Should Teenage Moms Be Sent To Robben Island?

Mail & Guardian article of today ( reads: “Zuma: Send teenage moms to Robben Island”

“They must be educated by government until they are empowered and they can take care of their kids, take them to Robben Island or any other island, sit there, study until they are qualified to come back and work to look after their kids.”

Our Mr. President is at it again. The once exile island is now to become a naughty corner. When I read this article today my first thought was “Yes please but I’d like a do-over” because my son is 13 years old already. I could live with a free government education and while you’re at it throw in a free house. Oh yes and Mr. President I’m an unemployment statistic, but I don’t want a grant per se, I’ll settle for vouchers but can you make mine for Pick n Pay because my local Shoprite gives bad service.

Many people are up in arms about this and all with good reason. Reasons may vary but it all comes down to the same thing: Is that man insane? What normal person would separate a child from its parents? Has he ever heard of separation anxiety? Which genius (loads of sarcasm intended) actually came up with that idea? Who does the presidential PR? Who do I submit my CV to so I can ensure that the leader of our country stops getting his foot in his mouth? Seriously folks I’m worried that other countries are going to start thinking that apart from lions roaming the streets in South Africa, that we are a bunch of idiots.

I don’t care how old some teenage parent is, they need to step up to the plate and learn their responsibilities. Which better way than for them to raise the product of their desire firsthand. Their own parents should learn to stop enabling them to do worse for themselves. Firstly parents should talk to their kids about the “birds and the bees”. There are so many parents who are still afraid of having “The Talk” with their kids. It’s called SEX! Say the word out loud and if you’re guilty of not talking to your kid yet, say it a dozen more times until get used to the word.

Secondly parents shelter their kids so much and for fear of them causing their own kids harm, they take over and raise grandkids. No person, no matter the age, has ever harmed their baby unintentionally. I wasn’t born a mother but when I had my babies I had to learn and roll with the punches. My husband wasn’t born a father either but we happen to be great parents even though we did the teen pregnancy thing too. Sometimes in life you have to learn the hard way. Life sucks at times, deal with it!

The government offering freebies won’t sort out the problem either. Don’t let me get started on that topic. The more things are handed to people on a silver platter the more they expect and the more ungrateful they are. Why do you think some women have so many kids? It’s because they live on grant money and don’t have to work a day in their lives. What about the countless kids who don’t get caught in the act, by falling pregnant, who has to go work at Shoprite or a factory because their parents can’t afford tertiary education? Or the newly qualified who has to pay off student loans for the next decade? Just go ahead and encourage teenagers to make babies for a good education why don’t we.

Yes!, Zuma we get that you want a better education for those mothers and you’re trying your hand at being proactive but it’s more of a reflex action because you can’t seem to get a handle on the teen pregnancy statistics. Then there is the matter of job creation, education, HIV and the fact that there so much fraud happening in the grant sector that needs to be sorted. Oh and not forgetting Nkandla… (Sorry I couldn’t resist) Guess what? They all go hand in hand. It doesn’t take me some bachelors degree of sorts and lots of experience to figure that out. I’m just another compatriot. We need a president and not a man expressing his personal opinion. Don’t worry I won’t ask you to #PayBackTheMoney right now. We’ll leave it for another time. One battle at a time.

If that bill ever gets passed my vote goes to Robben Island. That island has produced an international icon (the late and great Nelson Mandela obviously) once before and maybe, just maybe, we can expect another great result in the form of our first female president.

Hopefully we will someday have a female president who will know who Miss South Africa is. She may be ruled by PMS at times but handle it better than madam speaker on a good day. If she’s yet to be born, let’s hope she safely tucked in her mothers womb and she is born with intelligence, fairness and equality on her mind.


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