The youth of today are under pressure.
Consciously or unconsciously, the youth box themselves into a needless spot in their pursuit to belong and be termed “popular, cool, fashionable, hip” in today’s pop culture.
This need to “fit in” also comes with the added advantage of being accepted by their peers. In this quest, the youth act indifferent in the face of the damning consequences that lie up ahead. To the youth, they are in-tune with global trends in fashion, music and lifestyle. They “know” everything. Yet, they are totally blind to the end result of their choices.
Of late, unplanned pregnancy has become a common issue. To them, having sex is an integral part of “coming of age” and those who have the good sense to abstain and concentrate on their education, are considered to be strung up, and to use street lingo, “wack” by their peers.
The day a girl discovers that she is pregnant she mentally receives a sudden shot of reality check, and those issues that she was indifferent about all the while starts coming to the fore. She suddenly realizes that her dreams and aspirations were about to take a backseat.
She no longer thinks about herself in exclusivity, but about taking full responsibility for another human being. A responsibility she is mentally ill-prepared and ill-equipped to shoulder, financially and emotionally.
To make matters worse, instead of seeking informed opinions, she leans on her peers for advice; ill-informed advice. Some forcing marriage on the fellow who is responsible for her unborn baby, a fellow who may be ill-prepared to shoulder the consequences of his actions. The outcome from such contrived situation is anything but pleasant.
In my view, these pitfalls are avoidable. And it starts with the youth setting their priorities right from the onset. The youth should cling to education and self-development and actualization instead of engaging in activities capable of circumventing their entire future prospects. An educated youth is an informed youth. And an informed youth knows what is right and proper at the right time and under the proper conditions.
I posit that the only way to prevent teenage pregnancy is education. Educating the minds of the youth is key. I believe that organizing talks on this issue, formal and informal, will go a long way in addressing this scenario. One veritable informal platform is entertainment: the big screen to be precise.
This writer was privileged to watch a sneak preview of a new movie from the stables of PoshWorld Productions titled NOT ENOUGH… starring Alex Ekubo, Ebube Nwagbo, Oge Okoye, Nazo Ekezie, Tina Amuziam, Saraphina Amaechi and Bassey Bonny Michael.The movie is directed by award-winning director, Afe Olumowe.It was produced by NollyWood actress Ebube Nwagbo, co-produced and written by Ogonna Mbonu.
The story line of the movie dwells basically on youth issues. I recommend this movie to the youth. The movie can also be used as material for youth issues-based workshops and seminars. Also, the youth should make it a priority to watch the movie when it is eventually released for public viewing.
Today’s youth need a reality check. Sex is not love. Love is not sex. Both are not interchangeable. Pregnancy is not, and will never be a ticket to forcing marriage on a man who is not prepared for it.
Marriage is a good thing. But marriage under duress is a misnomer.
The right priorities over time, strengthen self-esteem, engender self-actualization and guarantee a great future.
By Amaechi Ossai