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Long Walk Away from Home

Stephanie was the product of my eight years
long walk away from home. I eloped from my
shame and pain for that long. My mother said
my unwanted pregnancy was due to the fact
that I was uncircumcised, that uncircumcised
girls are promiscuous.
“When are we going to see Granny?” Steph
would ask.
I would lift her up in my arms. “Soon, Baby.
Soon.”
I decided to take the route back to the same
place I had left eight years ago. I couldn’t take
Steph because I was not sure of the reactions
that awaited me.
Things had changed a lot, I heard a filter of my
music play in a local bar. My people liked my
music but probably not my personality.
Mama looked a bit older now, her eyes still had
her sparks and her body was still in form
despite her age, she embraced me like the
prodigal child and we wept.
She was elated to see me.
“…and where is my grandchild?”, she asked.
I looked away. “I couldn’t come with her.”
She shook her head. “You didn’t do well.”
My homecoming was the cause of great
celebration that lasted three days. On the third
day, they had a bonfire night for the women. It
was also a night to transform the ‘girls’ into
‘women’, even at twenty seven years, I was still
a girl.
The girls danced around the fire, made
acrobatic stunts to the beating of the cow skin
drum and each one ended up legs apart in
front of Nwanyieke,the circumcision expert, a
70 years old self-proclaimed witch. She
effortlessly held the labia and clit and slashed
it, each girl let out an agonizing howl and bled
profusely when they emerged, the women
rejoicing at each girl’s transformation.
It was my turn, I danced like I was possessed
with dancing, swirled in the air doing
acrobatics. I dashed to the bush to get a stick to
perform a super acrobatic, they were totally
engrossed in my performance, I entered the
bush again. They would wait for minutes, then
hours as I took a longer walk away from home.
Say NO to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

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