Kemi Omololu-Olunloyo is a journalist and the daughter of the former Oyo State Governor, Victor Omololu Olunloyo. She is the editor of HNNAfrica, a world and health news blog.
In a chat with IBTimesUK, Kemi shared her experience of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
According to Kemi who still remembered clearly almost 50 years later, she was five years old when her family took her and her sister to visit an old man behind the Oja Oba market in Ibadan, Oyo state.
She explained that the old man made herself and her sister sit on his laps and then cut part of their vagina and clitoral area off.
“There was no anaesthetic and a sharp razor blade was used. I remember my sister and I screaming afterwards. We went home bleeding in diapers and, for a week, it was like we were little girls with menstrual periods. My mom was bathing us and diapering us. Deep down, mom was not happy for some reason.”
Speaking on her mum’s reaction when she asked her in 2012, Kemi said
She burst into tears telling me that our late paternal grandmother ordered my dad to have us do it. This tradition is over 70-years-old. Our grandmother was a traditional Muslim woman who dictated many rules to her young son, my dad.
Kemi whose genitalia was partially removed which meant she did not experience difficulties while giving birth said that some women and girls had their entire genitalia cut and sewn closed.
Speaking on the lifetime effect, Kemi said,
“Calling it an operation is nothing. It was a cultural barbaric act used to decrease the female libido. It caused me post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for life.
I don’t experience orgasm during sex and when I tried to promote the use of sex toys among Nigerian women, men started attacking me saying I was discouraging African women from the real thing.
Sex is not important. I have no libido or urge to have sex and I’ve been celibate for 10 years. Millions of women in Nigeria go through this, but they cannot talk or be outspoken like me. It is shameful and a disgrace to them.
Many women say they fake orgasms and others have husbands who go out to prostitutes and girlfriends. FGM has destroyed marriages here.
Oyo state still practices it. Only the Ijebu people across the Yoruba land where I am from in Nigeria don’t do it at all.
My message to girls who have been through it is to stay strong and get into support groups. I would like to be a UN Ambassador and travel around Africa forming support groups in communities and educating girls about sex education the right way, instead of cutting part of their genitals off causing a lifelong traumatic problem.