By Phares Mutembei
Dennis Thiga and Winifred Makena, both pupils at Karanmbani Primary School in Tharaka are using their talents to campaign against female genital mutilation in their area.
FGM is one of the big problems facing girls in Tharaka and many young girls have dropped out of school and been married early as a result of it. The two are members of Dafina Fiche Peace Club, which has been performing at Tharaka Nithi County functions to educate the public on the need to stop FGM and importance of taking all school-age girls to school.
The two, with other children of the group, have performed the award-winning Kalendi, a narrative about a young Tharaka girl who was circumcised by force by villagers. Her brothers and sisters cried for them not to inflict pain and suffering on Kalendi, but at the end of the day, she nearly died after bleeding profusely.
Her brother donated blood to save her life. But by bad luck, it was found that Kalendi had been infected with HIV, the virus that causes Aids.
“We want to tell people that FGM is harmful to young girls. There are many dangers brought by the practice and it should be stopped. All boys and girls are equal and should be allowed to go to school in peace,” Thiga, in Class 8, told Generation Next in Tharaka recently.
“When I grow up I want to be the Attorney General so that I can fight for people’s rights, especially girls. In Tharaka, many parents dont take girls to school.”
“I am in school because I want a good education and a job in future. Then I will be able to help my parents and school,” said Makena.”We have performed the narrative and others at national music festivals, including Kisumu, Nakuru and Machakos.” They also performed at the Tharaka Nithi County Peace Forum at Kathwana.