I was not one of those girls who were circumcised at 8 days or while they were much younger. I was 21 years old, all grown up and educated to an extent. My sisters and I were meant to go through the process of circumcision, although at the time, my mother was not in support. She was quite educated and not receptive to the idea. But my father was just the opposite. He was a very traditional man who would not go against culture for any reason.
He reported my mother to my grandmother, and we all had to be taken back home for circumcision. I bluntly refused. I was the eldest child and I felt like it was my responsibility to speak for my siblings.
My grandmother brainwashed me, she called me into her room one night and told me stories of how men will not find me attractive, how that if I get married without being circumcised, I would be sent back because it carries a curse. She also said that without circumcision, if I managed to get pregnant, it would always be a stillbirth. I began to panic as I was already coming of age for marriage. My other aunties filled my head with different scary stories and so I gave in.
The minute the process began, I knew I had made a terrible mistake. I was in so much pain, I kept fighting and trying to get my hands free because they held my hands and legs. My grandmother championed the process. She cut me, my sisters and some other girls with the same blade.
It took a month for the pain to stop completely. Just when I thought that was the end, I began to notice some reactions around the place. I went to the hospital and I found out I had an infection. I treated this for so long even when I was asked by the doctor who examined me, I told her it is our tradition and there was nothing wrong with it. I wished I had known better.