Abstinence is an outdated practice that nowadays is believed to have been exercised by our forefathers who were influenced by myths.

These and many other views are shared by many youths today.

This has resulted into a society, where it is a taboo to be a virgin,, a society where the slogan is 'practice makes perfect' but where the number of divorces is increasing steadily, a society of enlightened people who are far too educated to follow unfounded principles of waiting to have sex until one's married and when in marriage, forced by vows with God to stick to one sexual partner for life . . . a society, where everyone is in a hurry to take off the garment of virginity, a generation who because of this 'enlightenment' is threatened with extinction by a deadly virus called HIV, to which it has not found a cure.

And this virus, mainly spread through sex, has already claimed the lives of many from a society in which virgins are as scarce as gold, and even when they are there, they do not dare to speak out for fear of victimisation. Youths let us have a positive thinking towards our future and not think of how we are going to please our sexual partners and boyfriends or girlfriends.

Let us keep our minds constantly thinking on the goals we want to achieve, and on what we can do to solve the problems that arise in the process.

Something about fear

By Meya Kamanga
Grade 9
Fatima Girls Secondary School, Ndola
Sometimes we tend to put fear ahead of us. Being alone, does not mean that there is a 'headless horse-man' or a 'zombie' . . . or just some funny names we make up because of the things we imagine.

At times, people like us youths try to put these things to our minds and we, unknowingly or unaware develop these imaginary things and thoughts day by day, year by year, as we grow. Yes, we all can imagine things, good or bad, if we want to, like the way we did at eight years of age, imagining your own play-puppy that you saw in the pet store your mother refused to buy, or that terrifying shadow you saw the night you quarreled with your parents or guardians.

And as we grow, these things begin to haunt us and we sometimes call ourselves possessed or paranoid. Look at the bright side, these are all imaginary thoughts we can learn to wash away from our minds. None of them are real!

By concerned pupil
13, Grade 8
Chilengwa Basic School

It is very unfortunate that our young school going girls like going out with minibus drivers. This is all because they want free transport from the drivers. It is not that the girls are not given transport money to get to school by their parents, they just want to do it for fun and you also find that most of these girls are into fashion a lot.

They want the minibus drivers to give them money so that they can be buying the things they long to have. However, my advice to such girls is, please let us make use of our time doing constructive things that we in future better our lives, and not to involve ourselves in love affairs that will only disturb our concentration in school. There is time for everything!

Ladder to success

By Milimo Munankoye
15, Grade 11
Katete Girls Secondary School

A thought of success gives a peace of mind but the thought of how to succeed gives hell and that is when you feel like giving up. Success takes more than just dreaming it and waking up telling yourself you want to succeed in your life. You have to do anything it takes to climb the ladder of success and not just sitting waiting for an opportunity to knock on your doorsteps.

We face problems but it does not mean that the problems are going to last forever. Where there are problems, there are always solutions at hand. A visionary mind, self discipline and, determination are the weapons to use on the mission to success.

As youths we must stand on what we know we want and not fold our hands waiting for our guardians to solve our problems which we can easily solve. Success doesn't come on a silver plate but though hard work. Life is not a piece of cake, so take life seriously. Being who you are makes you free and independent, when you chase dreams you must have faith in achieving them. Success is something which makes someone proud when achieved.

Sex and the screen

By John Paul
18 years old
It is worth emphasising that television and videos are perhaps the most powerful influence on children sexual attitudes. Parents need to be sure their fingers are on the remote control button.

Need for new blood
to take over

By concerned pupil
St. Raphael's Secondary School

It is high time we took part in national development and I therefore, wish to remind my fellow youths that it's time we became proactive and be part and parcel of our country's democratic development. One may agree with me to say the current government has completely failed to run this country.

It is really upsetting out there to see how innocent Zambians are suffering, no food on the table, and not to talk of the expensive education. Many cannot afford, yet our so called leaders are out there smiling pretending as if all was well. As youths, we are fed up of this government and cannot wait for change.

It's clear that these same leaders who are rallying for higher positions were once in government and failed to have the interest of national unity and development at heart. Therefore, there is need for new blood to take over the government because all we want today and tomorrow is a better Zambia and leaders we are going to count on, not leaders who just sit and claim to be counted.