We all know that in our country, ages of certain responsibilities differ. You get your Citizen Identity card when you are 16, the legal age to engage in sexual activity is 16, and you can vote only when you are 18 and apply for land at the same age. If you drink alcohol when you are below 18 you just might find yourself in deep trouble.
Now in other countries the legal age at which one can consume alcohol is 21 while in most it’s 18. So there was a suggestion made a few years ago that in Botswana the age should be increased from 18 to 21 and this caused a stir. Of course most people who were up for this idea were our elders and those against it were the youth. Now I talked about this on the youth affair show two weeks back on yarona FM and as expected, we got different responses from the listeners. Well, I said 18 was just fine because really at the end of the day it all depends on an individual. After all some people as old as 40 who drink alcohol are still irresponsible and they do amazing things when they are drunk which I find embarrassing really.
Anyhow, as mentioned earlier, in Botswana we have different ages at which you can do certain legal things. Now don’t you think this should change, don’t you think we should have a standard age at which one can do all the above mentioned things at a go? Wouldn’t it be much easier and manageable to have the standard age? I mean don’t you find it disturbing that one can have sex at 16 but only vote at 18? I don’t know guys but I think that to have sex you should be woman enough, know what you want and of course be ready. It’s an important decision in life just like voting only that with sex it’s a personal thing that will only affect you while voting affects the country as a whole. A person who’s found responsible and old to have sex should certainly be old enough to choose who to lead the nation. Don’t you think?
I know it’s easier when we look at the different aspects individually and becomes really complicated when we look at them collectively. So really the big question here is what should be the legal age. I personally think 21 should be the age at which an individual can be deemed a responsible adult whereby his/her actions may be viewed as worthwhile, I mean after all one’s actions do impact on us the nation as a whole. I know that a lot of people say that our country will never develop to satisfactory levels because we keep on postponing things like ages and responsibilities to mention a few. I agree, I mean the more responsibilities are given to youth at an early age, the more we can move forward because now we’ve got more people working towards improving their lives and lives of others. Well, my people, this is not the case in Botswana, though it’s sad but a lot of young people don’t react well to responsibility. We see a lot of youth overindulging in alcohol, having sex just to please the next party, following what others do and not making a mark of their own.
I know that maturity differs with individuals and of course it again depends on how one was brought up. But I say 21 should be the age where one can drink alcohol, be legally old enough to have sex, enter a club, apply for land and all the other stuff and be seen as responsible enough to be viewed as a responsible citizen. So that’s my story and I’m definitely sticking to it. What do you think?