What is our country coming to?
September 15, 2008 started off as a normal day for Consolata Kathambi. But it was never to end pleasantly. The claws of a nightmare were just lurking somewhere in the shadows.
This 35 year-old mother of three was at her home in Meru District (in Kenya) when she was informed of an impromptu visit from some female members of her village. She was shaken a bit for this was a strange visit. There had to be something the matter.
When she got to the door to let them in, she nearly fainted when she beheld the numbers. They were more than she had “bargained” for.
They cut to the chase and informed her that they had come to “transform” her to a “real” woman. Before she could digest the gist of that statement, they continued to say that she, Consolata, was not a real woman for she was not “circumcised”.
This hit her like a thunderbolt. She tried to piece this information together in her mind, but it did not add up. Her husband had accepted her as she was, so what were these women here to do? This whole thing just did not make sense.
Even then, female circumcision, in her community, is not for old women but for girls (up to a certain age group).
Things went so fast for her comprehension. Before she could shout Jack Robinson, she was being dragged across the compound. She could not see where they were taking her for she was blindfolded. Her shouting and kicking did not help matters.
Her hands and legs were held firmly. When they got to the “opportune” place, they stopped and tied her hands securely. Next, her legs were spread wide apart. They were not bluffing, they meant serious business.
She was circumcised by this mob of ‘fire and brimstone breathers’. She experienced something that she had all along hoped and believed that she had escaped. But then, tribal edicts had caught up with her and she was stripped to the last piece of clothing.
My Two Cents: Female circumcision is cruel to women and we should do everything in our power to do away with it. More and more people should join in this war (of terror!)
• Female Genital Cutting (FGC) and the Woman
• An Inglorious Cut for Sure
• The Female Genital Cut and its many Faces