How Short Is Too Short?
Last week ago the 400 girls of Rwathia Girls Secondary School went all ‘haki-yetu’ on the administration of their school to protest of all things: the too long length and sheer ugliness of their newly introduced and apparently intolerable uniforms! Now I have to admit that the first time I saw this story on the news I laughed it off and thought nothing more of it than teenage pettiness fast forward a week and the girls of Kangema District in Murang’a county are still on the news and this time they had caught the attention and resounding support of none other than Education Minister Mutula Kilonzo... I stopped laughing!
As is the norm in Kenya if a group of people feel oppressed and want their needs met they go on strike to protest and agitated for whatever it is they want and as few before them the made headway in getting the ‘muhesimiwa’ on their side when he yesterday – to the utter glee of all students suffering the ugly uniform syndrome- that the students are ‘not nuns’ and asking all school administrations, parents and Kenyans: ‘Why do you dress a school girl like a nun?’ I feel for the nuns who are now getting a rather bad wrap...
My only issue with the Ministers stance is that I was a teenager- once upon a time- and I know how they often take liberties with lax rules such as this. As some wise man once said: you give man an inch he takes a mile and this I feel is what young ladies will do. It was indeed evidenced when TV cameras went back to the school after the strike and some girls’ skirts looked so tight and short that they looked painted on and hard to walk in, this is just one example of taking advantage of freedoms.
When I was in secondary school my skirt was by no means ‘nun’ length, it want to just below my knees thus maintaining decency but still looking young and ‘with it’. A lot of people have blamed Mutula for his statements but I do not he is right young girls have the right not to look grandmotherish. There is however blame to be allotted here, from the new footage of the girls on their return to school post strike in their all too short almost hoochy- mama mini-skirts it is the parents and guardians who should be blamed for even letting their teens be seen in public sporting such sarong style pieces of cloth! This situation will only get out of hand and the privileges abused if the parents at home (the first gate keeper) allow or stand for their children leaving the house in such states of dress!