Growing up, the only lessons we learned about boys, relationships and sex were “if a boy touches you, you’ll get pregnant”. The boys were relatively allowed more freedom but were still not given proper sex education. Because of this, many Nigerian young men and women grow up with little to no sex education and no mature approach to sex.
Florida is here to change this narrative. She started MerDroits to change the narrative around sex in Nigeria and to make the topic of sex more comfortable to be talked about. The stigma and the shame around sex is a very important topic to Florida.
The reception so far for MerDroits has been a mixture of good and bad. The health education section of Merdroits has been going on well as more youth are continually getting educated on having safe sex. However, promoting safe sex practically hasn’t been an easy ride.
One of the major products that MerDroits launched in Slide Safe. Slide Safe was formally known as Sex in a Box (which I really loved by the way) and then Knacks in a Box, but was changed to a less explicit name because Florida wanted the product to be easily accessible to teenagers and young adults.
Slide Safe is like a first aid kit for safe sex. To create a product that caters to all kinds of people, Slide Safe is divided into three products. Slide Safe Lite which is priced at N2500, contains 2 packs of condoms and a 2 HIV kits. Slide Safe Regular which costs N3400, contains 2 HIV kits, 1 water-based lubricant, and 2 free condoms. Lastly, Slide Safe Couple, priced at N7650, contains 4 HIV test kits, 2 Hepatitis B test kits, 2 Syphilis Test Kits, 1 water based lubricant, and 2 condoms. So whether you’re in a long term relationship, have a FWB (friends with benefits) relationship, or engage in one night stands, Slide Safe caters to your needs.
Getting Slide Safe in mainstream market has been a challenge for Merdroits, but a worthy one as Florida told me. She told me that hotels and pharmacies won’t stock them because they didn’t want to create the impression that they were promoting sex.
Regardless, Florida is still hopeful about the future of MerDroits and the future of sex education in Nigeria. She believes that parents have a huge role to play in the sex education of their children. She encourages parents to be more open-minded with their children, and to not preach abstinence as the only sex education because in a means to appear morally upright, you leave out reality and practicality of sex in our world today.
I am very hopeful about the future of MerDroits. Merdroits was chosen as a Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneur Programme earlier this year. The program is a year long event that equips entrepreneurs with the mental and financial capability to grow their business. MerDroits also got selected to join the Next Economy Accelerator Program, brought to you by Co-Creation Hub Nigeria and Next Economy. I am very proud of Florida and how she has taken an unorthodox path to challenging a troublesome narrative in Nigeria.