Taking pride in being a virgin

I THOUGHT that being a virgin was normal for girls my age. Sex was the last thing on my mind, but when I got to tertiary level things were different and that's when I realised how important it is.

As a religious person I believe that not only should you regard and treat your body as a treasure and as the temple of a God, but having sex before marriage creates a lot of problems .

Being a virgin, especially at my age, is the greatest thing. You have something that most girls don't and they cannot buy it at any shop no matter how much money they have.

It gives me so much pride. I just love it.

When I went to the reed dance for the first time it was to be with people who shared my sentiments. It was also about honouring myself.

When I went again this year, I was disappointed to find that again there were so few girls my age who take part in the ceremony.

Then the virginity testing came. I had sworn that I would never do it. I have always regarded that form of testing as a violation. I couldn't imagine a total stranger scrutinising my vagina, I really had a problem with that, but I had to do it or else it would have seemed as if I had something to hide.

But after the test, I had this great feeling of pride, which was elevated by the compliments from the elders and dignitaries.

Amazingly, the place feels like home now. I am going back next year and want to challenge girls my age to take pride in themselves and celebrate their purity. Waiting has its rewards.

Taking part in the reed dance is nothing to be ashamed of. Some people will make stupid comments about your virginity, but you have every reason to walk with your head high and be proud.