If I had to go back to high school, the only topic I would retake is Reproduction. Not because it was every student’s interesting subject, but because my Biology teacher was too shy to utter reproduction jargon.
That’s right. He’d be there at the front dictating notes, and we’d be hunched over our desks trying not to write while shaking (coz of his shy stammering). Somewhere between his annoying stutters, he’d go silent only for us to raise our heads and realize that what he couldn’t utter with his mouth, he had written on the chalk board.
Never have I felt so cheated. There was my Biology teacher trying to censor a lecture. I mean, I could have learned more about sex just by listening to Snoop. And to think that this guy had children.., how did he even get them? Who allowed him to?
But that’s the problem right there. You pious, holy, Godly, righteous adults decided that the subject of sexual organs can never be discussed unless it is:-
1. In bad light or
2. In sickness
And even then, you cannot refer to the affected parts as they should be. You’ve got silly euphemisms for your sexual organs and sexual intercourse. It’s okay to do that as a child but above the age of 18, how do you still refer to your sexual organs as nini and huko chini, while sex is anything from hiyo maneno to kufanyana?
Fine, this is Africa and you can blame my shy Biology teacher for this nonsense. Our parents are no better. To this date, my own mother cannot say the word “boyfriend” while looking me straight in the eye. That said, you can already guess that she and I never ever had that all important Sex Talk . Everything I know, I taught myself. And I am not alone.
Which leads me to ask:
How are you going to teach Kenyans how to use a condom, when they cannot even say the words PENIS and VAGINA without blushing?
Aren’t we jumping the gun here? Don’t you hear them calling Maina in the morning? Grown adults fumbling over age-five euphemisms for manhood. “Ei Maina.., hiyo kitu ilikuwa ndogo.” I sit in the mat and think.., your children have never heard the word PENIS (coz you will never even tell them they have one) but here you are referring to it like it’s a mustard seed?
A wise woman once told me that every community has a specific word for the things they believe exist. If it doesn’t exist, then there is no one word that describes it. See, in each of our vernaculars there’s a term for a body part. The eye, the hand, the stomach, even the buttocks. But ask across the board what is a community’s word for “penis” or vagina”. You’ll get different responses of words that can be interchanged to mean anything from a cow’s tail to a hole in the ground. Worst still, the responses come with a shy, small voice and a childish grin. Don’t even get me started on the hip slung. Pussy can mean so many things.
People say that before you get married you should talk about everything with your future spouse. From finances, to in-laws, to religion, to children. How do you talk about children when you cannot openly talk about your sexual organs? Or is sex something that just happens? No wonder you’ve got so many kids. No wonder Gonorrhea is back.
What is the harm in saying vagina? It’s Friday, let’s practice
VAGINA, VAGINA, VAGINA, VAGINA, VAGINA, VAGINA!!!
Let’s say penis now:-
PENIS, PENIS, PENIS, PENIS, PENIS, PENIS, PENIS!!!
That didn’t feel too bad did it?
No, you’re not going to hell. At least not today. But do you know what will probably take you to hell. It’s the way you mention God’s name in vain. Coz in the act you’re all like “Oh God, Oh God, yes, Oh GOOOODDD!!!” but you’re same person who cannot use the word VAGINA in a conversation with your girlfriends.
I think God is going to have a lot of trouble on judgement day. Things will probably play out like this:-
God: Nittzsah, please step forward
Nittzsah: *bows* Yes, my Lord
God: Do you realize that in all your sexual encounters you screamed my name 4, 789, 603 times but only used the word vagina 2 times in your entire lifetime. 2 times, girl!!
Nittzsah: Lord, I can explain
God: Explain?! It was MY name you weren’t supposed to mention in vain, not your sexual organs!
Dear Kenyans, I’m all for teaching people how to use condoms. I’m, even willing to volunteer my energy to the campaign. But until we start having candid conversations about sex and the parts involved, we are wasting our time. Shrouding such vital information in euphemisms only dilutes the message. There is nothing offensive or disgusting about any of your body parts. Your sex organ is not a bad thing. It is as much a part of your body as your head, shoulders, knees and toes. So start referring to it without fear or shame.
Keep practicing: VAGINA, VAGINA, VAGINA……