One of the earliest literary characters I was introduced to was ‘Wanjeri Teka.’

We were having our class in a glassy knoll by the mùiri tree. The boys sat on one side, scaly legs apart, knee caps sticking out like door knobs. The girls sat opposite us, Vaselined legs placed smugly on top of each other, skirts heaped neatly at the knees.

Then Mr.Macharia (Lord bless his soul) told us about a girl called Wanjeri.One day, her dad bought her first panty. It was beautiful for it was decorated with flowers and marìithi(frills) at the edges.

Wanjeri then started to wander around the village paths where she often meet with many strangers. Somehow, these strangers knew about her beautiful panty. Anytime they bumped into her, they would conjole her;

‘Wanjeri, teka!'( Wanjeri, can I see?)

Wanjeri, desperate to please them, would part her legs and tell the strangers:

One!( See for yourself)At this point,Mr.Macharia would assume the poise of one of  the girls then dramatically open his legs wide, leaving us in stitches.

That’s how they labelled her Wanjeri Teka.Wanjeri the one who shows her goodies to all. When the strangers got bored with seeing her panty, they insisted on touching it with their dirty hands.

With time, the panty got dirty and worn out and Wanjeri had nothing to show to strangers and she stopped the habit altogether. But the moniker Wanjeri Teka( Wanjeri bare it all) followed her like a shadow.

Looking back many years later, I realized that in that simple yet profound lesson, Mr.Macharia was teaching us, and particularly the girls, about consent.

Consent is about permission. But it’s more about teaching girls about power in a relationship- and the importance of entering one equally empowered.

Consent is about teaching girls that before a boy reaches for her hips because he bought her a bag of chips, he should reach her mind first. Because consent starts in the mind.

Due to technology, the concept of consent is being challenged. But a well-grounded lady knows that her no is a no- whether she says it face to face, in a WhatsApp call, in a Messager inbox or Skype chat. The medium doesn’t matter.

Teaching girls about consent is telling them not to want anybody more they want them. No girl should want others so desperately to fill the empty parts in them.

Finally, its about telling girls to feel so complete that they could light a whole city and only want a man  knowing that when they are combined, they could set the same city on fire.

Parents need to equip themselves with resources that will empower them teach teenage girls about consent.Such a resource is book Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood by Lisa Damour.

In Untangled, world authority and clinical psychologist Lisa Damour provides an accessible, detailed, comprehensive guide to parenting teenage girls. She believes there is a predictable blueprint for how girls grow; seven easily recognizable ‘strands’ of transition from childhood through adolescence and on to adulthood. Girls naturally develop at different rates, typically on more than one front, and the transition will be unique to every girl.

You can purchase this book at Amazon by following this link:

Untangled Guiding Teenage Girls through the seven Transitions into Adulthood

I am sure you will find the book immensely resourceful.

Gilbert Mwangi

Creative writer,dreamer,and Drum Major for all things true.

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