by Ephigenia W. Gachiri, IBVM Read more
ISBN 9966-60-240-4; publication 2022; pages 134
"A sudden horror struck her and she went numb". This work captures the painful experience of 'Female circumcision' - a cultural practice that aims at making 'a woman whole and a heroine in the eyes of her community', yet in a split of a second destroys the very womanhood the community claims to protect. Equally, the spirit of determination, hope and resilience in the victims is visibly present. It is the spirit of "I refuse to die" that runs through the stories that captured not only my imagination but also the interest to continue reading and engage more actively in the journey of these courageous women. The author's style of capturing their stories and pain; together with the cultural structures that inform the rite of passage, is extra-ordinary. The question that lingers in my mind and heart now is, how long can I, we , allow the negative aspects (the 'cut') of this cultural violence that is destroying the very womanhood the practising community claims to protect continue?
(Dr Wamūyū Teresia Wachira, IBVM, Senior Lecturer, Peace and Conflict Studies, St Paul's University, Kenya; Co-President , Pax Christi International)