I met a voice once, stifled, you see, from fear that no one would really care to listen to whatever it is she had to say, as no one had really ever cared. And that’s not cool because she sounds just like you — a human.
How can we help her to find her voice again — and live once more? Well, these past weeks, I’ve been taught that what preludes a solution is a series of history taking, examinations, and investigations that clarifies the best path to achieve the best possible fix. What then is the history of the stifled voice?
She happens to be a girl from a small town in Osun State, Nigeria. Her memory, as far back as it could go, could still recall being accepted by her family. They all appeared happy to have a girl. But all this could not stop the betrayal when her parents joined trousers with the town’s culture and had part of her removed in the bid to have her prepared for a faithful marriage course. The betrayal was, of course, the first of many of her troubles. After the betrayal was the pain and the perfect knowledge that nothing about her body was ever the same.
Then the loneliness came.
The only thing her mom ever really taught her was how to be a model housewife — and good kitchenware. She got to learn quite early that no one cared to listen to her in any way. Soon, she formed her separate world, where she didn’t have to talk to anyone about the keloids that now live boldly beneath her. She never got to talk to anyone about the never-ending laughs in the school baths when the other girls get to see the reason for her uncomely gait. Even the boys now know the curse she carries around, and in the end, the reaper was to be the only one who understood her plight.
Her perfect plan was to wait until graduation from secondary school to take on death’s hands. That way, maybe, her family would notice she was more valuable than an item for socialising. Perhaps then, the one, who comes after her, would be spared of the uncalled honour.
Good grace was the plan never went through, or we could have lost a special one. Good grace is the ear that now listens to her and the social media that fights with her. Good grace will be the fix that removes the stigma of the affected from this world. It will be a new world with enough empowerment to live a good life, where all receives an education of what gender-based violence is and all stand together in a fight against the ever-evading perpetrators.
To this, the Obafemi Awolowo University Medical Students’ Association is having its annual health week, themed: “Gender-Based Violence,” to join in and lead this fight to fix the world, to save her to the uttermost and many others like her — including the boys. What do you know? I might just be that boy who sucks on sweets as I’m sucked up by certain big aunties that were meant to protect me.
And when we are through with this week, we hope that you, stifled one, will be able to stand tall, singing high in your voice, and will live, lead a good life.
So, stand by! MediVoice, as always, aims to bring right to your screens timely, undiluted progressions from this warring week of ours at IFUMSA.
While you wait, we’ve got lovely reads for you! Olode of the Heart, theweirdprodigy, came back with another banger that reveals the origin of all the faults in our love relationships. That! And many others, just for you. Enjoy!