“As I was playing with my friend Iqrah, in the front-yard, Mummy called out to me to come into the main house, for something important that she needed me to handle. I was left quite puzzled as to why she did call out to me, at that time of the day, since she had never done so, under these same circumstances”. Moving forward, I was a week away from celebrating my 6th birthday & I suspected Mummy was having something arranged in my honour!!! BUT ALAS…
On getting to the sitting room, I could see many young girls, from the closest neighborhood alongside their respective mothers gathered around, as though awaiting further instructions. There was a dark-skinned man standing amidst them, with a sharp metallic tool, in his hand and he had this “superiority-feel” getting off him. That’s the moment an immense feeling of anxiety dropped in me. My mother, in the meantime, had set forth the dining-table, unto which the “mysterious” man was to “operate” from.
It was then that the first girl, to be operated on, was laid unto the table, with her mother and two aunties holding her down by her limbs, that she was MUTILATED. A greenish concoction was applied directly on the MUTILATED region and you can’t imagine the burning sensation I was experiencing!!!! All this while, whoever was mutilated, wasn’t allowed to go out play, shout or worse yet, leave the house, for 7 STRAIGHT DAYS!
Failure to meet this expectation meant that you had broken the right flow of customs and had to be RE-MUTILATED!!! Can you picture that? Lemme explain this for you well. Female Genital Mutilation has 4 distinguished modifications ranging from the NORMAL to the TYPE I to the TYPE II and then finally, to the TYPE III… Disruption in successful achievement of one type, automatically leads you to the next modification, BUT, this is restricted to some cultures, including my very own.
Photo Credit: indydianewalsh.com
Back to our story, I preserved the entire week of hurtful urinating, silence and keeping confined in the house, holding back of tears in the presence of my own mother, keeping up of appearances before my own Daddy since he NEVER SUPPORTED the notion from day 1. And, it’s only been a few months now, that I’ve asked my mother what the ingredients of that greenish concoction were BUT she firmly turns me down!!!
If only I had been this empowered, around the same time, then!
REASON WHY AM SHARING MY STORY is that many more girls, globally are having experiences worse than mine. Underpowered as they are, they don’t have a voice to speak out for them on what they’re going through BUT here I am. I shall not stop speaking out against Female Genital Mutilation because its consequences affect US ALL, directly or indirectly.
Ps. Sexual urges CAN NEVER be reduced or controlled through the use/implementation of Female Genital Mutilation.