Sunday, March 29, 2015

Fading Flowers

The wind had picked up swiftly that night, threatening to blow the roof off our wooden hut. I watched the amazement in the eyes of my brothers and sisters, who were seated around my father, as they paid attention to the folktale my father was telling. I was seated on my mother’s laps as we listened to my father speak. Earlier on that day, my mother had come home from the market with some sweets and new clothes for me. It came as a surprise to my siblings because we got new clothes only on special occasions which made me wonder what special day my mother was celebrating.

As the night fell deeper into midnight, my siblings, weary from the tales my father told, lay down to rest. My mother carefully placed my limp body beside my siblings, and we slept. An hour later, I was awakened suddenly by mother. She yanked me from the floor and balanced me on her shoulder. I let out a frightened scream, but my mother quickly placed her hands over my mouth, shutting me up. When we came outside the hut, I saw my father standing in the corner. I stretched out my hands to him for help, but he turned away from me. My father who was supposed to be my protector turned his back on me. I began to panic even more as my mother picked up her pace to God knows where. As we drew nearer to the famous big Iroko tree in our village, I saw two women standing by the tree.

I could not recognize these women, so I began rattling recklessly on my mother’s shoulders. She silenced me again saying in our native language, “Waris, it is okay. Just do what the women tell you to do. I’ll buy you more of those sweets you like. Be calm my dear.” My breathing came back to normal once I heard my mother’s soothing voice. Before we got to them, they came for me. The first lady collected me from my mother’s arms and laid me on a rock close to the Iroko tree. I looked naively into the old lady’s eyes as she spread my tiny legs apart and pulled down my underwear. The other woman came forward with a tray in her hands. She took out an old rusty knife from the tray and handed it over to the old woman.

As soon as the old knife came in contact with my private area, I out an alarming scream of fear and pain. Why was my mother allowing this stranger touch the very same place she had warned my sisters to never allow anyone see or touch till marriage? I began tossing and turning as the old women cut deeper. “Hold her.” She said angrily in our native language to my mother. There I was, my mother pinning me to the rock as my father watched from a distance. I could no longer handle the pain. It was as if she was tearing at a fleshy piece of meat that proved stubborn. What had I done to deserve that treatment? I would scream, but no one was coming for me so why bother? I swallowed it all in. My three year old voice completely silenced forever. Stories such as this one are more commonplace than one might believe. Young girls are physically and mentally scarred when to the ritual practice of female genital mutilation.

The practice of female genital mutilation needs to be completely eliminated from every nation of the world. The lives of women in these countries have been greatly affected by this practice. The practice of female genital mutilation has caused women to feel emotionally drained, physically hurt, and medically incapable. Sometimes, these mutilations even result in death. The victims struggle to continue to live on after this atrocity, and one may wonder why this practice is still being carried out today.

This is an introduction to a research paper: Female Genital Mutilation: Fading Flower.


  1. Replies
    1. Hello Dami. You really didn't say much on this one lol... but I'm sure I get what you mean. Thanks for reading. Been keeping an eye out for your comments I'll get to all of them soon.


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