I REFER to an article published in the Sunday Mail of December 4, 2016, which said: â€œThe role of traditional sex counsellors known as â€˜Alangiziâ€™, has sometimes backfiredâ€.
The article highlights the case of a 13-year-old girl who was handed over to these â€œtraditional sex professorsâ€ for training. Upon graduation, the girl returned home not only boasting of expertise in sex, but she actually started being sexually active.
Given the recent conviction and sentencing of a Malawian man, commonly known as â€˜Hyenaâ€™, for participating in traditional cleansing of widows and initiating young girls into traditional sexual practices, it is very clear these young girls canâ€™t graduate from these informal traditional sex institutions without doing practicals.
The role of these informal sex â€˜professorsâ€™ could as well be the gap in the struggle against HIV and AIDS in Africa. This is because such cultural practices are widespread all over the continent, and their linkage to HIV and AIDS in as far as children are concerned was not known until the Malawian â€˜Hyenaâ€™ made international headlines.
There is need for a study to establish the facts and then close the gap by outlawing the traditional â€˜sex professorsâ€™.