In the current generation, staying a virgin beyond your teenage years is deemed as a lack of opportunities and has nothing to do with principles. It is a pipe dream. A survey done a few years back found that Kenyans were engaging in sex as early as 10-years old. Basically, finding a virgin among people who are past their teenage years is like looking for a needle in a haystack.
But that is not the case for 24-year old Kenyatta University Bachelor of Education (Arts) graduate Phenny Oketch. She has held firm in her belief that sex is for marriage and her decision to stay a virgin is not down to lack of opportunities.No one has ever broken up with her because sex was off the table. This, however, could be because potential dates are scared off on learning that there would be no action between the sheets. Especially since sex forms the basis of most relationships nowadays.
“I have had someone comment that they would even think of asking me out because of my stand on sex,” Phenny explains. There have been weak moments when the pressure got too much but she held on to her principles. Currently single by choice, Phenny doesn’t agree with social media pseudo-feminists on their ‘men are trash’ bashings.
She thinks that it is unfair and absurd to trash a whole gender because of a few misfits. There is a better way to address the genuine concerns instead of coming up with such campaigns. There are good men out there, she opines. She hopes to find a partner who will share in her convictions.
For those that find dating the men their mothers rejected in high school too daunting of a task, campus relationships is the way to go for them. With a tight budget, romantic nights in fancy hotel rooms are left to the movies. ‘Netflix and Chill’ is done right in the hostels. Weekends and not-so-busy weekdays are for sleepovers. Unsurprisingly, Phenny never got exiled while in campus. Her roommates understood the boundaries and therefore handled their businesses elsewhere if they felt they had to. She was unflinching in her resolution and wouldn’t burge.
On Getting exiled In Campus And The ‘Sponsor’ Craze
The ‘sponsor’ craze has hit the country and the allure of living rich without breaking a sweat has got girls dating old men for their money. Young girls are getting more and more obsessed with flashy lifestyles and fun moments for their social media pages. To them, the end justifies the means. However, to Phenny, it just shows how much rot has gotten into the society.
Wealth is glorified over honor and dignity. She advises young ladies to be contented and to stop rushing life. “We need stop obsessing over having a vacation in Seychelles yet we can’t afford it. We need to stop allowing ourselves to get used just for a few thousands. We need to stop living a lie. We need to understand that God blesses those who honor and wait upon him. That way we’ll save our dignity, and this generation as a whole.”
Phenny seeks to bring other Kenyan youth on board through pushing for chastity on her social media pages. She is planning to take her campaign off social media into secondary schools and various forums, even though half the time she gets shot down and people discourage her cause. She has experienced numerous ‘I cannot do this anymore’ moments and admits that it is frustrating most of the time. Her siblings have been her source of strength during such trying moments as they also share in her cause, especially her younger sister. “I am a spiritual person and find comfort in prayer during such moments. I am also opening up more to my friends and they provide a shoulder to lean on,” she says.
When asked whether she believes she is making any strides in her campaign, Phenny says that the messages and calls from people saying that her posts have helped them have a turnaround is a positive sign. Such positive feedback stokes the fire within her.
Unlike most purity ambassadors, Phenny does not discriminate against and condemn those who the society deem to have fallen by the wayside. “It is never too to turn around. God gives us all second chances. There is no such thing as damaged goods when it comes to dignity, so one should never hesitate or shy off.”
When she is not advocating for chastity, Phenny tries to push for national cohesion and has launched a ‘Vijana for Peace’ initiative with one Paul Mwangi- a friend. They aim to promote peace and national unity among Kenyans during and after the August elections. Also passionate about giving back to the society, Phenny is currently on a volunteering program in Samburu County.