I began the practice of circumcision in the early 1950s. It was a lucrative business and we surgeons were heavily respected wherever we went. The respect came with a number of benefits like getting a stipend of 200,000/= after circumcising girls one girl, livestock like goats, cows and hens. For the past 60 years or so, I believe I have circumcised over 300 girls. A number that now haunts me today.
After joining the NAWOU “Rise up” program and previous government sensitisation on the dangers of FGM, I came to realize that my trade was unsafe and harmful to the girls. My grandchildren too would come home and tell me about the possibility of being arrested because of the practice. They told me they disliked that I was cutting their friends and other community members led them to stopping the practice.
Since my transformation, I have devoted myself to creating more awareness against FGM and early child marriage in Kaptum sub county. During big gatherings and social events, I usually educate my fellow women and village mates on the 2010 Prohibition of FGM Act and what the law says against it. I also encourage community members to invest in educating their children instead of marrying the off. Sometimes my messages are not well received because I am a former cutter but I persist on still.
When young girls come to me to cut them, I now instead encourage them to go back to school and focus on that. I have seen the benefits of education from my own grandchildren and I wish the same for other girls in my community.