BY JOHN THARIKI FOR WWW.EDAILY.CO.KE
All the six top celebrities EDAILY sought their comment in regard to the debate on whether to lower the age of consent from 18 to 16, have opposed the suggestion.
On Tuesday, March 26, it emerged that the Court of Appeal proposed a law change to lower the age of consent to 16 years.
Three judges, Roselyn Nambuye, Daniel Musinga and Patrick Kiage, ruled that time was ripe for the country to consider changing the Sexual Offences Act, citing lengthy jail terms imposed on young men convicted of defilement.
And just the same way the suggestion has birthed a debate online and offline, Kenyan celebrities too have an opinion on the topic.
TIMMY: KENYA SHOULD REMAIN CONSERVATIVE
Musician Timmy T Dat says “Kenya is still a conservative nation and shouldn’t ape the West blindly”.
“I am thinking the legal sex age should remain at 18. At that age, one is considered an adult, who can make rational decisions about his or her sex life. I am looking at this debate as a person who is vouching for a productive society that hinges its labour force on the youth. If one starts to engage actively in sex at 16, then his or her education progress may be hindered by, let’s say, unwanted pregnancies, costly STIs.
“When such a population forms a bulk of the society, it could be detrimental to the nation, given, as a country; we would be having many teen mothers and fathers who do not have purchasing power and required skills to join the job market. What does that mean? Crime levels and prostitution would go through the roof. No citizen or leader wants such a country.
“But again, I still tell the youth that sex before marriage is inappropriate. The Bible says so too. So, for me, at 16 or even at 18, abstinence is the best precaution against sex-related negative effects.”
SIZE 8: TEEN GIRLS NEED PROTECTION
Gospel musician Size 8 opposed the judges’ suggestion, saying their justification isn’t strong enough to necessitate a change of law.
“The judges should clearly explain their reasoning on why the consent age should be lowered from 18 to 16. Honestly, is it [morally] right for a 50-year-old man to sleep with a 16-year-old girl? No, it is not. The law should remain as it currently is so as to protect these teenage girls. A girl at 16 doesn’t understand anything to do with her sexuality and how her body functions. It is at that age, where she is in the adolescent phase; [and, she thus, needs to go through that stage without being manipulated],” said Size 8.
NAMELESS: CONSENT PROPOSAL IS RIDICULOUS
Veteran Kenyan artiste Nameless says he does not understand why the judges would make such a “ridiculous” suggestion.
“Age of consent should remain at 18. At that age, the girl has completed her high school education. At 16, she is still in secondary school. It wouldn’t be fair for a 16-year-old to shoulder heavy responsibilities emanating from engaging in sex. Sixteen, for me, is not the age in which a girl should be exposed to responsibilities [such as motherhood],” said Nameless, a father of two girls.
CASHY: LOWERING AGE OF CONSENT ONLY PROTECTS SEXUAL PREDATORS
According to rapper Cashy, the proposed lowering of age of consent is more aimed at protecting sexual predators.
“Such a move would encourage moral decay. I do not think the proposal is genuine. If anything, this proposition tends to protect the sexual predators. In however much 16-year-old girls come across as fully-grown women, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are, at least mentally. Should these women be exposed to legal sex at 16, they, most likely, won’t be in a position to deal with the consequences. You’d hear increased cases of abortion, STIs and unwanted pregnancies become the order of the day. Kenya is a highly religious country, and 16 shouldn’t be the age to allow people engage in sex,” said Cashy.
DJ PIERRA MAKENA: CONSENT AGE SHOULD GO UP INSTEAD
Entertainer DJ Pierra Makena says “even at 18, that girl is still young to engage in sex”.
“The judges need to come back to their senses. Even at 18, a girl is still too young to make rational decisions pertaining to her sexuality. Actually, the consent age should even be raised to 21.”
CMB PREZZO: SUGGESTION IS TERRIBLE!
Controversial rapper CMB Prezzo said it would be “terrible” to have 16-year-old girls and boys allowed to experiment – legally – with sex.
“That is a terrible suggestion! Girls and boys at 16 are still babies, who are not in a position to make informed decisions. At that age, they should be concentrating in school, and not wondering what implants to use in a bid to prevent pregnancies. I am urging the Government to ensure the lawful consent age remains at 18,” said CMB Prezzo.