Be cautious in choice of rite of passage for your son
The Kenya Certificate of Primary Education exam is over. For some communities, it is time to take boys for circumcision as they await to join secondary school next year.
Although this is an important rite of passage in the life of the boy child, unfortunately in some cases, this is the time the boys are initiated into bad habits such as drugs and sex.
During our time, my peers started smoking and taking alcohol soon after circumcision. Those who were still in primary school and had undergone circumcision primarily due to age and not due to completing primary education, dropped out of school. They felt they were now ‘adults’ and could not fathom being in the same class with boys who had not yet faced the knife. They started smoking and taking alcohol at 14 years.
Some churches noted this gap and started offering rites of passage programmes for boys. If you have a boy and wonder what to do, then you may review some of these church’s rite of passage programmes and decide on what works best for you and your son. However, you need to take some precaution; some of the organisers of these events are money-driven.
A friend told me how his son went to one of these church-driven programmes and developed an infection thereafter that necessitated further admission in hospital for two weeks as the procedure had to be repeated. This was traumatic for the young boy and also left a bad experience for the father.
So, if your son is participating in one of these programmes, maintain close supervision and if you can visit the boy a couple of the days when they will be in the camp, please do. Ask all the right questions without hesitation, especially on how the whole programme is run and the precautions taken to ensure the boys don’t catch infections during their period of recuperation. Don’t just dump your son to a camp, just because a church is running it. They too make mistakes—some of these mistakes can be costly to the life of your son.