Sugar daddies warned to leave teenage girls alone

The KZN Health MEC addressed a range of concerns affecting young people, including adolescent pregnancy, s*xually transmitted diseases, and HIV, as the country commemorated Youth Day last week.

MEC Nomagugu Simelane, speaking at a three-day youth conference in Nkandla’s Impaphala region on Saturday evening, urged young people to stay healthy and guarantee that the sacrifices made by young people for freedom, such as the Soweto Uprisings, were not in vain.

According to recent figures, 1 300 girls in the country are infected with HIV every week, and there were 18 550 births by girls aged 10 to 17 in KwaZulu-Natal alone in the 2019/20 financial year.

A large number of s*xually transmitted infections were also recorded in the country.

Persons should not evaluate HIV status based on one’s appearance, the MEC added, urging people who are infected with HIV to stay on treatment.

“You can’t look at a person and think, just because they are dark-skinned like me, or have chubby cheeks, or they’re a ‘yellow-bone’ then they are HIV-negative. You must treat everyone you come across as if they’re HIV-positive, which means you must always protect yourself. Always.”

Simelane also admonished older men who prey on young girls, in exchange for material things.

“How does a 40-year-old look at a 16-year-old and think, ‘Yho! She’s hot’. Where are his age-mates? Why is he not looking at them? They don’t do that because they know that their age-mates won’t take nonsense.

“They know that it’s easy for these children to be submissive because the relationship is uneven. It’s not just a problem for girls. Sugar daddies must leave our children alone. Leave our children alone so that they can grow up. There’s nothing wrong with a 20-year-old growing up with a 20-year-old because they get to grow up and develop together. Let’s all look inward and change these things.”

Simelane urged parents, guardians, and society at large to nurture and socialize males in such a way that they understand they, too, are responsible for family planning and preventing unintended pregnancies.

“Because of the patriarchal nature of the society in which we live, teenage pregnancy always becomes a girl’s problem, whereas girls do not make themselves pregnant. It’s biologically impossible.”

Girls, she continued, are the ones that get burned and are frequently exiled from home, whereas guys are not dealt with at home.

“That’s how our society behaves. We need to change that, because teenage or unplanned pregnancy is a problem that we as a society must address and deal with.”