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Kenya’s youths challenged to resist urge to ‘dress, talk, walk’ like world


“Tumbo cuts” are all the rage in Kenya these days. Taking their name from the Swahili word for “abdomen,” the revealing shirts are fashionable among the east African nation’s teenage girls. “You can all agree with me that dress does have influence on behavior,” said David Marube, who spoke at a national youth seminar for Churches of Christ. About 200 youths from across the country met at the Moi Sitotwet High School in the city of Kericho for the recent, three-day seminar. Marube, a minister from Kisii, Kenya, delivered a lesson titled “The Christian Youth and Dressing.”
Signs of globalization dot the landscape of Kenya and most other African countries. Internet cafes can be found in many small, rural villages. Even African families without running water have cell phones. Satellite television brings popular TV shows from the West.
Kenya’s youths, including church members, “have let the world set the standard for them in the manner that they dress, talk, walk,” Marube said. “I told them they are the ones to set standard for the worldly youths … not vice versa.”
Some youths are getting the message. Lynnet Akoth Oyoo led much of the discussion during Marube’s session, encouraging the group “to stay focused, no matter the challenges that come our way,” she said.
Oyoo, 23, is a member of the Soweto Church of Christ in Mombasa, Kenya, where she works with children’s ministries. She was the first member of her family to attend college, but had to drop out after both her parents were diagnosed with HIV and were unable to work.
Despite the hardships, Oyoo said her faith remains strong. “I really long to serve God in the church the rest of my life,” she said.
Marube said, “It inspires me to see a lady … so zealous in serving our master and trying to be a role model for other youths in her community.”
June 1, 2006
(Photo caption: Lynnet Oyoo, a member of the Soweto church in Mombasa, Kenya, led a discussion during the national youth seminar.)

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