:: THE SPEECH
The WATU WA WATU - Boat, Felix Lupembe
ON WATU WA WATU - People Serve People
Held during the WATU WA WATU Festival ---> THE PROJECT at Malinyi 7 August 2005
by a female student in Kiswahili
Today is a special day, because WATU WA WATU - People Serve People - all of us from different corners of society have come together to listen, to hear and to understand the important message - the message OF BEING AWARE OF AIDS - a disease which is spreading soundlessly in individuals, families and communities and which is about to threaten the global society as a whole.
Today is the birth of Mtu Wa Watu to join WATU WA WATU in order to plant together the seed of awareness in our minds, hearts and bodies.
BEING AWARE OF AIDS is learning about the ways of the deadly virus - how it infiltrates our immune systems and the society.
BEING AWARE OF AIDS is being aware of our desire, body and actions.
BEING AWARE OF AIDS is learning about our cultures and to start to talk about our cultural and sexual practices.
BEING AWARE OF AIDS is to learn about the ways and methods to keep the intruder outside of our body.
Whatever we believe, whatever we have learned from our ancestors, whatever we want to carry on to our youth - the seeds of our common future - it is our duty to add the important information and knowledge on how to control our sexual desire and, also, how to control our sexual practices by using condoms in a professional and meaningful way.
WATU WA WATU is a seedling to grow bigger and stronger and to bear flowers and fruits of information and knowledge on prevention, and to spread new seeds in all corners of society.
It is the fundament to create an environment of natural and free dialogue and mutual understanding between individuals and stakeholders of different communities.
BEING BEING AWARE OF AIDS means listening, hearing and understanding with all our heart and mind.
In this spirit of openness, commitment and mutual respect - stand together and support each other - which is the essential message of WATU WA WATU.
The Sad Rat, Eduard Mwemi and Felix Lupembe
To the African Youth
Held during a public talk at Marangu , Teacher´s College Hall,
28th August 2005 by a female student in Kiswahili
Who of you has heard about AIDS
Who knows a person with AIDS?
What is the problem with someone with AIDS?
We are here to share our knowledge and experience.
Human beings are curious.
As we grow up as children we hear and experience many things. Many changes takes place day after day. There are new things to learn every single day.
Children have many questions about their homes and families, their neighbours, their culture and history. They have questions about their environment, their own lives and future. They ask about the daily problems they face around them and the problems of others in their community and in the world.
The world has become a small place.
Mankind has been growing fast over the 200 years.
Many forests has disappeared.
There are more and more cars filling the streets and ever more planes in the air. People travel more often, far and at a higher speed every day. Different ideas and lifestyles of different cultures, enter their homes on TV, radio and newspapers.
Never before there was such an amount of all kinds of information to share with others which is good. But, also, problems multiply and become bigger. Our planet, the natural space for sustaining our lives is being destroyed. Population increases and diseases spread quickly since people can meet everywhere.
People can get such a lot of information but often they do not know which information is the right one to use in order to improve their lives. Confusion increases. This is true for the young generation but also for the elders. It has become hard and difficult for parents, school teachers, religious and governmental leaders to overlook everything, to give advice and make decisions what is best for our society, because these changes brought by new technology happen fast and change the condition of each and everybody´s life from year to year, month to month and even day to day.
Since more than 20 years AIDS is among us.
It spreads in our societies like a wild bush fire .It is transmitted through having unprotected sex with an infected person, by sharing needles and sharp materials used by infected persons; infected mothers pass the virus to their children during pregnancy, at birth and while breast feeding. In hospitals sometimes unsafe blood is given to patients. To test everybody in society is not possible. Some people fear to get tested. Other people do not care about their status out of wrong ideas and confusion.
Since man is born out of man and sexuality is part of our nature, men and women are in danger of contracting the disease. That is why young people have to know the ways of the virus and how to protect themselves from it.
The bible teaches us that keeping away from sex or being faithful to our partners is the best way to be completely safe - and it is true - abstinence and faithfulness, if followed, are 100% safe. But there are still so many people who do not follow the advice or they do not understand its meaning. So, they have unprotected sex with others and infect themselves and give the virus to others, even to their own wife, their own men and later to their own children.
AIDS is not killing the same time somebody gets the virus - it takes years until people get weak and sick. Nobody who had unprotected sex outside marriage can know if she or he carries the deadly disease in the body unless they get tested about 3months after their last sexual contact.
Never in history of mankind , people had to think so deeply of their relationships and sexual activities and talk openly about it. Sex is a private activity. Is is nothing people normally talk about , but with AIDS this silence has become the cause to destroy ourselves and the society. Out of fear and ignorance sex is practiced carelessly in the dark.
So, our hope today is that each of you will learn about how to deal consciously with your bodies and hearts in the future and lead a healthy and happy life.
What we need in the future are good teachers outside and inside the school to discuss this issue openly with their peers and students and encourage them to listen, hear and understand the message of a safe and healthy lifestyle - so everybody in society will be able to communicate it to their family, friends, neighbours, partners and fellows, in order to save their own lives and the lives of the others.