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VAS

Free condoms in campus should be stopped just like the nyayo milk

UREPORT
By WILLIAM DEKKER | February 23rd 2016

Walking into any hostel on a Friday evening you come across an overflowing condom dispenser, famously known as the ATM. By Sunday morning, the dispenser is empty and begging for a re-fill. It is such a moment that a student director in charge of Health/Welfare cannot dare pass through a crowd of campus hoodlums, “We need condoms” is the song! Or rather, “Hizi CD za gava umetuletea zinapasuka haraka na pia hazina utamu.” That is alarming already, I’ll tell you why.

When I joined campus, a green village boy who knew nothing better than what the village could offer, some damning statistics were published. 70% of the ladies were infected. So in my naïve mind, every moment I walked along the academic highway I could loosely count 10 ladies and imagine 7 of them as sick (the idea of 7/10 infected was that scary)!

 A few years later, I got into the Student Council and this allowed me the privileges to access certain reserved information; among them the records at the health unit. Of the entire population, the then sophomore group had its majority HIV+. It is the same group that recorded the highest number of campus pregnancies. We punitively referred to them as the “abortion group”. At some point they had to fill every toilet with foetuses and all sorts of unborn elements.

When it became evident that the government was never relenting on its initiative to give condoms to Primary and High School kids, I verily dreaded the idea. I would often liken it to the situation in campuses today. Though someone would argue that the freely distributed condoms are meant to curb infection rates at our institutions, I wave a contrary opinion.

DAYS THAT I DISTRIBUTED CONDOMS

When those “those things” clog the dispensers, it only means one thing; you cannot look twice without pocketing a few. In my days I would volunteer, alongside my friend Francis (who now intends to become a Priest), in distributing the condoms round the entire campus. Confident people took several rolls, but the commandos took with them cartons, unbothered by the shocked faces of shy onlookers.

Sometimes after filling the dispensers, I would sit somewhere in the corner just to take statistics. The so called “shy” ones, would sneak through the hallway and empty the dispenser in a matter of seconds. Others (known to be so holy and in fact elevated to the position of the “deputy holy spirit”) would stop by on a second thought. Just like some conditional reflex; one became influenced by the continued site of the full ATM. You paused and began to imagine, “what if…?” and just before the thought sank in, a long loop was already trashed into your pocket. Then you’d silently say “I’ll keep this is for security, as in the event of …temptation is it?” But then “security “necessitated opportunity. Thereafter opportunity necessitated habit; sex became your random thing.

LIFE CYCLE / STAGES OF THE CONDOM USE

After the habit had set in, excuses would later arise; returning us to the prior sentiments “hizi CD za gava zinapasuka haraka na hazina utamu.” Now the thing has transformed into a liability. A liability becomes as good as useless, and soon you no longer need it. By the time you realize you need it again, you are already part of the dreaded statistics; pregnant or infected.

What if? Just what if the government didn’t distribute the FREE condoms. The easy, random sex would be rarefied made expensive. I’m certain that when you confront a broke (I mean broke) comrade with the option of buying condom at 70/- from the chemist when he has nothing for supper, the feedback will be negative. He’d rather run to the mama-mboga and stalk some sukumawiki for supper before everything else. Case solved. Hizi condom za bure zitamaliza wanafunzi!

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