Galgalo Boru, 40years, from Sagante Village, slopes of Marasbit hills, Kenya recounts…
“For about 15 years, I worked across Kenya as a borehole driller and occasionally a taxi driver. I worked hard to provide for my family and my ailing mother. I hated staying away from them, but I always made an effort to see my three beautiful daughters and wife at least twice a year.
While working, I made friends with my fellow work mates. We would always catch up on drinks during the weekend. My friends used to joke a lot and say things that I obviously never took seriously.
I particularly remember the year I was posted to work in Migori,Western Kenya. During one of our usual weekend hangouts, a colleague brought up a topic that left questions lingering on my mind for days. The discussion was about sex. Yes, their sexual experiences with different women around Kenya. They kept glorifying women from certain parts of Kenya. I wondered, but all women are same, how can sex be different again?
‘Nyinyi mumekata wanawake wenu, mumeharibu utamu’ meaning (you guys have performed Female Genital Mutilation on your women hence messing with their sexuality’) They went on to explain and descriptively describe their sexual experiences and highly glorified a certain local tribe that apparently doesn’t ‘mutilate’ girls. I was perturbed. Confused rather. I did not contribute much because I did not understand what they were talking about. My mind drifted away for a couple of minutes..
That night I thought about that particular statement made about our women for hours..
Being a man, I wanted to prove that statement. So one day I pursued a woman from one of the said tribe. A young voluptuous beautiful girl. She was in her mid twenties, In college. I did not love her. I just wanted to ‘taste’ her. After days of persuading, I finally got her! And yes, the experience was ‘out of this world’. I loved the way she responded during intercourse, she was well lubricated, she occasionally took charge, and she had several orgasms. We both enjoyed the experience – And confirmed the statement made by my colleagues. I wanted her, again and again. But I felt guilty. I was cheating on my wife!
They type of FGM performed in my community is bad. They cut off the clitoris. They also cut out the vaginal lips. See, when having sex with my wife, I always have to be careful not to bruise or hurt her- because she was left with a scar.
I love my wife. I do not want to cheat on her ever again. But I will not allow my daughters to undergo FGM. I do not want to mess with their sexuality! It is unfortunate that my elder girl was cut while I was away. It pains me.I will protect the rest including my nieces. I will ensure that they go to school and help me end this oppressive culture.
I do not blame my community. For I know they do not know what they are doing. We perform FGM to make a woman have less sexual desire so that she does not ‘go out’. But you see in the end we (men) deprive ourselves the chance to enjoy sex with our women.
I am a culture conservationist . In fact I stopped drilling boreholes. I am back at home, working as a Boda Boda rider. I also ran a self help group called ‘Uluko Cultural Group’. I promote the culture and heritage of a Borana people (clothing, attire, traditional houses). We also perform cultural music and dance during music / cultural festivals.
Of all our cultural and traditional aspects, I do not support FGM. It is wrong. It is selfish. It is oppressive. It is demeaning. Everyone in my village Sagante knows my stand. But they do not know the real reasons behind it. Only you know. I often tell them that FGM is unlawful and that they will be arrested if they practice.
I will campaign against it and hopefully in future women will be free, to fully enjoy sex.”