A 3km walk from Shingwedzi Secondary School to Malamulele Boxing Gym preceded the event.
"Teenage pregnancies and substance abuse are indictments on all of us," said the MEC for Health, Dr Phophi Ramathuba.
She was addressing learners from various schools from Malamulele Central Circuit during a recent pregnancy and sustenance abuse awareness campaign at the Malamulele Boxing Gym.
She said it should be an everyday responsibility to uplift society and build responsible young people everyone would be proud of. "We need to invest more energy and resources to uplift our youth and build a responsible South Africa. Parents need to play an active role in the upbringing of their children. It is natural to take a leading role in educating our children about the consequences of their actions," she said.
According to her, parents should also teach the primary objectives of responsible teenagers and youths in general. "We need to cultivate a culture of awareness in our homes on continuous bases, and not merely on formal platforms and obscure corners," she said. "The youth of this country represents its future. We need to appreciate and mould them in such a way that we will be proud to bequeath the country into their hands."
The statistics in 2017 revealed that 3 261 girls between 10 and 14 years were registered as mothers. "Imagine 10 years old as a mother. We need to ask questions as to who impregnate these girls. Mostly they are victims of rape and abuse. Abusers are normally drug addicts and substance abusers. We need to confront these challenges and reclaim the morality of our society in a quest to build a better future," she said.
Many learners abandon school immediately after birth because of a lack of support in raising the child, the absence of a caretaker while at school or the blatant shame of being a teenage mother, said Ramathuba. She encouraged them that being a teenage mother should not signal the end of life; it should propel them into making better decisions in future.
Date:04 March 2019 - By: Mbulaheni Ridovhona
The 22-year-old Mbulaheni (Gary) Ridovhona has been passionate about journalism to the extent that he would buy himself a copy of weekly Univen students' newsletter, Our Voice. After reading, he would write stories about his rural village, Mamvuka, and submit them to the very newsletter for publication. His deep-rooted love for words and writing saw him register for a Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies at the University of Venda, and joined the Limpopo Mirror team in February 2016 as a journalism intern.