|Courtesy of africatoday.com|
Over the weekend, I made a new friends, Halima (not her real name). On realising that she was a product of Mandera county, I engaged my interrogative mode. She was quite open about her upbringing, where waking up at 5am to trek in search for water had become a routine. This would prick her, especially because her brothers were beinn educated as the women received informal education from the older women. Truly at times some traditions are retrogressive. The family never saw the essence of empowering the women due to punitive fears of being dictated by them.
Halima proceeded to narrate a sad ordeal of how she witnessed her cousin, Fatma, bleed to death while undergoing delivery. Her father was reluctant to take her to a hospital, despite the stifling fact that it was barely a 20 minute walk from their home. After struggling while in labour, due to excessive pain, Fatma gave up the fight. Halima succumbed to depression as she was quite close to Ftma, often seeing her as her blood sister. Following Fatma's death, Halima found herself loathing the customs she once honored.
Finally, Halima's father gave in and sent her off to her aunt's place in Nairobi, where he hoped that his daughter would recover from the rattling ordeal and get back to her senses. Thank goodness for evolving regions which paved way for Halima's road to education. Her aunt, a primary school teacher, often rescued other girls from harsh customs that often oppressed them, and put them through school. Lady luck found Halima as she was educated until college where she studied law, and is not back to her home town, advocating for abolishment of decaying customs.
|courtesy of africatoday.com|