By Walter Mounde,
With the support of the global media campaign to end FGM, we held a TV talk show on NDIZI TV, a local television with a reach of approximately 700,000 in Kisii, Nyamira, Nairobi, and parts of Migori, Homa Bay, Kericho, and Bomet.
The talk show centered on FGM during the Easter season. I was on the show with Grace Morungi a project officer at Manga HEART a local NGO based in Nyamira who is also an FGM activist.
1. FGM is done by parents who are escaping their responsibility to offer guidance to their children(girls) on the proper ways they want them to grow in morality.
2. Despite the high FGM prevalence (84%) which is supposed to instill morality in the girls, the Gusii region still records very high cases of teenage pregnancy.
3. Most FGM cases are conducted by health care workers some of who may not necessarily be nurses and doctors but workers in the hospitals.
4. Most FGM perpetrators still conduct FGM due to ignorance of the effects which they don’t know or don’t relate to and also since they haven’t heard anybody that has faced the law.
5. During this season, many girls have already been cut and Easter weekend will be the peak of the cutting.
6. The Gusii Region is highly secretive thus not easy to know who has or has not cut the girls since there are no public ceremonies and girls do not go into seclusion.
Before and after the show, we had a small clip that ran on air 7 days before the show and 7 days after the show.
The powerful advert:
In the advert, a mother and her daughter with a nurse who had been invited to cut the girl. Just as they were about to cut the girl, a neighbour walks in and finds gets them in the process of preparing the girl for the cut. She exclaims “What is this you are doing to your girl? Why are you cutting her?” The mother defends herself explaining that the cut is being performed by a nurse so she is sure it won’t be harmful to her daughter. The neighbor goes ahead to explain the legal and health effects of FGM to the mother.
In the parting shot of Walter Mounde a local FGM activist, the general population is advised not to cut their girls, especially this Easter season but find better ways to guide their morality.
Was the campaign a success?
The objective of the programme was achieved since we were able to relay the information to the people especially relating the effects of the FGM to the day-to-day situations that women and girls face in the community.
The moderator for example could not believe the situation in Kisii in which women move out of their matrimonial beds and sleep in separate rooms away from their husbands due to the effects of FGM that cause pain and discomfort during sex and the lack of pleasure during sex.
A link to the show: from min 1.40 : https://fb.watch/cd0xx4L6sm/
Initially, we intended to have the show on Getembe TV/Radio but they didn’t have an opening during this period as all their shows had been taken by politics thus we had to shift to Ndizi TV.
- There were concerns about the 84% percent FGM prevalence for Kisii as callers felt the prevalence is too high as compared to the FGM cases they see happen.
- Reporting does not happen because people fear being victimized, their houses getting burnt, and witchcraft.
- There were calls for continuity of the show to answer more questions, especially on the effects of FGM.
We have already received calls from members who had learned a lot from the show and promised not to cut their girls.
We built a good partnership with the MCA that will be good when we introduce the policy to the county assembly. The CECM also represents the cabinet and has a close relationship with the governor will be influential and helpful in coordinating support for the policy from the county executive.