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1 Adolescence in Zambia Elias Mpofu Pennsylvania State University Jacqueline P.

Jere Florence Chamvu University of Zambia

Invited submission for publication consideration in J. Arnett (Ed.). Encyclopedia of Adolescence. NY,NY: Routledge.

Address for correspondence: Elias Mpofu, Ph.D., Department of Counselor Education, Counseling Services and Rehabilitation Services, The Pennsylvania State University, 329 CEDAR Building, University Park PA 16802. E-mail:

Background Information. Zambia is a landlocked country covering an area of 752,612 square kilometers. It shares boarders with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and Angola. The 2000 population censuses reported a total population of 9.9 million with a population density of 13.7 persons per square kilometer. The population has over the years remained young, with about 67% of the population below 15 years (Central Statistical Office: CSO, 2000). Of the total population, approximately 3 million are adolescents. Zambia is endowed with many languages, derived from 73 ethnic groups. However, only seven of the indigenous languages are used for official purposes (such as broadcasting and dissemination of information), in addition to English. These are Bemba, Kaonde, Lozi, Kunda, Luvale, Nyanja and Tonga. The countrys cultural heritage is mainly influenced by indigenous and Western cultures. A small minority of adolescents is from immigrant Asian families. Administratively, the country is divided into nine provinces and 72 districts, of which two are predominately urban (i.e., Lusaka and Copperbelt). The remaining provinces, namely Central, Eastern, Luapula, Northern, North, North Western, South and West are predominately rural. Prior to independence on October 24, 1964, Zambia was under British colonial rule and known as Northern Rhodesia. Zambias economy consists of a modern urban oriented sector and a rural agriculture sector. For many years the modern sector has been dominated by parastatal organisations, while private businesses have predominated in the construction and agricultural sectors. Since 1991, with the introduction of a liberalized market-oriented

3 economy, most parastatal have been privatized and, in some cases, liquidated. Politically, Zambia has undergone phases of both one party and multi-party rule. The Period of Adolescence The period of adolescence is a recognized life stage in Zambia (Mwanalushi, 1978, 1980, 1990; Ngulube, 1989). Most Zambians consider the stage of adolescence to begin with the onset of puberty or age of twelve for girls and fourteen for boys. However, there is no commonly agreed age range for adolescence. Mwanalushi (1978) observed an age range from eleven to eighteen as defining adolescence. However, the CSO (2002) uses a fairly loose age categorization and regards adolescence as simply the developmental stage between childhood and adulthood. For many Zambians, it is the ability by an older child to participant meaningfully in activities ordinarily expected of adults rather than age per se that confers adolescent status (Ngulube, 1989). For example, older children in Zambia contribute to family income through farming, marketing, and other forms of employment. Less than one percent (or 0.4%) of households in Zambia are child-headed (CSO, 2000). These children spend a significant amount of time trying to secure resources for their charges, which are often siblings or extended family. The high population mortality from HIV/AIDS also forces onto children, responsibilities for themselves, their siblings and/or their sick parents or guardians. Zambian adolescents experience a lot of social stress from the ambiguity of functioning as adults while children. For example, in some Zambian communities once a girl or boy is married, he or she is considered an adult and this is regardless of that he/she may not be legally an adult (Ngulube, 1989). The legal age of adulthood in Zambia is 18 years.

4 Most indigenous Zambian cultural communities (formerly called tribes by the colonial authorities) name children after their living elderly family members, or ancestors. For example, among the Bemba of the Northern Province of Zambia, it is customary to name a child after a relative who died recently. The child assumes some of the social roles of the deceased person, excepting conjugal obligations, and other tasks requiring physical exertion beyond reasonable expectation for a child. Younger children get some help with their conferred adult social status from the elders or adult members of the community. After the naming, a child is likely to be perceived to have the same social or temperamental qualities as the living or departed relative. Living relatives after whom a child is named take a particular interest in the cultural education of the child, and spare no effort to pass on their best human qualities onto the child they are named after. Child naming is a coveted privilege by many cultural communities in Zambia, and relations may need to bid at pregnancy. For example, if a relative wants a child to be named after him or her, he or she pays a token in the form of money. After the child is born and named, notice is served to the other members of the community that the child is no longer accepting any names. In some communities, such as the Nsenga of Eastern Province of Zambia, a string of white beads is put around the childs wrist to show that the child has been named. Beliefs Zambians are a collectivist society. As a result, they prize being socially responsible for others. Adolescents in Zambia are brought up to do what is required of them by their community rather than what they think is best for them individuals (Hofer, 2003). For example, the sharing of resources with others is taught as early as possible. People with

5 scarce resources are culturally expected to share their resources with others (Ngulube, 1989). However, the tendency towards collectivism may be changing because of the Western influence and the rapid changes in the social economic environment. The declining national economy, coupled with rapid urbanization has contributed towards the tendency of individualism. Adolescents, especially from among the educated elite classes, tend to consider their own needs to be above those of the cultural collective. The majority of the Zambian population is Christian, but other religions such as Islam, Buddhism, Bhai and Hinduism are also practiced to a lesser extent. Many adolescents also believe in the indigenous Bantu religions, or combine traditional and Christian religious beliefs. Traditional African religion and Christianity share a belief in a monolithic God. However, the two religious beliefs are also antagonistic. For example, teenagers who hold traditional African religious belief consider ancestral spirits a protective force and mediators with God in their human affairs (Mbiti, 1990). By contrast, Christianity condemns any regard of human spirits in the affairs of man. Adolescents who hold both African traditional beliefs and Christian beliefs are confused as to which belief to use in a situation. Nonetheless, Christian religious influences are present in the every day lives of many Zambian teenagers through the church establishment. Christian missionaries started the first schools in Zambia, and their influence on the educational system still lingers on (Luig, 1997). For example, Christian Religious Education is taught as a subject in all public schools. The majority of adolescents belong to one of the three main

denominations - Catholic, Protestant or Pentecostal. A small percentage of adolescents belong to the independent African Churches. Independent African churches, such as

6 Zion, often combine Christian teachings with beliefs in ancestral spirits. Many adolescents who belong to the Anglican or Catholic denomination also go through confirmation, which is passage of rite into full membership of the church community. Adolescents in Zambia are very active in church activities. In the Pentecostal churches adolescents take a leading role in evangelizing. Choir members in many congregations are adolescents. Male adolescents tend to be more interested in church activities than male adults. Peers socialize other adult males to believe that church is for females. Many males may not attend church because they use alcohol and tobacco; practices that are condemned by the church establishment. Rather than go to church and be repeatedly told of own transgressions from abusing substances, they may prefer to stay away from church. Fewer Zambian females abuse substances, and participation in church activities is about the same in female adolescents and adults. Many Zambian communities practice initiation rites of passage into adulthood (Hughes-dAeth, 2002; Kapungwe, 2003; Pillai & Barton, 2003). For example, in Chewa communities, male adolescents are expected to join nyau, a group of traditional dancers that has a lot of secret rituals. A child who is a full member of the nyau is considered to be an adult. Boys who join nyau are also taught how to take care of women. Most Zambian communities initiate the girls when at menarche (nkoloala for the Tonga people, chisungu for the Nsenga, and siyomboka for the (Lozi). Initiation rites often have a religious experience in some communities. For example, among the Bemba of the Northern Province initiation of girls (Ichisungu) is a complicated ritual that involves taking the initiate to a mumbwilili tree, the mumbwilili tree bears a lot of fruit and is a symbol of fertility, to thank the ancestors. The women walk around the tree as if they are

7 hunting to show the ancestors the way to the tree; presumably so that the trees fertility can transfer onto the women with the aid of the ancestors. Ancestors are believed to protect women, and to make them fertile (Rasing1996). The practice of cults of affliction also influences adolescents, and particularly those from the rural areas. For example, in the Western Province of Zambia Moya ( spirit) and Nzila (paths) are the two common cults of affliction that affect adolescents. Cults of affliction (also called cults of possession: Van Binsbergen, 1981), are religious subsystems characterized by two basic elements: (a) interpretation of misfortune or ill heath in terms of possession by a non-human agent or spirit; and (b) the attempt to remove the misfortune by making the afflicted join the cult to venerate the specific agent. A ritual is carried out to acknowledge the agents presence and pay him formal respect by clapping, singing and offering of traditional African beer, beads, and a white cloth. After the ritual the misfortune is believed to cease and the afflicted person carries on as a member of the agent or spirits specific cult. People participate in cult sessions to maintain their good relations with the potentially malevolent agent or avoid being afflicted with misfortune. Teenagers are particularly susceptible to these cults from being influenced by their believing parents and also their quest for answers to the many challenges of growing up. Belief and participation in cults of affliction also serves as a kind of therapy for unexplained ailments or bad luck. The practice of cults of affliction is on decline as people have new way of explaining misfortune. Gender Gender role expectations are relatively strong and begin quite early in life for Zambian children. In most rural settings of Zambia, traditional upbringing entails a

8 separation between the way boys and girls are socialized. Boys are socialized to assume masculine tasks such as hunting, fishing, herding cattle, and constructing houses at an early age. These tasks are culturally considered to be physically demanding, and for boys rather than girls. Performing these tasks is believed to harden the boys for manhood (Dover 1995; Ngulube, 1989). A lack of physical stamina is a male is associated with subsequent problems with finding a marriage partner or successfully looking after a family (Ndubani, 2002). Boys learn how to perform the tasks of manhood from their older siblings, peers, fathers and other males in the extended family. Girls are expected to wash clothes, bath babies, work in the kitchen, and clean the house. They learn these roles through a form of apprenticeship with their mothers, older female siblings and female members of the extended family. By the time Zambian children become

teenagers, they are very well versed in their culturally prescribed roles. During adolescence, children also learn gender specific roles within the extended family. For example, they learn about the culturally accepted relationships with spouses, and also the in-laws (Schlyter, 1999). This is true more especially for adolescents in the rural areas where early marriages are more prevalent. Aunties, uncles (which in traditional aBantu Africa means mothers brothers), big-fathers (older bothers of ones father), small-fathers (younger bothers of ones father), big-mothers (mothers older sisters) and small-mothers (mothers younger sisters), nephews, grandmothers and grandfathers help orient the young towards competency in culturally sanctioned gender specific interpersonal behaviors. Various levels of big-father and small mother statuses are distributed throughout the extended family system (similar to cousins in Western culture) so that there are culturally designated mentors in social behavior are maximally

9 accessible to the growing adolescent. Adolescents must also master the gender appropriate ways of expressing the virtue of nzelu (social intelligence: Chewa, Nyanja, Nsenga) or mano (Tonga, Bemba). A child who has nzelu is honest, trustworthy, gives respect to adults, obedient, is quick to learns skills that are relevant to the community, has a cheerful disposition, shares resources with others and is socially responsible (Ngulube, 1989; Serpell, 1993). When it comes to career choice for Zambian adolescents, both males and female adolescents can elect own careers (Mayumbwayila, 2000). This is unlike in the past where certain jobs or positions held in the work place were viewed primarily as belonging either to male or females. However, there still exists a certain amount of gender imbalance in careers in the natural sciences. For example, there are more males than females graduating from the School of Natural Sciences at the University of Zambia. As regards career models, there are more role models for males than there are for females. This is true in all sectors of the Zambian economy. The Self The development of identity in Zambian adolescents is complicated by two competing worldviews: global and local. The global worldview presents Zambian teenagers with the challenges of participating in a national and international culture. Christian teachings and the influence of the Western world through education and the media all prepare Zambian teenagers to participate in a global culture, and to develop self-identities consistent with that worldview. A global worldview promotes qualities of egalitarian and individualism. The local culture represents the forces of tradition, family, clan and ethnic collective identities. Typically the Zambian adolescent identifies with the

10 family and clan first and then the tribal grouping. For example, ethnic identity is particularly strong among the Lozi, Bemba, Tonga or Kaonde, and especially in the rural areas. In many such traditionalist areas, adolescents are called by their fathers name (e.g., son of X), and/or their clan name (e.g. bena Ngona or of the Bemba crocodile clan: Bemba), which reinforces the influence of local culture on identity. Integrating the global and local identities may be a great challenge to many Zambian adolescents. Adolescents of Asian origin develop an identity that is peculiar to their community, and struggle with the same issues of striking a healthy balance between global and local culture in their self-identity. Adolescents also have to choose between the norms of the peers and those of their parents. This causes further identity confusion in the adolescent. Adolescents in Zambia generally are conscious of the changes taking place in them at puberty and how these influence their physical appearance and social participation. For example, the teenagers become more conscious of their looks, and develop an avid interest in the opposite sex. Generally female Zambian adolescents are more conscious of their physical appearance and are more worried about their body image than males. Females also worry more about their clothes. Family Relationships For many Zambians, family suggests a much wider circle than in the Western world. In the traditionalist African society, family refers to parents, children, grandparents, uncles, aunts, nephews and siblings (Mbiti, 1990). These relations also have their own extended family through marriage. Family also includes the departed

11 members of the family. The Zambian family is on the whole a closely- knit family with close family ties. Slightly above 80% of Zambian adolescents have both living parents (CSO, 2003). However, about 70% of adolescents live with members of the extended family than with their own immediate family. Often, the adolescents live with extended family members for easy access to good schools in the neighborhood of extended family, to help out with childcare, household or subsistence tasks, and/or simply out of preference. An adolescent may be living with an extended family after which they are named; the naming adds to life-long bonding with the particular member of the extended family. People who do not have their own biological children often adopt a relative's child or children and bring them up as their own children. In traditionalist Zambia, child rearing is a communal effort. For example, the Bemba and Ngoni communities provide a lot of child supervision. It that setting, the clan is believed to carry a greater responsibility for raising children, perhaps more than of the immediate family (Gupta & Mahy, 2003; Pillai & Barton, 2003). Many adolescents get to know at very personal level most members of the extended family through this communal child cultural apprenticeship system. Consequently, many Zambia adolescents have good relationships with the extended family. Twenty-percent of Zambian children below the age of 19 and 29% between 15 and 19 years are orphans (CSO, 2002), and mostly from the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The proportion of adolescents who lost fathers to mothers is 3:1. About 90% of HIV/AIDS families live with extended family (Monash & Boerma, 2004). Females head about 20%

12 of households in Zambia, and they have equal responsibility under customary law to look after adolescents, who may be extended family. Most cultural communities of Zambia have a matrilineal system of organization. Children from a matrilineal system belong to the mothers clan, and the mothers brother is the principal guardian of the children. A few of the Zambian communities have a patrilineal system of organization, Examples of communities with a patrilineal system include the Tumbuka, the Lozi, the Ngoni, the Ila, the Mambwe, and the Namwanga. In these communities lineage is traced through the father. In both patrilineal and matrilineal communities in Zambia, there is an emphasis on the closeness of the clan. Teenagers learn the significance of acknowledging other clansman who may not be known to them personally and are from the same clan. They accept such people as if they were their immediate family siblings. There are many Zambian teenagers whose parents come from two different lineage systems. This is especially true for adolescents in urban areas. If the father is from a patrilineal system there is a tendency for the children to take their fathers cultural groupings identity Adolescents from such marriages usually get cultural values from both systems. It is not uncommon to hear an adolescent say that he is both Bemba and Lozi or half Ngoni and Tonga. Adolescents from these marriages may elect an identity that best spices a social occasion. For example, if with a Bemba-Lozi heritage, and in the social company of a majority Bemba group, the adolescent may self-identify as Bemba. He or she may self-identify differently if with majority Lozi group. As noted previously, uncles and aunts play an important role in the upbringing of the adolescent. They advise on, and provide conflict resolution. For example, if

13 adolescents are in conflict, the uncles and aunts provide arbitration, usually more than would immediate parents. The nephew is culturally regarded the most qualified for conflict resolution, and typically enjoys the trust of most members of the extended family. However, in urban areas the tendency of relying on members of the extended family to counsel adolescents is on the decline as parents are taking up the responsibility to look after their own children. This is largely because many neighbors in the cities are not clansmen, and therefore have no obligation to provide child counsel outside own family. Adolescents in Zambia tend to be emotionally close to their parents. However, conflict between adolescents and their parent or guardians do exist. Adolescents and their parents may differ in the social values they hold. For example, due to the influence of globalization and modernization, adolescents may value Western more than the traditional values to which they parents subscribe (Mwanalushi, 1978, 1990; Pillai, Achola, & Barton, 1993). Adolescent who model their dressing after that of Western popular culture are likely to conflict with their parents regarding the dress code. Parents typically prefer a more conservative dress code than their teenage children. The parents may also object to the friends that their teenage child has, and particularly if they know or suspect the friends to abuse drugs and/or to be sexually promiscuous. The parents are usually concerned that their teenage child may acquire these potentially health compromising behaviors. For example, parents may have a fear that their child could cause or get an unwanted pregnancy, which potentially could result in a conflict with another family from the frustration with taking care of a pregnant teenage. By tradition, parents remain materially liable if their unmarried teenage had an unwanted pregnancy or

14 caused one in someone. For instance, if the teenager caused a pregnancy and a marriage offer was not forthcoming, then his parents may pay a significant monetary sum of money as damages to the future marital prospects of the impregnated teenager. Women who enter a marriage with a child from a previous liaison are considered less worthy than those who have their first children in marriage. In many cases, Zambian adolescents have better communication with their mothers than their fathers. This may be, in part, because the adolescents spend more time with their mothers. The fathers are also perceived as rigid disciplinarians. However, in disciplining children in the home, the fathers, typically are instructed by the mothers, who often decide the occasion, type and severity of discipline needed. The mothers may also verbally reprimand the fathers or sanction them (e.g., temporary withdrawal conjugal privileges or affection) of if they do not discipline children satisfactorily. Most husbands, and particularly those in healthy monogamous marriages, are very sensitive to the reprimands and sanctions of their wives and comply with their wives suggestions regarding child discipline. In polygamous marriages, a wifes influence over her husband regarding child discipline may depend on her perceptions of the equity with which children from the other wives are treated. Overall, there may be lower role for the husband/father as a disciplinarian, and uncles may be more involved in child discipline. About four-percent of the Zambian population is divorced; - two percent is in separation or separated (CSO, 2002). Adolescents from divorced homes tend not to have the same quality emotional attachment to both parents. They tend to be closer to one of the two parents. Many adolescents with divorced parents are negatively affected by their parents divorce. Zambian Adolescents often do not know why their parents divorced.

15 This is because Zambian traditional culture does not allow parents to share their marital problems with children. The affected adolescents experience considerable frustration and confusion from the aftermath of the divorce. Early marriages are still common in Zambia especially among females. About 13% of female adolescents and two-percent of male adolescents are married. Less than one percent are either separated (0.2%), widowed (0.1%) or divorced (0.4%) (CSO, 2002). Adolescent marriages are more likely to break than adult marriages (MaimbolwaSinyangwe, 1995). Divorced adolescents often remarry. It is not unusual to find an adolescent who has been divorced twice. Adolescents and their siblings have close emotional ties. Siblings of the same sex tend to be closer to one another than siblings of the opposite sex. As noted previously, Zambian adolescents have early social responsibility for their siblings, and this enhances their socio-emotional bonding. Friends and Peers With the onset of this period, the wider range of interests and broadened social activities, adolescents begin to establish close relationships outside the family and derive more pleasure outside the home (Mwanalushi, 1978, 1990; Pillai, Barton, & Benefo, 1997; Pillai & Gupta, 2000). Zambian adolescents spend more time with peers than they do alone or with their families. Common meeting places include the church, Christian clubs, variety shows and within-school beauty pageants, shopping malls (more in urban than rural areas). Various clubs and organisations that adolescents affiliate themselves include the Chongololo/Wildlife club (an environment conservation club), Anti-AIDS clubs found in almost every school across the country, the debate club, JETS clubs

16 (Junior Engineering Technology and Science), Red Cross club, Boy scouts, Girl guides and Girl brigades. Christian youth organizations include SMART (Sex if for Marriage AIDS Ruins Teens), CLC (Christian Life Community), Adventist Youths, Path Finders and Adventurers. These clubs serve the purpose of providing spiritual guidance and counseling on the doctrines of their churches. Research has shown that more males than females belong to clubs and associations and that membership to various clubs varies considerably by sex (Lemba & Chishimba, 1999). For example, males are twice as likely as females to belong to sports clubs. However, more females than males are likely to be members of religious and service groups. Drama clubs and debate clubs also attract more males than females. Sports clubs are the most popular, while the Anti-AIDS clubs are the least popular. The relative lack of popularity of Anti-AIDS clubs may be from the fact that Zambian teenagers do not seem to personalize the threat to their health from HIV/AIDS (Clark, 2004; Joffe & Bettega, 2003), and consequently are less invested in the activities of AntiAIDS clubs. Youth culture in Zambian adolescents combines Western culture with traditional African culture (Mwanalushu, 1990). For example, urban youth from the middle to upper socio-economic backgrounds prefer Western type of music. However, in the past two years local Zambian music has also become popular within this group. The dress code among the adolescents from the middle to upper class families are also Western oriented, although lately a more Afrocentric look has become popular. For example, female adolescents combine their Western dress styles with African jewellery. This is especially true for hairstyles in which western hair dressing is used together with African mukule

17 (i.e., braids or corn rods). A minority of male adolescents imitates the hairstyles of popular African-American artists by wearing braids or dreadlocks. Zambian male adolescents from the urban centers also prefer to wear African American gangster clothes, and will occasionally add a touch of the African look by wearing an African necklace. Both males and females from the urban centers, and particularly economically well-off classes communicate mostly in slang (mix of word derivatives from English and the local languages). A small minority of the adolescents from the middle to upper classes we are tattoos. Adolescents from the rural areas or low socio-economic

backgrounds in urban areas prefer the more African look. They prefer local Zambian music, although a minority will combine this with Western music. They communicate more in the local languages. It would seem that Zambian teenagers from the rural and lower socio-economic classes have less of an identity problem than those from the middle to upper social classes. Peer interaction is mostly determined by interest and sex. Students or individuals with similar interests in a particular sport or academic field are more likely to become friends. Likewise, individuals of the same gender are more likely to become friends. This is true also for individuals from similar social backgrounds and ethnic groups. In a study conducted by Lemba & Chishimba (1998), each of the respondents in the study regardless of sex reported having three close friends. The study also showed that there is a tendency by youth to have at least one best friend of the same sex. Only a small majority of both males and female Zambian adolescents will have a close friend from the opposite sex. The study further indicated that adolescents of either sex do not consider relatives as part of their circle of friends. Friends are essentially those outside the family.

18 Love and Sexuality. Dating is a common feature amongst Zambian adolescence and is mostly characterized by heterosexual types of relationships (Pillai & Gupta, 2000). Homosexual relationships are not very common in Zambia or may otherwise go unreported, as they are deemed socially unacceptable. Individuals involved experience stigma and social discrimination from both peers and family members. Likewise, cohabiting is an issue that is rarely reported in Zambia, as it is not a common cultural practice. It is most likely that most of those who might otherwise be classified as cohabiting report themselves as being married (Lemba &Chishimba, 1999). Sexual debut in Zambia is early. In Zambia, it has been established that most adolescents are sexually active by their mid-teens. For example, in a UNAIDS (2002) study, 38% of the 10-19 year old girls and 71% of the boys reported being sexually active. The median age at first sex for females and males is 17 years and 17.5 years respectively (CSO, 2003). Adolescents aged between 16-18 are more likely to have engaged in sex as those aged 11-15. Some younger female adolescents are forced to engage in sex for money in order to support their families. Early sexual debut is a risk factor for HIV infection since early timing of first sex, often before marriage, increases the chances of having many sexual partners during a lifetime. Reasons given by Zambian teenagers for engaging in sexual activities include curiosity, sexual arousal and romantic love, in that order (Kalunde, 1997; Ngoma & Chanda, 2002). Across all age groups, males are more likely than females to have engaged in first sex due to curiosity and arousal. Females on the other hand are more likely to do for romantic love; they are also more likely than males to be coerced into

19 their first sexual encounter (Lemba & Chishimba). Marriage before 20 is not common for males in Zambia. For females early marriage is common, and more so in rural than urban areas. Many of the Zambian adolescents, and particularly those from the rural areas receive some level of training in sexual performance (Chisumpa, Mutombo, Mutambo, Makano, Daka, Wamulume, Chilele, Kapihya, Mawere, & Mutwale, 2002; Kalunde, 1997; Kapungwe, 2003). For example, many girls are instructed to extend their labia by a grandmother, an aunt or an older cousin by age 10. Elongated labia are believed to enhance sexual pleasure during intercourse. Among the Bemba, Chewa, Nsenga and Ngoni a woman who has not elongated her labia is not considered worthy of womanhood. Initiation in many tribes also involves teaching the girl how to move her body during sexual intercourse to enhance sexual pleasure. Many of the cultural communities of the Northwestern Province such as the Lunda, Luvale, and Ndembu also initiate the boys. During the initiation for the boys are circumcised. They are also taught how to give pleasure enhancing body motions during sexual intercourse. Adolescents are usually withdrawn from schools to attend the initiation school. The initiation ceremonies for boys and girls as described previously appear not to include much of the needed counseling on love and sexuality in a modernizing community (Kapungwe, 2003). As a result, many adolescents may be less prepared to use the potent sexual skills acquired from initiation ceremonies in non-traditional settings such as the cities. For example, the cities present with numerous opportunities for sexual encounter and the ability to harness in any impulses is important for healthy sexual participation. Unfortunately, there are no counseling facilities/services that are available

20 for adolescents in Zambia outside the context of the initiation ceremonies. Facilities made available by Non-Governmental Organisations focus mainly on marriage counseling, HIV/AIDS testing, STD counseling and cases of abuse. There are few youth organizations that do try and provide some form of guidance, assistance and education through the various forms of media. These tend to focus and direct their messages at three important aspects of behavior; abstinence, staying faithful to one partner and consistent condom use. Within the family unit parents usually leave the responsibility of counseling their adolescents to aunties, uncles, religious leaders and friends, a trend that is more common in rural areas. However, in urban areas, parents are taking up this responsibility due to the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS infections. Parents are becoming more open to discuss sexuality with their teenage children than previously, and to provide support in the form of counseling or reading material. Discussing sexuality with children is still a difficulty due to their stronger adherence to traditionalist values, which consider it a taboo for parents to discuss sexuality with their children. Health Risk behaviour Zambian adolescents are prone to a number of health risk factors such as drug abuse, alcohol abuse, car accidents, depression and suicide, unwanted pregnancies, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) (Agha, 2002; Clark, 2004; Kalunde, 1997; Nkowane, Rocha-Silva, Saxena, Mbatina, Ndubani, & Weir-Smith, 2004). Risks from depression are explained by several factors, including the conflict in values between the adolescents and their parents as previously explained. Poor teacher/pupil relationships,

21 negative poor pressure, and the experience of rejection by a desired member of the opposite sex also contribute to socio-emotional problems in adolescents. The abuse of drugs by adolescents in Zambia has become a problem in the last few years. The adolescents use the drags mainly for getting high and enhancement of sexual experience. Adolescents abuse drugs such as cocaine, glue, herbs, marijuana, petrol, and mandrel tablets. Males to a higher degree than females, have reported the use of at least one of the afore-mentioned drugs. The most commonly used drugs among females are marijuana, mandrel and petrol. In comparison to males, female youths are more likely to resort to the use of drugs for sexual enhancement. Herbs (such as roots of wild trees) are the most commonly used methods among female (Lemba & Chishimba, 1999). The use of drugs varies with age, marital status, religious occupation and occupation. For example, marijuana is mostly obtained from youths engaged in smallscale businesses, particularly those with roadside stall Tuntemba. In some instances, farmers employ adolescents to grow marijuana for sale to local and international markets. Zambian teenagers are at significant risk for abuse of alcohol and tobacco. A majority of the males start beer drinking at the age of 15 while females start at 16. The initiation of abuse of alcohol often coincides with entry junior secondary school. The timing is likely a result of negative peer influence and the lower levels of parental supervision from middle adolescence. Alcohol use is predominantly a male activity; males are as twice likely as their female counterparts to have drunk beer before (Lemba & Chishimba, 1999). Adolescents normally source alcohol from illegal drinking places, including shebeens (unregistered alcohol dispensing facilities in private homes). They

22 can also consume illicit alcohol brews such as kachasu. Kachasu is typically available from the rural areas or shanty compounds. The legal age for alcohol consumption is 18. Adolescents who consume alcohol have a higher risk for motor vehicle accidents. With intoxication from alcohol consumption, the teenagers sense of judgment is likely to be impaired and they may be exposed to STIs or unwanted pregnancies from indulging in unprotected sex. Some of the drugs used by the adolescents are intravenously

administered, which exposes the adolescents to contracting HIV/AIDS. Zambian teenagers are at high risk for unwanted pregnancies. For example, by age 19, more than two-thirds of girls have children (CSO, 1996). Most of these girls admitted an experience with unwanted pregnancy. This usually results in termination of the pregnancy. Various methods are used for this process and these include: herbal drinks, chloroquine tablets, aspirin tablets, ampicillin tablets and washing powder solution. About 66% of the adolescents with unwanted pregnancies use these unsafe methods of termination (Webb, 2000). Adolescent mortality from unsafe termination of unwanted pregnancies is at 120 induces abortions per 100,000 live births (KosterOyekan, 1998). The limited availability to the adolescents of counseling about love and sexuality explains, in part, the high prevalence of STIs, unwanted pregnancies and related mortality among the adolescents (Alwar, Matondo, & Sichone, 1998; Brady, 2003; Chisumpa et al., 2003; Kumwenda-Phiri, 1999; Mmari & Magnani, 2003). Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) pose a major health problem for adolescents. It has been estimated that adolescents comprise 40% of STI clients in the outpatient departments of the UTH (University Teaching Hospital) (Webb, 1997). Unfortunately, perceptions of vulnerability to STIs are low among the teenagers (Joffe &

23 Bettega, 2003). Adolescents from low-income and rural backgrounds are particularly vulnerable (Foster & William, 2000). The HIV/AIDS prevalence rate for adults over age 15 is 19.9%, with the highest prevalence rate in the country in Lusaka Province, were an estimated 26.5% of adults over age 15 are infected with the HIV (CBOH, 1999). Despite the high risk of unplanned pregnancy, unsafe abortions and STIs, only a small proportion protect themselves from pregnancy and STI (Nyirenda, et al 1990). Married female adolescents are at higher risk from STIs from their husbands who are three times more likely to be HIV seropositive compared to single boyfriends of unmarried girls (Clark, 2004). Education Only about 30% of Zambian adolescents attend secondary school (CSO, 2002). Literacy rate among Zambian adolescents is one of the lowest in Southern Africa. This low level of literacy among Zambian adolescents is a result of inadequate facilities for secondary education. The number of school places available in secondary schools is very limited compared to the number of qualified candidates for secondary school. For example, at the end of Grade 7 (or highest grade in primary school) adolescents take the national examination used to admit students into junior high school. There are fewer junior secondary schools (Grades 8-9) compared to primary school. Many adolescents fail to get school places at the junior secondary schools. The bottleneck on school places is present at senior high school (Grade 10-12), and adolescents who fail to get places at senior high schools simply drop out of school. The percentage of males in secondary schools is slightly higher that of females (31% males and 30% females).

24 Zambian adolescents are expected to complete the five years of secondary school before they go on to attend vocational training or university. The majority of adolescents with secondary schooling are literate in both a native language and English language. Only 10% of all adolescents who complete secondary education go to higher and tertiary institutions of learning. The Ministry of Education has a department that takes care of the needs of children with various special needs. There are special units for the blind, the deaf, and the mentally disabled. The majority of children with mental and sensory disabilities are in integrated resource units. The process of integrating the special units into the ordinary schools is still going on. Apart from adolescents with hearing and sight problems all other adolescents receiving special education are in primary school grades. The University of Zambia Special Education Unit in the School of Education provides this service. There are no programs for adolescents who are gifted. Gifted adolescents have to follow the same program as all the other adolescents. Schools rarely request for assessment of gifted adolescents. The media The media, both electronic and print is an important vehicle and transmitting information to the youth. The pattern of national media usage shows a clear bias towards male adolescents. Relatively more males than females listen to the radio, watch television and read newspapers and magazines more frequently (on a daily basis). In stark contrast, females predominate among those less exposed to any of these media. Males between 10 and 19 years watch television more regularly (on a daily basis) than any females. This is,

25 in part, because the females do all the household chores, which takes away from their time for entertainment. The University of Zambia (UNZA) radio station is a major player in teenage entertainment. UNZA radio station is a station that was established by the Mass Communication Department of the University of Zambia. It is both a community radio station and a teaching radio station where mass communication students, where both post-graduate and undergraduate students have vigorous, sustained, practical broadcasting training. According to a survey conducted by students from the Mass Communication department, the audience of UNZA Radio is mostly comprised of young people aged 22-24 years of age, followed by the 25-29 age group This is as expected because the core audience consists of the UNZA students. It contains programs that cover areas like education, entertainment, environment and lifestyle. Teenagers like youth centered programs. Other Public and private radio stations within the country have various programmes that are presented by the youth, for the youth. Such programmes include the Club NTG (New Teen Generation), a phone-in a programme that deals with issues of love, sexuality and HIV/AIDS. Its a weekly programme that is broadcast on radio 4 (public radio station) and radio Phoenix (private radio station). It presents a topic and youth are encouraged to ask questions or present their problems around the topic. Radio Christian Voice and Radio Yatsani (Christian radio stations) also have programmes specifically tailored for the youth from a more biblical perspective. Literate adolescents also make considerable use of print media, such as newspapers and magazines (Lemba & Chishimba). Most of the print media in Zambia is privately owned. For example, The Post newspaper has a weekly eight-paged tabloid

26 inserted in its paper every Sunday in which it discusses various issues from education, careers, entertainment, and health, HIV/AIDS and is mainly targeted at adolescents and youth. Some of the articles in this tabloid are specifically written by the youth themselves. One of the most popular newspapers specifically for the youth is a monthly paper called Trendsetters published by a youth Non-governmental organization (NGO). Trendsetters is a 12-paged tabloid newspaper, which targets youths between the ages 1525. It mainly specializes in the dissemination of information on sexual and reproductive health. A closely allied publication is the Trendsetters School, a 4-paged tabloid mainly targeted at secondary school students. It disseminates information on sexual reproductive health, and issues related to HIV/AIDS and are targeted at ages 13-19. These papers are distributed through out the country. NGOs throughout the country also print posters on issues that affect adolescents. Issues like forced marriages, sexual abuse, sugar daddy syndrome, employment, HV/AIDS are highlighted in these posters. Adolescents also have exposure to television programs for adolescents. The programs typically feature drama, debates or presentations by the adolescents themselves. A variety of issues are covered during these programmes, although most are targeted at health and education. Recently the government, through its GSM telephone network launched a call center (990) where people from around the country can call in with their problems. This is especially ideal for the youth who may find it difficult to discuss their problems face to face. The public media in Zambia has a great influence on adolescents. The various programmes provide interesting information, which adolescents use for various purposes. For example, the latest type of music will influence the language used by the youth,

27 videos shown on television influence their dress code and behaviour. In Zambia media mostly exposes adolescents to Western culture and lifestyles. Not many indigenous programmes are broadcast on television. Radio, especially publicly owned radio stations broadcast in local languages and provide programmes that the Zambian adolescent can directly relate to. Politics Zambian adolescents are involved in politics in a number of ways. To begin with, they learn about the history of their country, national anthem, the flag and what the colors symbolize, political transitions, the cabinet and parliament in primary and secondary schools. Some schools even take special school trips to parliament or state house. They also partake in national events like Independence Day and Heroes Day celebrations. This is done mostly through marching, plays, drama, poems and music. These activities incorporated themes like the liberation struggle, national unity, peace, good leadership and patriotism. The legal voting age is 18 years. This therefore means adolescents who are 18 years and above are eligible to vote as long one possesses a green national registration card and a voters card. These documents are not widely available to the general population. This means that only a small percentage of Zambian adolescents can elect their leaders in government. Currently the government has embarked on a project that ensures that everyone of voting age is able to obtain a registration card. Government officials are visiting rural areas in all the provinces, registering and providing registration cards to all eligible individuals in preparation for the 2006 elections.

28 In Zambia an NGO called the Youth Constitution Coordinating Committee (YCCC) was founded in 2003 and consists of twelve founding youth organisations. The organisation was founded on the motivation that shared values and vision lead to successful campaigns for meaningful youth participation in developmental issues. This organisation has been successful in making submissions to the Constitution Review Committee (CRC) and review of the National Youth Policy. Founder members of this organisation represent different areas such as health, cultural promotion, community work and voluntary services, politics, social and economic issues to mention but a few. Organisations that specifically deal with youth in politics are National Youth Constitutional Assembly (NYCA), Youth Forum Zambia, Operation Young Vote (OYV), Young Politicians for Change (YPC) and the Community Voice Newspaper (CVN). These organizations employ youth of 15 years and above to work in these organisations thus providing employment for school leavers. They also conduct activities like holding youth parliaments, conducting electoral civic campaigns and political conflict mediations in by-elections, policy analysis and research by conducting baseline studies, reviews, surveys on issues affecting young peoples participation and decision making and leadership development, promoting gender equality in politics and tolerance among youths belonging to different political parties to mention but a few. Zambian adolescents no longer partake in military services. Before 1981 upon completion of secondary school, individuals were expected to attend military training called National Service on account of attacks experienced by the nation from the then racist, white settler-ruled Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), and also apartheid South Africa.

29 Voluntary and community services are encouraged and flourishing in the country. Youth organisations like Youth Association of Zambia (YAZ) encourages and promotes community work by youth and adolescents by providing Psychosocial counseling, HIV/AIDS awareness in communities, voluntary services, and promoting youth culture and leadership exchange programmes, as well as fund raising for the needy in the community. Work As noted previously, adolescents in Zambia contribute towards the family income and contribute labor to the national economy. Female adolescents typically do the entire household chores, including doing the laundry for their siblings. If the family has a small scale business, adolescents help their parents in that business. Adolescent work in the family tends to be gendered. Adolescents from high-income groups do less work menial type work than adolescents from the low-income areas. For example, in addition to the household chores female and male adolescents from low-income urban areas have to help their parents with street vending. Adolescents from very low income generating households typically spend more time working than studying. By contrast, adolescents from high-income urban backgrounds have more study time compared to those from the low-income backgrounds. There is also a more equitable distribution of household chores between male and female adolescents from the high-income areas. The latter group of adolescents model their work distribution of household tasks on Western models as seen on television, and also their parents who may have less gender bias in household task assignment. The adolescents

30 from the high-income families also have domestic workers to work for them so that they do not have to do any chores they would rather pass on. In rural areas work for adolescents is more gendered than in urban areas. The type of work that rural adolescentscarry out is also different from the work urban adolescents carry out. In rural areas female adolescents draw water, cook, clean the house, may collect firewood help in farming activities, and also look after their siblings or nephews and nieces. The Zambian male adolescent is responsible for fishing, collecting firewood, making handles for hoes and axes, repairing the house and the granary and farming activities. Out-of- school adolescents in Zambia have an opportunity to earn income from economic activities that are common in the community they live in. A high percentage of adolescents on the Copperbelt Province (which is urban) are involved in trading activities. In Luapula Province (which is rural) adolescents have the opportunity to be employed in the fishing and forestry industry while those in the North-Western (which is rural) are typically engaged in fishing and trading. Manufacturing account for 82% of all non-farm businesses in Zambia. Nonetheless, trading outnumbers manufacturing and fishing 2:1 in creating employment. Many adolescents who are not in school earn a living through trading all sorts of goods and services. In urban areas the majority of out-of-school adolescents sell their goods on the streets. About 21% of adolescents not in school are unemployed. There are more male adolescents who are unemployed than females (28% and 17% respectively). About 4% of the unemployed adolescents are engaged in income generating activities such as vending on the streets (CSO, 2002). Many out-of-school adolescents have the opportunity to be

31 trained in income generating skills such as tailoring, carpentry, bricklaying and farming by the NGOs, the church and government institutions. The government has a department of Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training, which targets for training students with school qualifications (Katongo, 2003). Adolescents trained by NGOs are also helped to set up their own enterprises. Adolescents are usually employed in jobs that are low paying and they are amongst the most lowly paid employees in Zambia. About 95% of adolescents earn between US$33 and US$98 per month (CSO 2002). Most Zambian adolescents are employed as non- skilled workers, and their conditions of service are usually unfavorable. For example, they receive a pittance for wages and may not even be paid the meager wages on time. They have no health insurance, workmans compensation, or paid leave. Adolescents working for small businesses and as domestic servants, shop assistants and hairdressers earn considerably less than those working for big organizations and government institutions. More female than male adolescents are employed as domestic workers. Female adolescents who are employed as live-in maids often have to work much longer hours and are at times sexually exploited by their male employers. Adolescents in Zambia also do odd jobs such as car washing. A minority of female adolescents earns their living by working as sex workers. A significant number of male adolescents live on the street. As a result of the high school dropout rate in Zambia, there are a lot of adolescents roaming the streets and spending most of their time consuming alcohol and other drugs. Some of these adolescents are engaged in criminal activities. Many of the unemployed adolescents are at a high risk of being infected with

32 STIs and HIV/AIDS as they spend most of their leisure time in sexual activities (Webb, 1997). Unique Issues Adolescents in Zambia expect the education they receive in schools to help them get jobs. Unfortunately subjects that are taught in Zambian schools are not directly applicable in both formal and informal occupation sectors. Adolescents leaving school at primary and junior secondary school have a hard time finding jobs, and largely due to the shrinking national economy. The government tried to incorporate agricultural programs in the school curriculum in 1966 so that school leavers could be equipped with skills and attitudes necessary for working in the agricultural sector (Kelly, 1999). This did not improve the level of unemployment among school leavers. With no resources, the adolescents could not be expected to be successful farmers. Despite the education in the practice of agriculture, most of the adolescent school leavers prefer to get jobs in the formal sector. Employment in the formal sector is seen as being more prestigious. The Zambian government through the department of Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training also tried to meet the needs of industry in the country by offering appropriate vocational training. Adolescents who go to these trade schools obtain skills that can help them to either obtain employment in the formal industrial sector or set up their own enterprises. If there were a turn around in the economy, the adolescents graduating from the vocational training schools would have greater chances of being employed.


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