Shaka Zulu back in the days, my primary school mates used to go on about it, I don’t know what it was about exactly because we were not allowed to watch it, ever! Later on we found out that one particular boy stabbed another boy with a sharp pencil/object while imitating Shaka Zulu moves. Violence was planted in this young boy’s mind obviously. Parents, we need to take extra care of our children especially while they are still young in order to instil the right kind data in their little computers( brains) because they don’t know how to separate right from wrong. And it is our responsibility as parents to make sure that they grow up with right principles in life.
The Bible says in proverbs 22:6 –Train children in the way they should go; when they grow old, they won’t depart from it. What do you say in front of your children, and who do you leave hanging around your little ones. I remember that later on when I was a bit older, I also started stealing eggs when Kuku was away, and then I started stealing sugar until I went on to steal her coins so I can buy sweets at the cuca shops, etc. When I was a teenager I spent my years trying to relive what I saw my cousins do as a child, and more. There is a reason why we enter this world as little babies with no memory whatsoever, so that our parents and guardians can be sure to install the correct information into our memory cards. It is enough to blame our children when they go on the wrong path of life as they grow up, like when they go into crime and alcohol or early dating but what were they exposed to when they were little children? Many children were molested when they were young and their parents don’t even know and as a result they crave for male attention and have a hunger to satisfy this urge that was awaken within them when they were so young, but their parents are unaware instead the parents make the situation worse by calling them names or beating them up, but this won’t help these young adults need psychological help. Some parents go to shebeens with their little ones and later get surprised when these children grow up to treasure the night life as if it where life itself. It’s wrong! I’m sure we can all trace a few/ certain habits back to our childhood experiences. The foundations that shape our lives depend on our childhood. Children are the leaders of tomorrow, what we do to them now will create the kind of leaders that they will be in future. Let us teach our children the right principles while they are young so that when they are older, they will remember them and live by them. Being a single parent means that you play the role of both the mother and the father, our children should be able to see the angel in us as well as the monster in us( for lack of a better term) (Caution: bearable monster), let us be able to bend in some instances and strict in others. It is our job as parents, the schools, can only do so much but everything else should come from us as parents. We should be their coaches, their mentors and their role models. Let us make the choice today to be a positive influence in our children’s lives.
Sesilia Nekwaya is a young economist at the Bank of Namibia whose dream is to make a difference in someone’s life, whether big or small. Writing this article, Nekwaya hopes this article speaks in greater volumes.