Notes to broadcasters
In some African countries, sexual and reproductive health is still a taboo subject. As a result, adolescent girls and boys don’t get the information they need about their bodies or about sexual relations. This lack of information and support can threaten their health and even their lives. It’s especially important in such a context that communication between parents and teens is active and strong.
This drama is about communication between Sam, a 16-year-old teenager, and his parents. Seeing some blood spots on the wrap skirt of his sister who is in pain, the young boy runs to inform his father. But, to the surprise of the boy, his father does not seem overly concerned.
He takes the opportunity to ask questions of his parent. He wants to know if what his sister is suffering from are the “periods” he has heard about. He also wants his father to tell him about contraceptives and virginity.
Annoyed and almost offended that a boy of his age would ask such questions, the father leaves. When he returns, he is surprised that Sam is asking similar questions of his mother. The angry father warns the boy, who now becomes silent. The lines of communication have been interrupted. The father and the mother try in vain to communicate with their son, then finally call on an uncle.
The father and the mother considered their son’s questions about sexual relations taboo and so failed to communicate appropriately. This is why the communication was suddenly “cut” like a power cut. Fortunately, the uncle succeeds in re-establishing communication between the parents and their son, and helps his nephew understand the issues he has been so understandably eager to learn about.
You could use this drama as inspiration to produce a similar program on communication between teens and adults, and how to bridge gaps in communication. Or you might choose to present the drama as part of your regular farmer program, using voice actors to represent the speakers.
The drama includes five scenes, varying in length from 1-2 minutes to 5-6 minutes.
You could follow the drama by interviewing teens and their parents, and talking to experts in adolescent-parent communication. Ask about the problems they encounter and the kinds of strategies they use to solve these problems. Invite listeners to call in or text in with their own stories, or with questions and comments.
The estimated running time for this item, with signature tune, intro, and extro, is 20 minutes.
Good! Friends, let’s get back to the point. They say that good things can come from bad. Indeed, the power failure that would have plunged us into total darkness had it not been for this makeshift light, allows me to illustrate my point.
You said that Sam was totally walled up, but didn’t you help give him the material to build the wall? We are adults, it’s true, but our children are also entitled to their views. They should be able to express themselves without feeling underestimated or rejected. Good communication is a fundamental pillar of your relationship with your child. Indeed, the quality of our communication determines how much help we can provide to our children.
If, during the month, the egg does not meet the human seed, then the egg is expelled along with the blood that would have fed the baby as it grew in the woman’s uterus. The woman’s body sheds this blood through the vagina. And every month, this process begins again if the man’s seed and the woman’s egg do not meet. That is what we call a “period.”
Now, for many women, the discharge of this blood is accompanied by painful contractions. And so women feel pain during their periods. This is what we call “painful periods.”
Son, it’s not a perfect scientific definition, but there you have it. You should also know that whenever a man and a woman have sex, there is a risk for a baby to develop. This baby—what is called a foetus—will become a child. This is why many men and women look to prevent the egg and the sperm from meeting. This is what a “contraceptive” does; it prevents a woman from getting pregnant. Contraceptives like condoms, for example, “counter” the woman’s body from “conceiving” a child. Do you get it?
You have to understand them, that’s how your parents were raised. And in turn, they want to educate you as they were educated because they think that it is the best way. Do you understand, Sam?
Dear, as you can see, it’s a bit … uncomfortable for your father and I to talk about such things with you. In our eyes, you’re still our little boy—even though you’re growing into a young man now.
When your father and I were young, it was considered improper, even taboo, to talk about such things. But we spoke with your uncle and he said you need to know these things. Right, dear?
Your mother and I have spoken, and we want to do everything we can to keep you safe and healthy, and help you live a happy, full life. I see now that we need to help you learn about these things, and though it will be uncomfortable for us sometimes, it’s what is best for you.
Contributed by: Issaka Luc Kourouma
Reviewed by: Dr. Yonli P. Rodrigue, general practitioner