Project X was symptomatic of deep problems that a ban cannot take away

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The Kenyan Project X that was to take place on 12th of March, 2016 raised so much bad attention that culminated to its official ban by the Kenya Film Classification Board. Unlike the Hollywood movie originally with the same name, the Kenyan Project X was a party which, going by the authorities, was illegal. Project X was going to feature young people(majorly teenagers) doing varied forms of eye-brow raising things from drinking alcohol to engaging in illicit sex all the way to smoking other banned substances. One of the poster labels which said, “No one goes back home a virgin” seemed to be the most offending tag lines according to social commentary.

project x

“This sex party called Project X circulating on social media which is to happen on 12th needs to be stopped at all costs. We cannot allow people to cash in on our vulnerable youth,” read a post on KFCB’s CEO Facebook wall.

I found this method of banning the party as a way of rescuing the sunken morality in the country a bit far-fetched and the typical way this country deals with problems, ‘the knee-jack reaction way’.

Anyway, I went out to read and get opinions about what could have gone wrong that could have led to this “moral low” that we are witnessing in the country today and most responses for me felt like excuses for these young people rather than a concrete reason why they should be ruining their futures.

a) Absent parents

Well, I think this is the easiest way to abscond the proper moral compass that is available to all of us. This reminds me of affirmative action that allows girls to get into university with two points lower than their male counterparts regardless of whether the girls just joked in school when they had the chance to study or whether the boys in question struggled through ill equipped schools to get anything out of school at all. But I digress. Why must young people choose to learn only the wrong things because the parents are away? Doesn’t that strike you as a conscious decision to deviate?

Shua’ibu Ahmed Abba argues that parents have the primary role of teaching children how to behave. I think this is only possible up to the point where the kids can take that in and believe in the significance of proper decisions in their own lives. In other words, if the kid only does the right thing because the parent says so, this kid is likely to also do something else because the friend says they should. It is important that kids, from a young age, understand the importance of abhorring the wrong thing and embracing the right things otherwise it’s all for show. There will be so many ‘Project X’ parties that the kids will attend and the parents will not be lucky to have KFCB come to their rescue.

b) The internet

This is another comfort zone young people have taken to whenever they have to answer the question of why they ape all the bad things in the world. Correct me if I am wrong but I think that there are so many good and educative pieces on the internet which the young people can read, watch or listen to and develop positively. The internet is also awash with many young achievers such as Chibundu Onuzo who I keenly follow and interesting things to laugh at or entertain you. But again, young people today must find a way of twisting all the good things into bad things, right? Again, this is a conscious decision and I think it is high time young people were awaken to the fact that if they want to reinvent the wheel, then it is totally at the risk of their own futures.

c) Peer pressure

This one makes me laugh. I totally believe that there is peer pressure and in fact, I do not believe that peer pressure is an overly negative term as it tends to register in our brain whenever it comes up. There is good peer pressure and there is bad peer pressure, we decide which group we want to be a part of, right? This piece also found on the internet, ‘surprisingly’ confirms my suspicion that peer pressure which our beloved ones always blame, can be positive too! If you are starting out your career and you want to grow and reach the helm, surely you cannot succumb to the pressure of behaving like your coworkers whose career ambition may be as different from yours as… light and day. It is about time youth became completely honest with themselves.

So where am I going with this, parents today need to start early and the best they can do is to enlighten their children about the courage to make decisions that they can be proud of; not decisions that reflect what their friends want them to do. The danger of having teenagers who can go to Project X just because the parents are not looking without thinking through whether they want to do this or not, is that we risk having an end product of young adults (read future leaders) who can only work well under supervision and who act before they think rather than thinking before they act.

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