The stories in this blog are first draft stories with minimal editing, sort of like a practice blog.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Retroviral chronicles- The virgin

Happy New Year y'all

I'm starting a new series I planned on doing last year, it was inspired by my clerkship days at Ghain HIV/AIDS clinic at the Central hospital Benin and a recent visit to military hospital Ikoyi where my friend was undergoing her internship and she was posted to the Retroviral pharmacy that month.

I'm not going to preach or educate you about the virus, this stories are strictly dealing with the human beings involved and not the condition.

Today is the Iyelo ceremony- literally the cutting ceremony, the day when twelve - sixteen year old females have their clitoris snipped in other to fulfil a cultural 'nonsense', to keep them chaste and pure. It's an old tradition, every female from my town goes through the process. However I will not be partaking in the ceremony neither will Mehen my younger sister. The penalty for not partaking in the ceremony is excommunication by the community but no one would dare do that to us, not after what happened to Lapeh my sister.

 Lapeh was... it hurts to say 'was', to remember that my beautiful, intelligent sister walks with the spirits. She was fifteen years old when she had to participate in the ceremony, the iyelo marked you as a woman and you gained special privileges as well. She went for it with great trepidation but barely cried after the ceremony. I was barely ten years old at the time.

Two years later she became friends with a young man from the city, his parents were originally from my town but he'd been born and raised in town. They soon decided to get married to each other, we were all overjoyed.

Two days before the traditional rites he took her to the clinic he used in town. There they discovered she was positive to HIV, he was so angry that he abandoned my sister at the hospital despite her protests of vehemence of her virginity. The nurses understood what'd happened, the unsterilised blades used they used to snip the girls was responsible for her infection. They talked to her and counseled her but she kept telling them her life is over, the shame would kill her parents. She left the hospital and then walked into a busy road and waited for....

She died on the spot.

Today, James her fiance is an ardent campaigner for the abolishment of female genital mutilation. I told him all the campaigns in the world can't bring my sister back, neither will it remove the stain on his conscience. If he'd been more reasonable, my sister would still be here with us.

 The iyelo is going on at the path close to the forest, I won't be there, would you go there?


  1. Hell No!! You see mami, I don't understand that ceremony...They do it alot in Kenya...Until date, I dunno what they are actually cutting off or out.....I love the way my hooha looks and I don't think it needs to look any different and why would any right thinking individual do such a thing to a lady....Grrrrrrr.....lemme just wait for the next post....and that dude tho', mami, you can't blame him...**sigh**

    1. Seriously I don't understand why they do it, some people are just evil


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