I am an accountant and volunteer project coordinator for Clitoraid in Burkina Faso. I was circumcised late, at 13 years old. My father requested for the circumcision to take place.
I screamed and fought back as four women held me to the ground trying to control me. After it was done, I stayed and lived with the circumciser for some time.
I was traumatised. Sex was an ordeal and I was in a lot of pain when I simply touched myself. After seeing Dr Pierre Foldès’ interviews online, I was fascinated. I had the operation on 18th March 2006. It was only after the operation that I understood that the clitoris could be a source of my pleasure.
I felt like part of me was missing and wanted to know what it was like to have a clitoris. I am very proud of myself and I am happy I got back what I had been unjustly taken from me. I help other women who want to have the operation as well. My three words: courageous, helpful and assertive.
Kaya, 40 years old
I think I was 5 years old when I was circumcised. I went to my grandmother’s place one day and saw girls coming out from a room, crying. Then it was my turn…
I heard about the operation during one of Banemanie’s awareness campaigns. I did not notice any immediate complications after my circumcision and did feel pleasure during sex but I wanted to set an example and try to raise awareness about the operation.
I had the operation on 11th March 2014 and I feel great. I see myself as a strong, positive woman who always has a smile on her face.
Dahfahir, 30 years old
I was circumcised when I was 8 years old. I went to my aunt’s place one day and was pinned to the floor. I bit and fought back in vain. There were other frightened children, one who did not survive. I wondered for a long time why they had done this to us and felt a lot of anger. Though I did not know what had been removed, I felt pain and was angry at those who would cause such suffering to a child. I finally realised that I had been circumcised when I was 15 when I went for a swim with a friend.
When I started my period, my flow was not normal. I would have my period for a week and it would be very painful. Sex was also very painful. I did not feel any pleasure. I thought the problem came from my partners or because sex was just not good. I heard about the operation when watching TV and thought I would give it a go. I wanted to get back a part of me that been taken. It was a relief to know that I could have my clitoris reconstructed.
I had the operation in 2007 in Ouagadougou, the capital. The Kamkasso clinic paid for everything. The operation lasted a day and I stayed in the capital for a week before going back home. After the operation, I noticed that my period was no longer painful and that it only lasted 4 days. I feel free, liberated and no longer feel any pain during sex. I feel more like a woman now. My three words: whole, fulfilled and happy.
Salimata, 27 years old
I was 7 or 8 years old when I was circumcised. On the day it happened, I understood I was about to get circumcised. I fought back but eventually gave up. I felt so much pain. When the wound did finally heal, I felt like it was still there. Touching myself was extremely painful, so was having sex. I was actually afraid of having sex.
I heard about the procedure thanks to Banemanie as well. I had the operation on 6th March 2014 and I am so happy I had it done. I wanted to be able to say sex and pleasure in the same sentence. I wanted to feel like myself and no longer wanted to be afraid of having sex.
I am extremely proud to have made the decision to undergo the procedure and feel like I finally got back what was taken from me. I just feel…whole. My three words: shy, proud and brave.