By John Ikani and Emmanuel Nduka
Reactions with hashtags #Cowgirl #She’s 13 and #At 10 have continued to trail the viral leaked sex tape(s) that captured pupils of Chrisland Schools in compromising positions.
The pupils from the Lagos State branch of the conglomerate of schools were said to be participating in the World School Games (WSG) between March 10-13, 2022 in Dubai when the indecent act was carried out.
It’s been barely 72 hours since the tape found its way to the internet. As such, shocking scenes from the shameful clip are still fresh in the minds of anyone that had the ‘misfortune’ of bumping into such content in this holy month of Ramadan and at a time Christians were celebrating the mystery of redemption with sober reflections.
For many blame merchants, the tape presented yet another opportunity to cast accusatory stares and point fingers at just a section of persons or groups as responsible for the act which adds to the growing list of moral decadence that has eaten deep into the fabric of our education space.
Although there is nothing unwholesome in holding persons, institutions or groups accountable for the perversion being exhibited by the younger generation of Nigerians, care must be taken not to apportion blame to just parents or schools in isolation of the intricate pieces of the puzzle.
Who should be blamed?
To begin with, time was when the duty of custodians was limited to ensuring that adolescents are well fed, get the best of affordable education, stay true to their faith in the supernatural and keep good company. With the advent of the internet which eased access to information and consumable digital content, it is somewhat impractical to monitor or moderate what adolescents do online even with the activation of parental controls on digital devices.
It is instructive to note that while parental controls are useful tools to help minimise the risks adolescents may face online, they are not 100% effective. As a result, adolescents have access to content like comedy skits that are now laced with innuendos that promote sex for greater appeal.
Nowadays, parents, especially the working-class groups who spend almost all their time away from home trying to make ends meet, are guilty of transferring the responsibility of parenting and upbringing to schools. The negative effect of this is exposed in the long term. Charity, they say, begins at home.
What’s more? Age restrictions in movies have become mere formalities, celebrities have normalised loose sense of fashion while rotten songs top music charts.
Therefore, it’s only logical that we blame everyone beginning with the parents of the kids for poor parenting. The sex tape was a testimonial of failed parenting. Their parents failed them first. That they know so much about sex between the age of 10 and 13 is disturbing, especially for the girl who uploads homemade clips of herself dancing erotically on Likee app to the delight of thousands of followers. It’s important that parents teach their children skills like critical thinking and resilience, so they know what to do when tempted to indulge in compromising acts.
We also can’t exempt Chrisland Schools from blame. Pupils on excursions should be chaperoned 24/7. An adult should sleep in the same room as them, male to male, female to female. The school (acting as custodians of the children) have the duty of care to ensure the children are protected from all vice even if perpetrated by the kids themselves. This used to be the standard of traditional boarding schools. The moment parents/guardians hand a child over to a school, the school becomes responsible for their welfare until they hand the child back. How did that happen under their watch?
As we blame parents and Chrisland Schools, let’s not forget the role of society in condoning acts of immorality and normalising them as ‘wokeness.’ An old African proverb says “it takes a village to raise a child.” In other words, raising a child should be a social responsibility. Parents, teachers, neighbours, community members, leaders in government and civic organizations must play active roles in mentoring as well as educating the younger generation. Therefore, everyone gets the blame when a child turns out ‘bad’. Everyone also gets applauded when a child turns out ‘good’.
The girl’s mother and entertainer, Ubi Franklin could be culpable of false rape allegations. Many have argued that the actions of the girl in that tape are incontrovertible evidence of anything but “rape” or “being drugged” as alleged. Thus, calling it “rape” just to illogically vindicate the young girl and heap all the blame on the boys is incriminating and the height of irresponsibility.
A major take-out from the mother’s 12-minute video is the inexcusable fact that she is emotionally and psychologically disconnected from her daughter. One could decode that she exhibits lackadaisical tendencies towards parenting. How on earth will a mother who pays close attention to her daughter not be able to decipher when she starts having sex, especially as this brings physical changes to the woman’s body?
Going forward, the family must also look at the bigger picture that is beyond the actual scandal. The girl’s parents must interrogate her to extract the bigger story. From the video, it was clear that the young girl had been into such unholy act for a long time. She must have been groomed by an older male figure. History explains that such male figures are usually relatives or close family associates. She must be persuaded to name him. He should be made to face the law.
To exonerate itself, Chrisland Schools must desist from seeming cover-up and ensure that justice is served. The case must not be twisted and killed like those of Dowen College’s Sylvester Oromoni or Premier Academy’s Keren-Happuch. According to the mother, Chrisland Schools attempted to cover up the incident which happened almost a month ago before it spilt on social media.