Home Uncategorized NOVEL : UNANSWERED CRIES

NOVEL : UNANSWERED CRIES

54
0
SHARE
UNANSWERED CRIES

             UNANSWERED CRIES

AUTHOR: Osman Conteh

SETTING: SIERRA LEONE

INTRODUCTION

“Unanswered cries” is a modern novel where by the

author presenting a moving story of Olabisi who is under

pressure to be circumcised in order to realize the reality

as a woman.

COVER OF THE BOOK

The cover of the book is relevant to the story. This is

because it portrays the cultural dressing of the women in

Sierra Leone and Africa as whole. It also shows how the

girls discussed in the book are feeling by showing a fear

of oppression, sadness and loss of hope.

THE TITLE OF THE BOOK

The title of the book “unanswered cries” is direct as it

makes a person who wants to know the story of the girl

to get it so easily because it is shown on the cover as to

why she looks so sad, oppressed and hopeless.

ARRANGEMENT OF EVENTS

The writer arranged the events into chapters 1-9 whereby

each chapter contains a picture which gives information

about what is in that chapter.

CHAPTER ONE

Olabisi at home.

Olabisi is sitting washing the dishes when she hears the

sounds of drums and singing. She asks her mother for

permission to go and watch what’s happening but her

mother refuses. Later on after a long conversation her

mother agrees and Olabisi takes a camera with her to

take some photos/pictures. Makalay (Olabisi’s Mother)

stresses that Olabisi should be circumcised as well in

order to earn a respect and becomes a responsible

mother. She wonders how a girl can be circumcised

while she doesn’t have a penis. Her mother gives her a

sound slap believing that she has started sleeping with

boys. She calls her a gborka.

CHAPTER TWO

Olabisi Fights Salay and Rugiatu

Olabisi, Salay and Rugiatu (Ya Posseh’s daughters) are

on the way from the stream to fetch water. She curiously

asks Rugiatu whether she is a gborka. She is surprised to

see Rugiatu becoming angry and the two fight vigorously

and Salay joins in to help her sister. In the process

Rugiatu and Salay fall down and Olabisi starts to tear

their pants to see what they have between their legs,

which were circumcised. Suddenly Salay hits Olabisi

with a rock and she falls down unconscious. She later

quarrels with her mother on the same issue. Then Ya

Posseh arrives with a crowd of armed women

demanding Olabisi to be taken to bondo camp to

undergo female circumcision for what she did. Ya

Posseh threaten to do something bad to Makalay who is

pregnant. Olabisi overhears it and prepares to run away.

Her Step father Dauda and Makalay chase her but she

manages to push a bucket towards Dauda that sends

him down.

CHAPTER THREE

Olabisi in the forest

Olabisi enters a thick forest and goes through it hoping

to find a nearby village. She comes to a fenced hut and

begins going around looking for the entrance. As she

runs her footstep echoes and she thinks that an invisible

creature or Ya Posseh is chasing her. Before she finds

the entrance she hears the voices of women and climbs

up the tree to hide but she falls down. She climbs up

again and watches inside the fence. She realizes that it

is a bondo camp. The women are accompanied by a

young girl who is going to be circumcised. She tries to

run away but she is overpowered. She gives a loud cry

but it goes unanswered. Seeing this, Olabisi decides to

climb down only to find herself surrounded by Ya Posseh

and her two daughters welcoming her to the bondo

camp.

CHAPTER FOUR

Makalay looks for Olabisi

Makalay dreams of Ya Posseh coming to punish her for

disobeying the gods. She decides to search for Olabisi

no matter the cost. Dauda comes back complaining for

what Olabisi did to him. Makalay leaves the house and

disappears into the bush looking for Olabisi. She meets

Pa Amadu (a hunter) and promises to give him a goat if

he finds Olabisi.

CHAPTER FIVE

Back at the Bondo camp

Olabisi is still with Ya Posseh and her two daughters

who welcome her to the bondo camps. To free herself,

Olabisi fights the three of them and manages to

overpower them. She then runs away but unfortunately

comes to the river. On trying to cross the river she sees a

crocodile coming her way and runs back only to find

herself in the hands of Amadu- the hunter.

CHAPTER SIX

Olabisi arrives in Freetown

Ade Jones is in the house with Oyah (his new fiancée).

She wonders how she got on Ade’s bed while she had

just slept on the sitting room couch. They quarrel over

the matter of Ade Jones relationship with Yamide. But

Jones insists she’s only an ordinary friend. Oyah

determines to leave the house but is stopped at the

doorway by Jones’ questioning”will you marry me?… this

year. December’

Suddenly a sound of someone running is heard and

Olabisi enters. She narrates what happened and was

about to happen to her. She then goes to the bathroom

to take a shower with Oyah supervising her. While in the

bathroom they hear a violent knock at the door. Makalay

comes in demanding to take Olabisi to the bondo camp.

After a long debate with Ade Jones Makalay says Olabisi

is not a legitimate daughter of Ade but Abdulraman. He

grips her throat and forces her to confess the lie until

she renounces her statement. Then Ade says he’s going

to take the matter to court.

CHAPTER SEVEN

Olabisi’s case is taken to court

Both Olabisi and her father feel nervous about appearing

in the court. His father helps her to rehearsal the words

used in court as taught to her by Oyah. Words like ;

‘objection’, ‘sustained’, ‘overruled’ etc. on the first day of

hearing the case bondo women appear in the streets of

Freetown in hundreds and thousands singing songs of

protest. They carry a banner with words:

“FEMALE CIRCUMCISION! A MOTHER’S DECISION!”

Olabisi, Oyah, Makalay, Salaam Sesay (Makalay’s lawyer)

judge Lansana Kanu and other spectators are all in the

court. Olabisi becomes the first witness to be called,

Oyah cross-examines her, she narrates what happened,

and then Mr. Sesay follows. Olabisi admits her

relationship with Edward Cole that they made love at age

of fourteen. Ade is called as the next witness he asks

the court to differ with Mrs Makalay Kamala. Then Mr

Sesay asks him a few questions and Ade stands for his

decision that Olabisi should not be circumcised. The

judge adjoins the court. Eddy appears to comfort Olabisi

but she tells him to stay away from her. She kicks him in

the shin. Then she runs off.

CHAPTER EIGHT

Obabis takes pregnant tests.

Olabisi is ashamed and asks for forgiveness from his

father. Oyah comes in and suggests that -Olabisi should

see a gynaecologist-(a doctor who treats women). Ade

is shocked but Oyah insists that Olabisi must take

pregnancy test. On hearing this, her stomach becomes

upset and she starts vomiting violently. On Monday, the

case continues. This time Dr. Asiatu Koroma is called as

a witness and explains the medical reasons why Olalibisi

should not undergo FGM. She even says her own

daughter is soon to die of HIV AIDS acquired during

FGM.

CHAPTER NINE

The judgment

Finally Ya Posseh the Digba sowey is called as a witness

on Makalay’s side. She also gives the history of bondo

tradition from the days of the ancestors. They

nicknamed it mama Africa. She then gives the benefits

to girls of going through the bondo ritual. She says it

teaches women to be committed in their marriage,

preparing women for their role as parents, the bondo

initiates are taught the skills needed to successfully

manage the household etc. Oyah then steps in to

question Ya Posseh. She asks Ya Posseh to justify her

claims since there are millions of good mothers who

handle all the women responsibilities and they never

went through bondo ritual and the fact that some girls

die in the process. Nevertheless, Ya posseh defends her

position by saying that death can attack someone at any

moment, so it does to bondo women.

The last witness to be called was Makalay. She gives

reasons why Olabisi should be circumcised, including

helping her to control her sexual desires, be taught how

to be a real woman and being beautifully dressed.

Oyah wonders how a college educated woman support

such a tradition based on medical ignorance and

superstition. She also challenges Makalay on how FGM

helped her because she was once a girlfriend to Ade

then to Dauda and was already circumcised.

When the questioning session was over, Judge Lansana

Kanu concluded that Olabisi Jones shall not be forced

against her will or the will of the father to undergo FGM.

Olabisi was happy for the decision. Three months later

Ade and Oyah were married.

THE TITLE

The title of the book has dual meaning; in a more

specific sense it refers to the cry of many girls who are

forced by their parents to undergo FGM against their

wishes. Their cries are not answered because nobody

cares. Look at the following paragraph from page 29.

On a broader sense it may also imply the cry of the

whole traditional society in wanting all their girls to be

circumcised including Olabis but their cries are not

answered. They claim it up to the court demanding that

their cause is right and defend their position but

eventually the court judge gives a decision against them.

This is to say their cries were not answered.

CHARACTERISATION

1. Olabisi

She is the main character in the novel who is against bad

cultural practices (circumcision), she is courageous as

well as Eddy’s girl friend.

She’s Ade Jones and Makalay’s daughter. She almost

becomes a victim of traditional practices by being forced

by her own mother to undergo female genital mutilation.

She is engaged in premarital love affairs with Edward

Cole. She is a revolutionist who wants to see FGM

stopped since it is mostly done against the girls’ will.

She is aware of the dangers of FGM and thus protests

being circumcised according to bondo tradition. Her

experience of living in town make her believe that only

boys undergo circumcision so she wanders what in the

woman is being circumcised in the process. She

advocates for change in the society by tabling a dialogue

whether or not FGM is important for girls today.

2. Makalay.

This is Olabisi’s mother, an educated woman and a

school teacher. Despite her education she supports FGM

(female genital matulation) which she was supposed to

condemn with all her might. She represents those people

whose education has only helped them to solve their

financial problems and never the change in attitude. She

forces Olabisi to be circumcised because she fears the

bondo spirits. She is initially Ade’s girlfriend then she

gets married to Dauda. She believes that FGM helps to

reduce sexual appetite to girls and makes them

committed to their husbands, but fails to explain why

FGM failed to make her committed to Ade but she

moved again to Dauda. She is a very strict mother as she

treats Olabisi rudely to make her behave well. She

doesn’t want changes in the society so not worth being

emulated.

3. Ya Posseh.

She is Salay and Rugiatu’s mother and girls’ circumciser.

She is believed to have powers even to speak with the

spirits. She is among the women who perpetuate FGM in

the name of ancestral tradition. Like Makalay she also

believes that FGM has a way of making girls real women

and creating a sense of commitment to their husbands.

She does not want changes in the society and thus not

worth being emulated.

4. Asiatu Koroma

She is a medical doctor by profession. (Gynecologist)

who examines Olabisi and proves that she is not

pregnant. She uses her education and position in a

positive way educating the people the effects of FGM.

She helps the court in reaching the decision of setting

Olabisi free from the traditional practices. She is aware

of the possible complications that can arise as a result

of going through FGM both immediate and long term.

She advocates change in the society.

5. Oyah

She is professionally a lawyer and Ade Jones wife. She

uses her education positively by defending the rights of

women. She stands as an advocate in Olabisi’s case and

helps her to come out a winner and Makalay with her

Lawyers become losers. She is aware of Ade Jones

unfaithfulness in relationship and asks for more

commitment unless otherwise they should stop the

relationship. She represents women who are

revolutionists and in need of change in the society.

6. Ade Jones

This is Olabisi’s father married to Oyah. He also wants

changes and doesn’t want her daughter to be

circumcised against her will. He is a womanizer as we

are told he has five girlfriends apart from Oyah. He also

had Makalay with whom they bore Olabis. He has true

love for Olabisi and wants her to be happy by protecting

her from traditional influence.

7. Salaam Sesay

He is professionally a lawyer. He also represents people

who would do anything in the name of money. Although

he is educated and certainly knows the harmful effects

of FGM, nevertheless, he supports FGM to get money

from his clients. He is among the people who are a

stumbling block in the way leading to development

because to him what is important is money not humanity

or dignity even when he knows the effects.

8. Judge Kanu

He is professionally a lawyer who uses his position to

grant justice where it is due. He conducts Olabisi’s case

and makes a wise decision that Olabisi should not be

forced to undergo FGM against her will or the will of the

father. He is among the people who fight for the

oppressed. He is also after changes.

9. Edward Cole

The boy friend of Olabisi, he betrays Olabisi in the court.

He turns out to be Olabisi’s enemy.

10. Dauda Kamara

Makalay’s husband in Bondo society. He runs after

Olabisi to save his unborn child as the spirits want

Olabisi to be circumcised but he fails.

SETTING

The novel is set in Sirra Leone. Although scanning

through the themes one can realize that the setting in a

more general sense represents African communities

where FGM is common.

Moreover, to drive the message home the author has

employed (rural) village and urban (town) setting.

The village setting includes the following sub-settings

Home; Olabis always quarrels with her mom at home

based on their disagreement on the issue of FGM

Bondo camps; we are also introduced to the practices at

the bondo camp and what is going on there.

Forest; we also see a large forest where hunting is

taking place. Hunting is typical feature of rural setting.

Additionally, drawing water from the stream sums up the

village setting.

Urban setting in Freetown is also portrayed with the

following sub settings.

Home the urban home is different from the rural one. For

example we are told that Olabis went to take a shower in

the bathroom. ‘Exactly, Olabis turned on the shower’ pg

45. This is common in town

Courtroom. We are also introduced to courtroom setting

and how the case proceedings take place. Most courts

are in town.

Streets in Freetown. Bondo women are seen all over in

streets of Freetown.

STYLE/TECHNIQUE

The novel is rich in its style. The novelist has employed

the straightforward narration. We are told of Olabis in the

village, and the experience there, then forced to undergo

FGM runs back to town then to court. In the middle there

are cases of flashbacks like when Olabis narrates what

happened to her and when Ya Posseh narrates the

history of FGM. The story is told using a narrative

technique. But also there are cases of dialogue

especially in the courtroom.

THEMATIC ANALYSIS

1. FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION (FGM).

Female Genital Mutilation is the removal of a woman’s

genitals usually the sensitive part known as clitoris, this

is done to inhibit sexual desires. The book revolves

around a mothers’ desire to get her daughter

circumcised, we see an age old institution (Bondo Secret

Society) established just to perpetrate this practice. Yah

Posseh sits pretty on top as the high priestess (chief

circumciser) a job she performs with great zeal and

determination.

We further see other characters such as Makalaay, Yah

Posseh, Oyah, Rugiatu and Sallay who have all faced the

knife sometimes in the past. Membership of the Bondo

secret society is an exclusive affair only achievable

through circumcision. The group of six young naked girls

in the Bondo Secret Society’s dance procession are all

being led away to be circumcised.. This practice is

prevalent in Africa, in Tanzania it is widely practiced in

the lake zone regions, Singida, Tanga, Dodoma etc.

2. SUPERSTITION

Is defined as the belief or faith in magic or supernatural

powers that cannot be explained by logic. This theme

manifests itself through Makalaay who’s terrified of the

spirits; she believes the spirits would make her

experience difficult childbirth if she doesn’t obey them

by offering her daughter for circumcision Yah Posseh

also believes in the spirits and apparently acts as their

messenger, for instance she tells Olabisi ‘’the spirits

wants you circumcised’’ pg 35.

Also the hunter Pa Amadu wears an amulet on his left

arm designed to make him invincible to wild animals.

Amulet is a piece of cloth worn around the neck or arm

believed to offer protection

3. IRRESPONSIBILITY

When one fails to act in discretion or accountably, they

are said to be irresponsible. Ade Jones is a father to a

teenage girl now that comes with a lot of

responsibilities. As a father he’s supposed to be a role

model to his daughter, model her to be a responsible and

personable girl and counsel her whenever necessary.

However our dear Ade failed miserably on that front

because he employed a laisser-faire approach instead of

a hands-on methodology in exercising his parental

duties. This gives Bisi a lot of freedom which she

inevitably misuses. If he were a responsible parent

maybe he could have salvaged the whole situation from

the onset hence avoiding the embarrassing debacle in

the courtroom.

4. PRE- MARITAL SEX

Girls are seen to involve themselves in sexual affairs

before turning to the age of eighteen. Makalay is

circumcised while she is ten years old. She starts having

sex at the age of fourteen and becomes pregnant at the

age of sixteen. The same thing is shown to Olabisi who

involves in sexual affairs with Edward Cole while she is

only fourteen.

5. PROTEST

The city dwellers example Oyah, Dr. Asiatu Koroma and

Olab isi are shown to go against Female Genital

Mutilation (FGM) while the village dwellers example Yah

Posseh, Makalay and other Bondo women are there to

support it. They want to preserve the traditional

practices of their spirits by going through Female Genital

Mutilation (FGM). This makes Olabisi to escape from her

mother’s village.

6. PROMISCUITY/WOMANIZING

Some of the characters have been shown to have many

sexual relationships. Example Ade Jones who lives with

Oyah without marrying her, he is accused of having five

girl friends by Makay’s lawyers (Salaam Sesay) while in

the court. He is also seen to be in conflicts with Oyah

because of Yamide.

BETRAYAL

This is the act of being disloyal to someone who trusts

you. In the novel, the situation is experienced by Makalay

when she is betrayed by Pah Amadu and he did not bring

Olabisi back to Makalay, instead he helped Olabisi to

reach the town. Also the betrayal of Edward Cole to

Olabisi by disclosing the secret that he had sex with her

several times.

7. FAMILY SEPARATION

Makalay is shown stay away from her husband (Ade

Jones) and stays with another man in the village called

Dauda Kamara. This causes problems to Olabisi who

finds herself in difficult situation.

8. AWARENESS

Awareness refers to the state of knowing or realizing

something including its advantages and disadvantages.

Awareness has been revealed in different scenarios.

First Olabisi is aware of the harmful effects of

undergoing FGM and her rights of decision making thus

she protests to go through the process. Dr. Asiatu and

Oyah are also aware of the medical complications and

potential dangers that come along with FGM thus they

help to prevent Olabisi to undergo FGM. Ade Jones is

aware of her child’s right to decide whether or not she

should undergo FGM.

9. HUMILIATION and OPPRESSION

There are many cases that show humiliation to women

in this novel. But generally the act of forcing young girls

to be circumcised against their will is itself humiliation.

Most girls are taken to bondo camps at the age when

they are unable to defend themselves. Olabis narrates

how she saw a girl trying to escape for her safety but

was overpowered by older women who held her

screaming but her cries went unanswered. Also Olabis is

humiliated by her mother for examining her secret parts

when she is unconscious and discovers that she has lost

her virginity.

10. LOVE AFFAIRS

Love is a mutual feeling of attraction between two

people usually a male and a female. Male and female

relationships are a common occurrence in the book.

There’s a relationship between Ade and Oyah. Olabisi’s

relationship with Eddy also stands out prominently in the

book.

Stigma is defined as the sign of disgrace which sets a

person from other ‘normal’ members of the 10. Society.

In the book uncircumcised girls are considered lesser

beings only fit for village riffraffs. They are abused,

disrespected, looked down upon and generally

disregarded, heck, they can’t even get married. A Gborka

is an outcast in the eyes of these villagers.

12. POSITION OF A WOMAN IN THE SOCIETY

In this novel, a woman is portrayed in different position

as follows,

A woman is portrayed as an educated person,

example Oyah who is the lawyer, Dr. Asiatu Koroma

who is the gynecologist. They both stand strongly to

make sure that Olabisi is not circumcised.

1.

A woman is portrayed as a leader, example Yah

Posseh who leads the villagers of Bondo society.She

is the chief female circumciser.

2.

A woman is shown to be as a conservative person.

Women of Bondo do not want to change to practice

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) despite the bad

effects of it like excessive bleeding, transmission of

HIV/AIDS and death.

3.

A woman is shown to be a liar, example Makalay

cheats on Ade Joneswith another man. He makes

him believing that Olabisi is his daughter while she

slept with another man called Abdulraman who is

said to be the biological father of her daughter.

4.

Women have been portrayed as revolutionists. In

this case we see Olabisi, Oyah and Dr. Asiatu

standing firm to fight for the freedom of women and

rights of the child of decision making.

5.

Women have also been portrayed as child bearers

and caretakers. Makalay is the mother of Olabisi

who is very strict in ensuring that Olabisi observes

good family standards like avoiding boys until she

gets married. Also Oyah takes good care of Olabisi

as her child although she is not her real biological

mother.

6.

A woman is shown as a tool for pleasure by men.

Ade, is using Makalay for pleasure after

impregnating her he goes to Oyah. We are told he

has some more five girlfriends. ”you answered

truthfully. For you have had five girlfriends, and you are

now living with a woman who is not your wife” pg 62.

Olabisi is also used by Eddy for the same reason

since they are not yet married.

7.

A woman is also show a picture of ignorant and

foolish people. They should have been the ones to

oppose FGM but surprisingly enough they are the

ones supporting it. They are also ignorant of the

dangers brought by FGM but they think only of the

benefits ignoring the harmful outcomes.

8.

A woman is portrayed as cruel people who

perpetuate a cruel custom. If we consider how FGM

takes place, we wouldn’t imagine a woman standing

in court to defend it. Oyah asks Makalay “Mrs

Kamara, do you not find it surprising to see a collegeeducated

woman supporting and defending cruelty to

a child…”

9.

A woman is portrayed as superstitious. The whole

process is carried out on the basis of superstitious

grounds. The belief in bondo gods and spirits. For

example Makalay says “when a circumcised woman

reveals to a gborka the secrets of the gods, something

terrible will happen to her.” Pg 85

10.

13. CORRUPTION.

Although it takes only a small part but that isn’t a reason

to ignore discussing it. There have been cases of

corruption in the novel. Amadu -The hunter is given a

task by Makalay to look for Olabisi in which case he

would be give a goat if he succeeded to find her.

Unfortunately, she finds her and receives some money

from her and helps her escape. This shows how our

society fails to reach some intended goals because of

individualistic tendencies of few members of the society

who use every opportunity coming their way for private

gain. Olabisi says:

“I ran back and… and bumped into this man, a hunter. He

said if I gave him enough money to buy two goats instead

of one, he would show me the way out of the forest

instead of taking me back to my mother”

14. INFLUENCE OF EDUCATION.

Meaningful education is that which helps to build a

person by helping him/her to change the society by

changing the way he/she thinks. When education fails to

change a person’s mindset and the way he/she looks at

things that education was but a waste of time. In the

book both scenarios have been manifested. Makalay

and Salaam Sesay represent a group of educated

Africans who for them education is just a means to earn

salaries and manage the family budget.

She still upholds the harmful traditions despite the fact

that she learnt in school how harmful FGM is. On the

other hand there are people like Asiatu and Oyah have

used their professionalism to bring about changes in the

society by condemning what is bad. Without fail they

joined hands and fought for- Olabisi until they snatched

her from the bondo ritual. This is the positive effect of

education.

15. POVERTY

This is the state of being un able to obtain basic needs

or inability of someone to make the basic demands like

food, clothes and shelter. In the novel, Makalay’s kitchen

is made by rusty corrugated iron sheets which could

almost fall by the blow of the wind. This can also be

portrayed when Salay and Rugiatu were working bear

footed from the well.

16. MORAL DECAY

This is the disolation of good moral and people in the

society. In the novel moral decay is shown when Olabisi

involved herself in early sexual relationship while she

just fourteen years of age. Also Olabisi replied back

Makalay her (mother) as it was a peer.

FORM

Title, Osman Conteh has made theuse of direct title

as the novel explains about the little girls who go to

the Bondo camp and get circumcised.They shout

because of pain but the cry goes un answered.

Setting, the events have been explained in real

setting because of places like Freetown that real

exists in Sierra Leone.

Plot, the events have been narrated in a straight

forward way (chronological plot).The narration starts

when Olabisi sits on a low stool when she washes

dishes, her steps to join and dance with Bondo

women who go to the camp without herself to know

it, her struggle to get rid of Female Genital Mutilation

(FGM) and her victory in the court.

Diction (Language use) The novelist has made the

use of; vernacular words example “gborka” which

means a woman/ a girl who is not circumcised

“lappa” which means a piece of cloth that is tied

under The armpit as well as “juju” which means

magic power.

The use or religious words, example subanallah” said

by Makalay to Olabisi, also the words like “pastor”

and “imam” are said by Salaam Sesay to Ade Jones

in the court.

The use of legal language (Language used in court),

there words like

“objection”, “overruled” and “adjourn” are much used

in the court

Figures of speech example simile when Yah Posseh

says, “The Bondo

tradition is as old as Africa”

There is also the use of hyperbole, when the narrator

says that Yah Posseh’s mouth is like the cave -where

bats go to sleep

The use of words that imitate the sound

(Onomatopoeia) , example “BAM” to imitate the

sound of gavel hit by the Judge Lansana Kanu in the

court

MESSAGES

There is actually a lot to learn from the novel.

Parents should be close to their children so as to

make them avoiding bad behavior. Olabisi manages

to fool her father by having sex with Eddy while she

is only fourteen. It can probably be said that Ade

Jones has failed to take full control of his daughter.

1.

Parents should respect children’s right and not

simply press their wills on their children even when

they affect the children.

2.

Some of cultural practices such as Female Genital

Mutilation (FGM), can cause the spread of HIV/AIDS.

The daughter of Dr. Asiatu Koroma (Umu), gets

infected with HIV/AIDS because of being

circumcised. Female Genital Mutilation can also

3.

cause death due to the loss of excessive bleeding; it

can therefore be avoided and omitted.

Family separation is not a good thing as it causes

children to suffer. Olabisi’s parents (Makalay and

Ade Jones) are shown to be separated from each

other. Makalay lives in the village (Bondo Society)

while Ade Jones lives in Freetown. This makes

Olabisi to miss full parental care and faces the

problems of circumcision as she visits her mother.

4.

Female Genital Mutilation is very dangerous because

it places the life of young girls at risk. Olabissi is

shown running alone in the forest something that

may results into danger. Also a little girl is shown

bleeding after being cut her clitoris.

5.

Some of cultural practices like Female Genital

Mutilation (FGM), can cause conflicts in the society.

Olabisi comes into conflict with her mother because

of circumcision; she also fights Salay and Rugiatu

because of it.

6.

RELEVANCE

The novel is relevant in a number of ways;

FGM is still a common practice among most African

societies. It is practiced in rural communities by

ignorant masses ignoring all the consequences that

come along with FGM.

1.

There are educated people who support outdated

customs like FGM, Superstition etc as did Makalay.

2.

Most girls are forced by their parents to undergo

FGM and when they stand against such practices

nobody listens to them. Their cries go unanswered.

3.

This is common among the Kuryans of Northern

Tanzania.

Corruption, ignorance and believing in superstition

are also common phenomena in our country and

Africa in general.

4.

We also have girls who are now aware of the effects

of FGM as a result they are now protesting to

undergo the process.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here