Let’s talk about sex and your relationship
4 months ago, 8 Mar 18:25
For the past one year, Tabitha has been facilitating a monthly forum called Decent Conversations. These popular gatherings follow a certain script. She starts by welcoming the audience and then introducing her panel. She then reminds everyone in attendance of the one rule she insists on during the discussion: “Be open and don’t judge.” The core conversations are made up of candid discussions on relationships, well-being and sexual reproductive health. Tabitha, a journalism graduate who has also studied self-development courses, describes herself as a relationship coach whose aim is to help individuals get the healthy relationships they deserve by offering them emotional support, guidance and the relevant information needed to form a healthy relationship. The forum, held at the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA), headquarters on State House Road in Nairobi, targets those below 40 years. She moderates with ease, giving the impression of someone who has been doing this for many years. “I founded Decent Conversations in February 2017 after a friend commented that I make a good listener and conversationist. It took me a long time to gather courage to start this initiative, because my friend made this comment way back in 2013, five years before,” she explains. She was mainly held back by the fear of what the society would think of her if she started moderating meetings where topics such as sex and ‘sponsors’ were discussed. I feared that those who did not know me would conclude that I was speaking from experience, if anything, growing up, it felt uncomfortable holding such discussions with my parents. I therefore shelved the idea.” What happened the following year, in 2014, would later prompt her to change her mind. Tabitha found out that she was pregnant, much to the disappointment of her parents, church, and her then boyfriend. “I had just graduated from Masinde Muliro University where I had been studying Journalism. I was only 23, and had planned to find a stable job and further my education before thinking of marriage, leave alone having a child. I was therefore devastated by the pregnancy.” Tabitha describes her journey to motherhood as one of the most difficult experiences she has ever had. To begin with, she lacked the emotional support she really needed. “I was doing everything myself because I was living alone – my laundry, cooking and other household chores. Even worse, I had no one to talk to, comfort or encourage me since my boyfriend lived in a different town and we were not in good terms. Eventually, things didn’t work out between us and we separated.” “When I gave birth, to support my daughter and I, I would weave mats, which I sold. I also took up online writing jobs to complement my income. During this period, I got a couple of job offers related to my career, but since I didn’t have anyone to take care of my baby, I turned them all down,” she says, and adds, “I was really going through a tough time, ...
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