Last Sunday, I went to a barbershop for what I can call a routine hair trimming activity. Being a Sunday, it was an easy day as most business persons prefer a day off from normal duties due to a number of reasons. Thus, in the barbershop, there was only one attendant in his late forties or so and the only available barber chair was occupied by an apparently young man of less than 22 years of age.
Apart from the aforementioned two people there were also other four young boys who simply accompanied their fellow to the barbershop. All of them were in a seemingly jovial mood. However, what forced my hair into a standing position was the fact that I detected a sudden change in their topic of conversation once I stepped into the room.
What struck and prompted me to punch some buttons in order to present to you this write up were the things they talked about and more strikingly something they did not talk about. If I was not under a certain constant fear and avoidance of being labeled a pesky intruder, I could have asked them why they did not care to talk about something that is of utmost importance in their lives as young adults.
Among the issues, they talked about football, how Arsenal FC suffered a terrible defeat in the hands of Liverpool FC and other related topics. Further to this, they talked about music and I should acknowledge that from their chitchat I knew some real names of the most famous American rappers and pop stars. After a while, they got accustomed to my presence and they returned to what I believed was the initial topic of discussion that was stopped midstream because of my arrival.
The seemingly jovial young men started talking about their love relationships vigorously- every one of them was a Romeo in his own light. I soon realised that each young man has a lover and they all enjoyed recounting and listening to their escapades. They talked and talked and talked about how nice it is to be in love. At times, I was a bit saddened at how vulgar the boys could become when they were talking about issues concerning sex.
However, even though the lover boys seemed to be very fascinated by their love lives and sex, they were somehow naïve. This was evidenced by the frequent questions they were asking each other and failing to help out one another with even just a faint idea. Frankly speaking, this was due to the fact that they were all ‘green’ or perhaps I should say… immature. Thus, the entire questions ended to the most patient barber I have ever seen. Then, the barber started doing three things; shaving his customer, giving monosyllabic responses and articulating myths as empirical facts.
Meanwhile, I was asking myself several questions. ‘Of course this dude is an excellent barber, but does that virtue certify him to be an expert in sexual reproductive health? ‘Why are these seemingly clever chaps getting themselves into something they haven’t understood in the first place?’ Have they tried to seek advice from an expert in this field and if yes, why do they give an impression that they are still living in the dark?’
Later in those few minutes, I heard that one lad amongst the kids has a one year old kid and that he broke up with the unfortunate little mother of his child. It also became general knowledge within the vicinity of the barber shop that one of the boys had about two of what he called ‘legitimate girl lovers’ (whatever that means) and three other sex partners. The ugliest part of it was that, all his associates were rather envying him for that instead of telling him a civilized way of approaching his love life.
It is heartrending that the young boys, none of them was above 21 years of age, talked about sleeping with girls and love affairs. In fact, they talked about almost everything except their own sexual reproductive health.
Young people are ignorant of the most important insights surrounding the issues pertaining to their sexual reproductive health. Due to a certain unyielding nature that usually comes together with youthhood, they do not seek information as they rely on certain courageous as well as fatal experiments. Consequentially, they get destroyed from lack of knowledge.
All young people should know that getting reliable information and advice first before risking some stakes is an ideal way to go. Concerned organisations like YONECO have counselors who offer free counseling services. In addition, most hospitals and clinics have youth friendly health corners where they also offer free counseling services.
It is sad to note that these young humans are getting destroyed from the lack of knowledge. They know nothing about condomizing, they do not know the dangers of having multiple sex partners and abstinence is not in their vocabulary either.
As I was waiting for my turn in the barbershop, I picked up a Holy Bible that was on an empty synthetic leather bench. This was done in a vain attempt to at least get the boys to understand something and realize the folly of what they do. I quickly flipped over the pages and opened Ecclesiastics 11 verse 9 and left it somewhere where they can easily read.