By Neville Mesumbe & Noela Antem
Inhabitants of Buea have decried the increasing rate of public indecency in major neighbourhoods.
The inhabitants disclosed that public indecency is promoting vices such as sexual promiscuity, rape and teenage pregnancy in the municipality
A student at the University of Buea, Pamela Bih, articulated that public indecency is increasing in the Buea municipality. She remarked: “It is very common to step out of the house and come across a very ‘exposed’ lady or young man.”
She adds that: “Dresses should cover all sensitive parts of the body and should not be transparent, for instance; breasts, the lower belly, waists, buttocks and, of course, thighs. Trousers as well should not be too low and tight.’’
She admits that it is almost impossible to change the mindset of young people when it comes to clothing and that most of these outfits are worn in the wrong settings which could lead to heightened sexual violence from perverse individuals and sexual predators.
A female counsellor, Kelly Verrine Anwia, revealed the reasons for the rise in public decency in Buea municipality.
“A lot of reasons account for why youths expose themselves in such a manner. It could be as a result of peer pressure, poor parenting, foreign influence and social media, to crown it all. All in all, these youths have something or someone they are looking forward to and the fact that they fantasise about these people or activities, leads them to adopt their kind of lifestyle, dressing inclusive. Such people could be their parents, celebrities on social media and pressure from their friends to be up-to-date with the latest fashion,” Kelly avowed.
Kelly also explained that some of these youths have been exposed to an enclosed setting all their lives.
“As such, they need to do things that will have attention drawn to them, the reason for which they engage themselves in this practice,” she avers.
To mitigate public indecency, the Pastor of Faith Evangelism Movement World Wide, Frederick Ayuk Tacha, notes that parents have a major role to play. “The family is the basic unit in society. Parents have to nurture decent values by serving as role models to their children by teaching them the Word of God and righting their wrongs when it comes to moral upbringing. They have to monitor the things children have an interest in such as cartoons and movies from a young age till when they are mature enough to be considered responsible. Here, at the church, we do not just preach indecent dressing but enforce rules against it.’’
Pastor Frederick reminds promoters that in “1 Corinthians 6:19-20, it is written that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. You are not your own for you were bought with a price. So, glorify God in your body.” Unfortunately, indecent dressing is fast becoming a social norm. Children and parents are caught in this web of indecency.
Cameroon’s Penal Code, Section 263, punishes promoters of public indecency. It states that: “Whoever publicly offends against decency shall be punished with imprisonment from 15 (fifteen) days to 2(two) years or with fine from FCFA 10,000 (ten thousand francs) to FCFA 100,000 (one hundred thousand francs) or with both such imprisonment and fine.”