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Initiation ceremonies for girls should be discouraged-Sikawala

The Lwiindi Gonde traditional Ceremony Organizing Committee Chairperson, Patrick Sikawala says some initiation ceremonies for girls should be discouraged as they contribute to early marriages and teenage pregnancies.

Mr. Sikawala says some initiation ceremonies such as ‘Nkolola’ of the Tonga people expose girls to issues of sexuality which in turn, put them at risk of getting pregnant.

Speaking in an interview, Mr. Sikawala said most initiation ceremonies compelled parents and guardians to shift the responsibility of counselling their children to traditional counsellors, when it was their duty to counsel them.

Mr. Sikawala said initiation ceremonies were not necessary, as parents and guardians could still guide their children in a home set-up, without subjecting them to rites practiced during the ceremonies.

“Parents should counsel children from their homes and should not rely so much on counsellors who specialize in initiation ceremonies, if they expect positive behavioral change,” he said.

Mr. Sikawala further said other than initiation ceremonies, large church meetings which involved young people also resulted in some of them getting pregnant.

“It is not just the initiation ceremonies. Even our church going youths are vulnerable when they go for meetings such as camp meetings, because they end up getting pregnant,” he said.

Mr. Sikawala noted that children’s upbringing in modern society has changed as young people enjoy more rights than the youths in previous generations.

He claimed that young people have the courage to challenge elders, parents and guardians since they are protected by human rights.

“Young people nowadays do not listen to their elders. They are able to challenge us because they are protected by human rights. These human rights have spoiled our children,” he said.

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