“BOOKS BEFORE BOYS, BECAUSE BOYS BEFORE BOOKS BRING BABIES”
I remember when I was a teenage girl in Secondary School we
chanted this as a song, giggling like the little girls we were, yet thinking we were all grown up. I do not know who culled this message but I guess the message drove home its points for me.
Apart from the birds and the bees, we need to inculcate this slogan in our daughters’ subconscious. As teenagers, boys are different from girls and whether we like it or not, they will become part of our daughters’ lives as friends and husbands someday. However, right now, we do not want our daughters to give their bodies to boys and produce kids which may hinder our daughters’ progress, especially in these days of HIV/AIDS which currently has no cure and Sexually Transmitted Infections which can lead to infertility in the future and in poor resource settings as ours where prevention is always better than cure.
With social media, these days reading a book may be challenging, but, we need to take every girl like our daughter and teach them the value of the 9 Bs. We need to teach them the importance of reading their books over boys in teenage years. We need to teach them to prefer to go to school over being around boys who may ignite passions and create unwanted babies, cause abortions or even their death.
From an early age, we must start giving age appropriate sex education, HIV/AIDS prevention and empower our daughters with books that will challenge them to reach golden heights. We must teach them discipline, decorum, decency, dignity and determination to succeed; to walk with their heads held up high and a spring in their steps, to speak with grace and dress with decency.
We must teach them the power of the word “NO”, to avoid compromising circumstances and how to handle situations they do not feel comfortable with, also to confide in us and report to the appropriate authorities if something goes wrong.
We must give them examples; examples of women who preferred their books over boys and achieved their goals- women like Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the late Dr. Dora Akunyili, the late Dr. Ameyo Adadevoh and many more.
We must at all times chant it, sing it, and dramatize it: Books Before Boys, Because Boys Before Books Bring Babies.
Dr. Ifeoma Ejelonu
Post picture from: venturesafrica.com