Saturday, 13 May 2017

Growing Up In Ijegun; My Take On Youth-Waywardness

Ijegun is a densely populated community. I can call it an under developed community which with lots of youth with low mentality about education. There are a lot of youth and teenagers that are uninformed and don’t take education serious. As a result of this, there is high rate of school dropouts, teenage pregnancy, hooliganism etc. The poverty in this community has led youth to engage in different atrocities which later ended up in regret.
Firstly, talking about teenagers dropping out of school, I can literally say that the cause of this is peer pressure. Most students have high thoughts of passing out in flying colours when they first started school. They started well and were determined to make their parents proud but in the long run, they lost focus and mingled with unserious and nasty friends who diverted their attention and lured them into bad behavior, e.g. going late to school, truancy, failure to do class work and bullying fellow students.
And when they can’t withstand discipline from teachers anymore, they decide to drop out and continue their nonchalant attitude. Eventually, they disappoint their parent and others who await their success.
Secondly, teenage pregnancy is so rampant in Ijegun Community, and most of these girls are from poor background. They get into an affair at the early stage of their lives. Probably, the guy in question was able to deceive them with sweet words, gifts, stipends and the likes, and back home the situation was no better as their parent struggle to survive and feed them.
Unfortunately for them, after giving birth to the child, they have to face the penalty of their act as the father of the child is unable to take care of him/her (the baby). This would cause serious trauma to the mother’s health.
Despite the difficulties they faced at first, some teenagers or youth won’t learn from past mistakes. After some years of struggling to survive as a single mother, they are back on their feet to continue their wayward lifestyle.
Their parents give different advice but all to no avail because the environment has a bad effect on them.
While some do all these on purpose, others were raped and forced into early parenthood, which made them forfeit their hunt for success through education. For many of these young ladies who are forced into emergency motherhood, they are experiencing shame and have been made a laughing stock by their peer groups. This, of course causes everlasting wound in their hearts because they do not have a second chance to continue their education.
Thirdly, talking about hooliganism in Ijegun Community, I doubt if this can easily be eradicated completely. Physically, they may look like responsible teenagers or youth but internally they are immature and can be easily lured. This is a trying time for their parents but the truth is that some of them don’t give their child verbal reprimand and are carried away with trying to make ends meet, which make them lose concentration on their teens.
These teenagers/youth are easily lured into bad actions like hooliganism, smoking, taking of alcohol; sniffing of cocaine etc. They hide in corners to execute these evils. Most of them stay out all night and if anyone gives them hard time at home, they walk out.
The most disheartening aspect of this issue is that their parent never took time to look after them. Most parents are travelers; they travel on weekly basis and return home by weekends, which doesn’t give them the opportunity to know the kind of attitude their children exhibit. These parents don’t have conversation that solve problems with their children; rather they lay blame every now and then, and most of these teens are so addicted to bad behavior that they cannot control themselves. They intimidate anybody at the slightest opportunity.
Some of these youths/teens are so self-involved at this stage in their life that they don’t see things clearly. While some of them learn from their parents, you hear them say things like “my dad also drinks alcohol” so why shouldn’t I?
These and many more are my experience as a youth who was born and brought up in Ijegun. The only way some of these can be reduced or eradicated is through prayer, seminars, mentorship, empowerment for youth and proper nurturing from parent.

I am one of the few girls that aspired to go to school and was so fortunate to finish secondary school and secure admission into the university. With the support of some leaders and mentors like Mrs. Aramide Oikelome, I am today an undergraduate of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State.

By Kehinde Josephine Adekitan

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