The Nigeria Association of Women Journalists NAWOJ, Rivers State chapter has congratulated Baptist High School, Port Harcourt, Old Students’ Association on her 75th anniversary.
The event which was held last weekend, at the Port Harcourt City Council Hall, Moscow Road, featured opening remarks by Mrs. Patience H. Obuzor, welcome address by the National President, Henshelson I.C. Ejiofor, Drama Sketch on the boy child by Students of Baptist High School, paper presentations among others.
With the theme; “Let’s Discuss the Boy Child, NAWOJ chairperson, Susan Serekara-Nwikhana, who spoke on the topic, “The Boy Child, Changing His Narrative” called on the attention of all and sundry to the neglect suffered by the boy child, and its implication on the development of the Nation
Serekara-Nwikhana, who was represented by her vice, Daba Benebo, , urged parents, guidance, the church, society and the government to unarm the boy child from negative narrative which she said was militating against his proper development.
In her presentation, Benebo explained that, “this presentation does not in any way draw a comparism between the male child and female child, no, it’s not a debate, rather, it is a paper that constructively calls the attention of all and sundry to the neglect suffered by the boy child, and its implication on the development of the Nation.
“A boy child is a son, a young male human, from birth to full growth. He is a male offspring, who lacks maturity, requires attention and becomes what he often receives. Historically, in the United States and South Africa, “boy” was used for domestic servants and generally as a disparaging term for black men.”
She stressed that, “When a boy child is neglected by family and society, he unintentionally develops his mind with negative narratives like greed, theft, arrogance, violence, jealousy, but when given the necessary attention, he spreads love, tolerance, humility, loyalty and obedience which ensures the safety and development of a nation.
“It is believed that the needed affection, attention is given to the girl child with less or none to the boy child because the boy is perceived to be a superhuman. This notion has also stamped a misleading idea that, “boys don’t cry. They are not emotional” which has undoubtably turned a boy into a hardened criminal, causing mayhem to the society. Please, boys cry, they love, they hurt, that makes them emotional too.”
Benebo emphasized that, “A boy child is not a vandalizer, give him proper education, he is a builder, an architect. He is not a hoodlum, miscreant, no, he is made to be an accountant, banker, owner of industries. He is not a murderer, nor kidnapper, those are not what he is or should be, he is a doctor, medical practitioner whose duty is to safe lives.
“He isn’t a rapist because he has also been a victim, yes, a boy can also, has also been raped, he is a policeman, soldier, army whose duty is to bring culprits to face the full wrath of the law. He is not a cultist, nor a criminal, a boy is a lawyer who defends the common man, that is his potential, his narrative.
“A boy is a worthy son, brother, friend, student with potentials to make the world a better place. A boy is a good home keeper and maker, an excellent cook, he takes very good care of his siblings, washes the dishes, does the laundry too and still turn out best in their academics, do we have witnesses here?
“Rivers NAWOJ strongly recommend that as a matter of immediacy and urgency, the Old Boys Association of the Baptist Church, the government and well-meaning individuals and groups should beam their searchlight towards the boy child by setting up agencies, parastatals, organization that will stand up to defend, protect and guide the boy child.
“It is also essential, that a special/legal desk be set up to give special attention to cases patterning to harassment, bullying, rape, abuse and sexual defilement of the boy child. We want to appeal to the Rivers State Government to establish a Sexual Referral Centre for both the male and female, for easy access whenever issues of assaults arise. It is time to fill the gap created with the departure of Rivers State Doctor’s without borders.
“A foremost Nollywood actor did say that a daughter is worth more than three sons, but we want to state that a daughter is a daughter and a son is a son. They both become what they learn, so teach and lead them right.”
The association further expressed appreciation to the Baptist High School, Port Harcourt, Old Students’ Association (National) for the invitation.