Future Kings notes with disappointment the pronouncements by Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini calling on government to withdraw and scrap the sex education curriculum currently taught at school.

His Majesty The King is quoted as saying that the curriculum, which he said discussed oral sex and masturbation, left him “teary” adding that it was “disgusting and against our culture”.

Unfortunately, and with respect, we find the protestation of the monarch misplaced and unhelpful. It is the opposite of teaching children about sex and sexual health that exposes them to danger and violates their right to know and make informed choices.

Everyday children are exposed to the same information in the media and the internet. This information is passed on irresponsibly and sometimes by sexual predators. Hard as it is to admit it as adults and guardians, children are already engaging in sex, masturbation and oral sex, which in and of themselves are not wrong.

What more could be helpful than to arm children with the requisite knowledge of the information and how to consume and use it when, not if, they encounter it?

As a mentorship initiative aimed at training teenage boys to responsible manhood, rather calls on King Zwelithini and the Royal House, and indeed the entire traditional leadership, to use their office and status to join the movement to teach children about responsible sex and sexual health.

Hiding behind our culture and customs is not going to stop teenage pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases as well as sexual violence. Only adequate knowledge and education, coupled with other programmes to occupy the youth, will protect children from the real bad world they face every day.

Future Kings would be happy to join up with King Zwelithini to start a rolling campaign to speak to and engage young people about the appropriateness of sexual relations, their rights and responsibilities (especially to their peers), gender-based violence as well as appropriateness of and good timing for sexual intercourse.


Attribute quotes to Rams Mabote, Chief Volunteer Officer at Future Kings

For media queries, contact: Rams Mabote on rams@futurekings.org.za