Innocent girls offered to unscrupulous men
The Olufuko [girls’ initiation rite] Festival being organised in Omusati Region has exposed the already tense mood between the political and religious leadership. ELCIN has spoken out warning its members not to involve themselves into the ‘anti-christus’ acts.
The politicians, led by Omusati Governor Sofia Shaningwa, has hit back at the Church saying it has no business to do with their culture.
The fact remains the church has the right to inform, alert and control its members from taking part in such activities that do not to promote its interests. Olufuko has a link to polygamy practice as many girls who go through that have to offer themselves to any men who want a romantic relationship with them.
If Olufuko is to be revived, what goodness does it bring to the current cultural situation? Will it discourage young girls from falling victim to teenage pregnancies? Will it bring down the domestic and gender-based violence in the country? Who will be economically empowered; young girls or women in general? Africans must know that it does not help to cry for bad things in the name of culture. Women mutilation and forced marriages were practised in Africa. Must we celebrate that too?
Let this nation not condemn itself in bringing up things that may promote unhealthy lifestyles among the people. Governor Sofia Shaningwa is now culturally biased while she is supposed to be impartially representing President Hifikepunye Pohamba in that region. Is her involvement in the restoration of the Olufuko not in conflict with what she is supposed to do: Govern the Region? How will she engage the religious leaders in ELCIN if she is rubbishing them in public? Let the organisers of Olufuko be aware of the implications among the youth in this country. That includes the high pregnancy rate and the HIV infection rate.