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OUR CULTURE IS KILLING US IN SOME PART OF CAMEROON; WE NEED TO FIGHT THIS!

Pregnant Djomoa. She's not Oroko. She told me she laboured first child for hours without dilation, succesfully. If she were in the hands of a traditional birth attendant in an Oroko village, she would have been left to die. She is expecting another child.

CAMEROON - As I try by all means to suppress my thoughts on the maternal health issues plaguing my ethnic group, I received a call from a fellow friend in one of the villages that make up my ethnic group, re-echoing the fact that one of my tribe’s inhuman cultural practice is still very alive and that if it is not arrested, it will keep shaping our social, economic and political life.

“It happened again Nakinti,” my friend shouted on phone. “I need you to come over here, investigate this story, and write about it. You need to keep writing about this issue so that our women can escape this dehumanizing treatment.”

“What happened again my dear,” I asked in anticipation.

“One young girl in her early 30s just died in pregnancy and her corpse was badly maltreated—where are you?” he shouted. “She wasn’t laid like a normal corpse, she was laid on the ground, behind the house for a few hours, naked, only covered with a loin cloth, and later on a rope was tied around her neck and a traditional masquerade dragged her corpse for burial into an evil forest, Nakinti please come, I am dying to have you here,” he shouted even more.

“What?” I shouted.

“It is no time for ‘W.H’ questions my dear, it is time to take action,” he shouted.

At the hearing of these words, my hands were shaking. Anger suddenly captured my thoughts. I picked one my son’s shirts that I was ironing and cleaned a fast tear that ran down my cheek and an uncontrolled line of watery snot that made its way out of my right nostril. I stood up, unplugged the iron, and grabbed a bottle of beer from my fridge which I gulped in two installments. Finally I told myself “The fight is on!”

“It could have been me,” I thought. “It-could-have-been-me.”

This day-spoiler call took me down memory lane, to a sad story of how my culture tried to influence my social life.
I come from an ethnic group called the Oroko ethnic group. This ethnic group is one of the over 150 ethnic groups that make up the Republic of Cameroon. With the 20,000,000 inhabitants that Cameroon has, Oroko has a population of 200,000 inhabitants. They have 10 tribes, about 233 villages. The Orokos are found in the South West Region of Cameroon.

Amongst the Orokos in Ndian Division, it is believed that physical beauty for women is a relevant attraction needed to secure a good man. Tradition holds it that it is for this reason that women of yesteryears came to attach themselves to the swine totem. Edmond Motule, a cultural researcher and a medical laboratory technician says his research on this issue revealed that women chose swine because it was believed that plumpish women are more beautiful. So because the swine is a fluffy animal, the women decided to choose it as their totem. Culture holds it that the advantages of belonging in the swine cult is that it makes women so beautiful physically. So whenever an Oroko girl is strikingly beautiful, it is believed, without doubt that she has swine witchcraft. But the issue now surpasses just being beautiful. Tradition also holds that women who decide to take up swine witchcraft cannot have children of their own. They say they intentionally do not become pregnant because if they do they cannot go into labour normally without dying. This is because the swine will hold back the baby or the placenta in their belly and they will die during labour or after birth. A traditional post mortem (a brother of the dead woman is called to tear the belly of his dead sister) is usually conducted to identify traces of swine witchcraft in the belly of the dead woman.

It goes without saying that if such women become pregnant, their anxiety and stress alone about how to give birth can harm or kill the baby. And it is for this reason that women who die during pregnancy, during childbirth, or a few minutes after childbirth are considered witches and their corpses are maltreated as explained by my caller above. They also claim they died a bad death and so tradition must take its course.

When I was only 18 I met my first love. I was so in love with him. Assuming that he loved me too, we started trying to have a baby so that we could consolidate our relationship. For some unknown reason, I couldn’t get pregnant even if I had sex during ovulation. From then on we started seeking treatment. We moved from hospitals to herbalists to friends seeking help. I didn’t think of the fact that I was only 18, unmarried, and only in high school. How heart-broken my parents would have been if I had come home pregnant. My concern was to clear my name.

In the middle of this whole pregnancy-seeking struggle, I remembered when several of my class mates in secondary school told me that I couldn’t be beautiful for nothing – that I surely had swine witchcraft. A few friends had confronted me on this issue which of course I denied.

This incidence at hand was enough to get me scared because some say you may be initiated without knowing. I thought this was the case with me because normally, one angle said those who have swine don’t get pregnant while another claims even if they become pregnant they will die during childbirth. Believers in tradition therefore say any woman who dies during pregnancy or childbirth has swine witchcraft. Their corpses are therefore abused.

Honestly, I didn’t know what to think. My mind became so worried that one day as I was walking to school deep in thought, before I knew it, I passed out by the corner of the road. A few minutes later, I only discovered myself being surrounded by onlookers struggling to rouse me.

I was scared to tell my boyfriend about this culture thing. He didn’t know about this because we did not come from the same ethnic group. One unfortunate evening we went seeking more help from a herbalist and traditional doctor. I was sitting some distance apart as my boyfriend and the herbalist discussed things. All of a sudden I heard my boyfriend shout.

“What? Are you serious? Oh my God, what do I do?” he shouted, and then turned around and looked at me for some seconds, and then turned back to the herbalist.

I was totally frightened by this. We left that place with obviously no help but instead with some bad advice that I was not too sure about.

I was convinced the herbalist told him about ‘swine’ witchcraft.

“Did he tell you I have swine and could not have children?” I asked my boyfriend as we arrived his house.

He woke up with a start and looked at me again with fear in his eyes.

“Yes, yes – so it is true?” He asked. “Why didn’t you tell me about this before? So you are into this and you didn’t tell me? So you wanted to ruin my life? Oh, Nakinti I didn’t expect this level of wickedness from you,” my boyfriend said in anger.

He didn’t give me time to respond or explain myself. I cried like a child that has been burnt with hot water. And believe me, that saw the end of that relationship.

Can you imagine what happened to my life after this? I engaged full time in seeking for pregnancy to prove everyone wrong.

Without minding the presence of HIV/AIDS and other Sexually Transmissible Infections, I engaged in unprotected sex, looking for the man who will get me pregnant and end my shame. I will not tell you how many men I slept with but the truth is it was more than two in one year. I needed to prove my innocence.

Along the line, I finally became pregnant without knowing how it happened. I discovered I was pregnant when I was already 3 months gone. It was a-dream-come-true. But I lived in constant fear of dying in the process, just being afraid that I may have been initiated into swine witchcraft without knowing.

Hurray! I gave birth successfully and today my son is 13 years old. I proved my culture wrong.

Now, imagine that I died in the course of this: believers of swine witchcraft would have concluded that I was a witch. This is what has happened to countless women who have died in the process of giving birth. Their corpses were brutally treated and buried like fowls. Families that have experienced this still live with the stigma of being labeled mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers or cousins of witches. The pain lasts for long.

Such a situation, in the absence of full-fledged hospitals around my area has made many women die during childbirth. Quite often when a woman labours for longer hours, traditional birth attendants will conclude that she has swine and so must die. They no longer concentrate on caring for the laborer who is in pains but rather think about how burial will look like.

The truth is that like me, many other girls have gone through this situation and many have had to face the realities of its bitter consequences. Miriam is one of the Oroko girls who have gone through this ‘swine’ accusation because she was beautiful.

She says she has gone through a lot.

“I have been trying to have a baby for several years now,” Miriam told me. “This has made me to drink all sorts of herbs and taken all sorts through enema. This resulted in further aggravating my situation as a gynecologist told me in my last medical appointment that my tubes were blocked.”

Miriam says that even isn’t the worse.

“Because many men have abandoned me for not getting pregnant, I have been going around looking for a man to get me pregnant,” she says. “Today I am happy that I have finally become pregnant after several years, but also dying slowly because I am not only pregnant with a baby, I am also pregnant with HIV/AIDS,” Miriam cries as she tells me this.

Out of curiousity, I engaged in an informal Facebook discussion on this issue with an Oroko Anthropological researcher who has done extensive research on the Orokos and Post mortem. He said swine witchcraft is real.

“Nakinti, swine witchcraft is real,” he says. “I have participated in several traditional post mortem of women who are accused of swine witchcraft and to tell you the truth, there are some women who actually died of swine witchcraft. The womb of a normal woman and that of a woman who had swine witchcraft are not the same.”

Medical practitioners and cultural researchers say that the biology of [female] humans and that of swines are different. It says that the cervix of a swine is very small. Because of this, the swine dilates a special substance during delivery, a substance that humans don’t dilate during this very process. As a matter of fact, this goes a long way to say that women who have swine witchcraft cannot be delivered very easily because as humans they cannot dilate this special substance to ease delivery. As a result, they labour without dilation and finally die as a result.

Cultural believers are forgetting that some women naturally labour without dilation.

Now the issue here is not about whether swine witchcraft is real or unreal, the focus is that pregnancy comes with different complications and as such women who die in this humble process of bringing forth life deserve some respect.

To tell the truth, such cultural situations are ones which motivates me to carry on my journalism career. This is when I need my Provocative voice: because in addition to being a journalist, I will lead speaking missions, awareness raising campaigns, workshops, and conferences in a bid to say NO to harmful and discriminatory cultural practices against girls and women.

Oroko Cultural Association (OCA) USA started last year by sending 40 feet container load of medical equipment, more on the way, to be distributed to health centers in Oroko villages so as to improve health and reduce maternal mortality especially. This is a good mission that I think will go a long way to change mentalities if suspected cases of swine witches deliver successfully with medical care.

My first awareness mission on this issue started when I wrote a News article on this very issue published in the Global Press Institute News Wire in 2012. I have also concluded plans with an Oroko film producer to write a movie script and produce a movie denouncing this practice. This awareness raising movie will sure hit the big screen before December 2014 if we get sponsorship required.

We are going to sound the whistle so loud to the extent that even our ancestors who created tradition, whom we respect, will hear in their graves beyond and they will send messages of change to the world above. It is going to be hard, I think, but I am up to the task!

And all this is because:

“It-could-have-been-me-whose-corpse-would-have-been-maltreated, It-could-have-been-me. The-fight-is-on!” I just wrote this on a sticker and stuck it on my headboard.

This article is part of a writing assignment for Voices of Our Future a program of World Pulse that provides rigorous digital media and citizen journalism training for grassroots women leaders. World Pulse lifts and unites the voices of women from some of the most unheard regions of the world.

Comments

Mukut's picture

I did not know about this

I had no clue Nakinti about swine witch craft and how it affects girls in your community. Brilliantly written and explained.

So proud of you. You have come a long way. You will achieve so much more.

I feel the fire within u. Hats off my friend !

Lots of love to my brave lady.
Cheers

Mukut Ray

Nakinti's picture

It is real!

Dear Mukut,
This issue is so challenging...I have vowed to fight this till it comes to an end.
I cannot let more women suffer this.
Thank you Mukut for the wonderful comments...thank you.
Lots of love.
Nakinti

Nakinti B. Nofuru
2013 VOF Correspondent
Reporter for Global Press Institute
Bamenda - Cameroon
Email: nakinti@globalpressinstitute.org
nakintin@yahoo.com

Nechesa's picture

Wow, Nakinti

I'm left speechless. Thank you for shedding light on this issue. Thank you for sharing your personal story. Your strength comes through beautifully in this piece.

Nechesa

Nakinti's picture

Dear Nechesa, This nonsense

Dear Nechesa,
This nonsense tradition must come to an end.
I am determined to put a stop to this, no matter how long.
I know exactly how this shit hurts my dear, I know exactly how to denounce it.
Thank you Nechesa for the encouragement.
Love.
Nakinti

Nakinti B. Nofuru
2013 VOF Correspondent
Reporter for Global Press Institute
Bamenda - Cameroon
Email: nakinti@globalpressinstitute.org
nakintin@yahoo.com

olutosin's picture

OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I don't know what to write anymore, my body shakes as I type, oh how many women have died in this manner??? What type of tradition are still destroying women that we are not yet unearth??

Oh my God my God, when will these injustices end?????????????????????????????????

Thanks you fpr writing but it must not end here, what can we do to end this practice????????????????????

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

Nakinti's picture

My sis Olu, I know exactly

My sis Olu,
I know exactly how you feel...it is hard to belief this nonsense tradition.
My soul weeps for the number of women who have died and suffered this.
This shit got to stop, I mean it. I am gonna see to it that it comes to an end.
IT MUST STOP! Trust me.
Thank you sis for reading this very important post...I count the support of all of you!
Love.
Nakinti

Nakinti B. Nofuru
2013 VOF Correspondent
Reporter for Global Press Institute
Bamenda - Cameroon
Email: nakinti@globalpressinstitute.org
nakintin@yahoo.com

olutosin's picture

COUNT ME IN.............

Whatever it takes to stop this, I am ready to follow you till the end.

Lets start NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! before another death. My view is that the thought of being labeled will kill the women before actual death. May Africa grow.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

zoneziwoh's picture

This is serious

Nakinti, am still shock. It's been long I read or heard of such issue. Probably because I havent been in conversation with friends from Oroko or probably because we dont speak of issue like this any longer.

I remember growing up, we were made to believe that when a child born of an Oroko woman dies, it means she has eatten her child (placenta) with her swine or pig totem. I feel so bad that I even grow up with such a myth and sterotype. good think I have grown so enlightened and now best understand the challenges and difficulties in child birth.

Maternal health and child motality remains a big challlenge in many of these areas. Oroko , just like many rural communities in Cameroon still holds strong cultural norms, bias on women. This is so frustrating for me, like someone who very well knows the geography of Ndian, especially Ekondo Titi ( Oroko Land).

I think it's time to raise massive awareness in that region. It is time to focus attention in these region and let the community to become more sensitive toward maternal health care. Lobe or Ekondo (Oroko Land) needs better health care facilities and services. Go on Nakinti with the Movie or documentary, it is very needed.... This is so sad

Thank you dear siz Olutosin and Busayo for letting me know of this. I feel sad

Stay Blessed

Zoneziwoh

Blog: http://zofem.blogspot.com/

facebook: Zoneziwoh

twitter: @ZoFem

Nakinti's picture

You ought to be shocked my dear!

Dear Zoneziwoh,
You ought to be shocked.
One cannot imagine that such traditional practices still exist.
I am glad you have an idea about this believe. What you said is right. I also grew up with the same believe that my tribe's women eat up their children and placenters...can you imagine?
Individuals have suffered, families have suffered, communities have suffered...something needs to be done and fast.
My women cannot continue to live like this.
I count on your support Zoneziwoh, we will work together on this.
THE FIGHT IS ON!
Zoneziwoh, thank you for making me know that you are aware of this.
Thank you sis.
Love.
Nakinti

Nakinti B. Nofuru
2013 VOF Correspondent
Reporter for Global Press Institute
Bamenda - Cameroon
Email: nakinti@globalpressinstitute.org
nakintin@yahoo.com

LatiNegra's picture

oh my goodness. this is

oh my goodness. this is probably the most heartbreaking story i have heard in a very long time. the power of cultural beliefs are so strong that they become cult-ish and dangerous. i cannot imagine your pain and am sending you hugs from texas. thank you for sharing your story.

Ynanna Djehuty
Certified Birth Doula and Writer
Email: ynanna@thesewatersrundeep.com
Website: thesewatersrundeep.com

Nakinti's picture

Thank you so much

Thank you so much LatiNegra,
We are sought of entrapped by our own culture.
Change must come...our women have suffered and are still suffering.
I won't sleep until I see to it that these barbaric culture ends
Love.
Nakinti

Nakinti B. Nofuru
2013 VOF Correspondent
Reporter for Global Press Institute
Bamenda - Cameroon
Email: nakinti@globalpressinstitute.org
nakintin@yahoo.com

Iryna's picture

Cultural prejudices

"Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilized by education; they grow there, firm as weeds among stones." Charlotte Bronte
I think, to change people's attitude it's important to find allies among those whom they trust and speak through their voices. Only education can change this injustice, and it's really hard work.
Very strong and touching story, Nakinti!
Warmest greetings,
Iryna

Nakinti's picture

Dear Iryna, You are right, we

Dear Iryna,
You are right, we must talk through those whom they trust. That is exactly my thoughts.
It is high time we say NO to this dehumanizing tradition.
How sad.
Love.
Nakinti

Nakinti B. Nofuru
2013 VOF Correspondent
Reporter for Global Press Institute
Bamenda - Cameroon
Email: nakinti@globalpressinstitute.org
nakintin@yahoo.com

Precious M's picture

You are an amazing storyteller!

Chai Nakinti!
Where do I start?
Your story is heartrending!
What a culture!
I am happy you have specific goals to bring such a dehumanizing practice to an end.
Well done, sister!

Precious

My pen speaks

Nakinti's picture

Bo'o, Really -- What a

Bo'o,
Really -- What a culture!
This time our pens will not only speak, our actions will follow our pens in this fight.
We are all in this together darling.
Love.
Nakinti.

~~Was thinking about you, text me your number again, please now, please!~~

Nakinti B. Nofuru
2013 VOF Correspondent
Reporter for Global Press Institute
Bamenda - Cameroon
Email: nakinti@globalpressinstitute.org
nakintin@yahoo.com

bitani's picture

wow!

You are a survivor Nakitni. I am glad you are strong enough to tell this story, and to recall probably some of the hardest moments of your life to write the piece.

And, celebrate, you are beautiful (DOT). There is no a further consequence or analysis of that.

lots of love,
Bayan

Nakinti's picture

Dear Bitani, Thank you

Dear Bitani,
Thank you darling for such strong words of encouragement.
My culture wanted to convince me that beauty is a curse...I have overcome their belief.
Love.
Nakinti.

Nakinti B. Nofuru
2013 VOF Correspondent
Reporter for Global Press Institute
Bamenda - Cameroon
Email: nakinti@globalpressinstitute.org
nakintin@yahoo.com

bitani's picture

to Miriam

Can you, also, pass my warmest regard and support to Miriam?! i am thinking if we (even if only me and you and anyone who's willing), write this lady letters of support and encouragement. I believe the victim of such a practice deserves all our support and encouragement; at least for speaking out to you!

Nakinti's picture

Thank you again Bitani

My dear,
Miriam will receive your greetings.
You are right that when she reads from us she will be strong, at least for the baby that she is carrying.
I am glad you understand exactly how victims feel...thank you again darling.
Sending you love, lots, from Cameroon

Nakinti B. Nofuru
2013 VOF Correspondent
Reporter for Global Press Institute
Bamenda - Cameroon
Email: nakinti@globalpressinstitute.org
nakintin@yahoo.com

Y's picture

Why do women continue to

Why do women continue to believe that we must become mothers in order to be of value? We can be fruitful and multiply our spirits in so many more ways.

Yvette

Nakinti's picture

My dear, socio-cultural

My dear, socio-cultural beliefs on the power of motherhood is very strong in Cameroon, and other countries most probably. We can be productive in several other ways, yes, but we need time to deconstruct our mindsets.
Thank you for your comments.
Nakinti

Nakinti B. Nofuru
2013 VOF Correspondent
Reporter for Global Press Institute
Bamenda - Cameroon
Email: nakinti@globalpressinstitute.org
nakintin@yahoo.com

Y's picture

You are so right about it

You are so right about it taking time. I am glad that you are starting the journey and encouraging others to do the same.

Yvette

Potter's picture

Your crusading voice

Nakinti, Your voice has exactly the right tone and passion to address this issue. Keep it up! You know what needs to be said and how to say it...LOUDLY and with persistence. Never give up. You have all of the sisterhood of World Pulse along with you!

Nakinti's picture

Thank you so, so much Potter

Oh Potter,
You sure understand exactly how I feel about this issue.
I can see through your mind and understand that you are sharing my pain and that of the women of my ethnic group.
I will never give up my sister, I know my World Pulse sisters are behind me.
Thank you dear, dear Potter for such consoling words...I really, really appreciate.
Love and love from Nakinti

Nakinti B. Nofuru
2013 VOF Correspondent
Reporter for Global Press Institute
Bamenda - Cameroon
Email: nakinti@globalpressinstitute.org
nakintin@yahoo.com

Hideko N.'s picture

Hummm, I am amazed by how

Hummm, I am amazed by how much women in Africa have to go through. It is plain brutal. At the same time I am amazed by how much women in Africa endure. You have experience in what you write about. You wrote not because you have this obligation but because it is driving you. I am happy to see it--and would love to see it in all writers and activists.

SWACIN Support Women & Children in Nigeria
tel: +81 88-696-5417 / 090-1173-9378
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email: info@swacin.com
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Nakinti's picture

Thank you Hideko

Hideko, hmmmmm,
You really have to say 'hmmmmm'
Women in my area have gone through a lot. It is PLAIN brutal as you say.
Just like they say women need to step into decision making tables because they understand their problems, I need to step into this because I know exactly what it is.
Thank you Hideko for the beautiful and encouraging comments.
Love.
Nakinti

Nakinti B. Nofuru
2013 VOF Correspondent
Reporter for Global Press Institute
Bamenda - Cameroon
Email: nakinti@globalpressinstitute.org
nakintin@yahoo.com

Tash's picture

Great work bringing me to

Great work bringing me to light with this issue, and while i honestly shun away from such things because i refuse to believe in them , this makes it more believable because you brought this story to light .I am now more interested in this subject and are open to carry out some off the books research on this, it has greatly interested me , all i can say is great job! very touching!

Kind Regards,
Patsy.

Nakinti's picture

Thank you Patsy!

Hello Patsy,
You seem like me...I never want to believe in such things, but a whole lot of people do believe in them.
My focus now is not to deny the fact that witchcraft exist, but to tell my community that all corpses of women who die in the humble process of bringing forth life should be treated with respect, and human rights.
They cannot proof that these women were witches, my sister.
I am glad to know that you would want to further research on this, I hope there were books written on this.
Honestly, I have never come across any book on this subject.
But if I come across one, my dear, I will send it to you immediately.
Can you share...what is the research about?
Love you dear.
Nakinti

Nakinti B. Nofuru
2013 VOF Correspondent
Reporter for Global Press Institute
Bamenda - Cameroon
Email: nakinti@globalpressinstitute.org
nakintin@yahoo.com

Tash's picture

Hey Nakinti! i merely want to

Hey Nakinti! i merely want to make a comparison with Uganda, see if its existent here! x

Kind Regards,
Patsy.

Sarah Whitten-Grigsby's picture

GRIPPING, Nakinti . . .

Dear Nakinti,

This piece of work is gripping and, out of absolute necessity, very graphic, as well as of course professionally and skillfully presented. Thank you.

The image of a birth mother being treated so horribly after dying during or immediately after giving birth is heartbreaking and pitiful. Such sorrow! Such grotesque injustice and complete disregard for women, for their loved ones, for their poor, dear bodies.

May we all speak out against the concept of any young mother being possessed by evil (witchcraft) in such a way that she -- a complete innocent, not to mention her innocent, beloved baby -- must die in this way and then be so dishonored. Surely there are physical, medical, scientific reasons for this, as there are for many phenomena. The superstition and fear inherent in this sort of belief defies reasoning with, unfortunately.

Your personal experience with sine magic, Nakinti, adds greatly to this piece, and I admire your honesty in telling that part of your life story. And I am so glad you have a son! I am heartbroken, however, to hear of Miriam's situation. May she find comfort.

This is a shocking testimonial and a desperately needed statement about the sort of extremely dangerous, antiquated thinking that continues to plague parts of our world.

With Support,

Sarah

Nakinti's picture

Sarah thank you

Dear Sarah,
You sure understand exactly what I was talking about.
In this my age, I can no longer stand to see women maltreated in such an unjust manner...What crime have we committed as woman.
The phrase "Because I am a women" comes back to my mind. Because I am a woman, a million negative things are happening to me
I can see from a distance, the end of this practice...my efforts will double.
Sarah, join me spiritually, and physically if you can, let's put an end to this practice.
With love and lots of love.
Nakinti.

Nakinti B. Nofuru
2013 VOF Correspondent
Reporter for Global Press Institute
Bamenda - Cameroon
Email: nakinti@globalpressinstitute.org
nakintin@yahoo.com

Sarah Whitten-Grigsby's picture

I am with you . . .

Dear Nakinti,

I am with you in spirit! And I hope to cross your path physically.

Love,

Sarah

usha kc's picture

Hi Nakinti, It's shocking

Hi Nakinti,
It's shocking and so serous. You did great job by raising this voice here.

keep it up dear.

Nakinti's picture

Thank you Usha!

Thank you Usha,
I will sure raise my voice everyday, all the time.
Love.
Nakinti

Nakinti B. Nofuru
2013 VOF Correspondent
Reporter for Global Press Institute
Bamenda - Cameroon
Email: nakinti@globalpressinstitute.org
nakintin@yahoo.com

orionisis's picture

So powerful

Nakinti,
I finally read your updated story and it is wonderful - such powerful and bravely personal writing. This is indeed a shocking and heart-breaking story to read in the year 2013. As a mother, I was especially alarmed and heart-broken to hear that Oroko women struggling in childbirth are sometimes abandoned by their midwives - abandoned in their greatest hour of helplessness and agony and terror for their beloved babies. This horrifying act is the greatest of evils and must certainly be a crime in Cameroon as it is in the US. Wouldn't those midwives think twice if some of their colleagues had been prosecuted and jailed for manslaughter and malpractice?

It was therefore very welcome to read the great news about the medical supplies from the Oroko Cultural Association, and also about the awareness-raising movie you are writing. It gives the reader an idea that people noticing and that there is hope something can be done about it. I also love the picture and the caption you provided. Picturing a woman who would be dead if she had fallen victim to this terrible tradition really drives your point home.

What an amazing woman and writer you are! This story is very powerful, and I am glad so many in the World Pulse community are reading it and responding.

Much love, Orion

Nakinti's picture

Thank you Orion

Dear Orion,
It is shocking that women go through hell on earth in this era.
I must fight this fight till the end.
Thank you Orion for the words of encouragement, I appreciate.
Love.
Nakinti

Nakinti B. Nofuru
2013 VOF Correspondent
Reporter for Global Press Institute
Bamenda - Cameroon
Email: nakinti@globalpressinstitute.org
nakintin@yahoo.com

pelamutunzi's picture

what must we do

the things we do to be accepted are difficult. im glad you have a child now but shudder to think of what dangers lay your way just because of wicked cultural practises. praying for this madness to end and for women to be respected as they bring life into the world. your voice is important and much needed in this difficult work keep up the spirit. with you in our thoughts and prayers

we may be powerless to stop an injustice but let there never be a time we fail to protest.
regards
pela

Nakinti's picture

My dear Pelamutunzi, You are

My dear Pelamutunzi,
You are right...I am also super glad that I sailed through the difficulty and had a child. I am proud of him.
At the same time, I am sad for some women who have not been able to overcome this difficult situation.
I promise them that I will be their Voice, their Lawyer, their Eyes and Ears, and their everything, until this dehumanizing shit comes to a final end.
Thanks Pela for using your voice to give me courage, I am happy.
Love.
Nakinti

Nakinti B. Nofuru
2013 VOF Correspondent
Reporter for Global Press Institute
Bamenda - Cameroon
Email: nakinti@globalpressinstitute.org
nakintin@yahoo.com

Greengirl's picture

Hmmmmm, Nakinti!

The first time I read this post I barely had time to leave a comment; may be I was even too shocked and lost for words. So today, having so much time on my hands, I chose to read the story again. My dear sister, friend and neighbour, I realised that after that first read, the story stuck!

I am dazed that in this age and time, some people are still held captive by an age long life destroying cultural believe that should have been long abolished. You sure did an expert job painting a tragic story while still beaming that ray of hope that is embedded in your loud and passionate voice.

You are on the right track woking day and night to end the bizzare and pathetic practice.

My heart and prayers are with you!

Lots of love and support,
Greengirl

Nakinti's picture

Darling greengirl, I

Darling greengirl,
I understand your pain. You deserve to be shocked. You deserve to run short of words.
Myself, I cannot believe such custom is still alive in this age, right under my nose.
The fight is on sis...let's put hands together!
Love
Cameroon

Nakinti B. Nofuru
2013 VOF Correspondent
Reporter for Global Press Institute
Bamenda - Cameroon
Email: nakinti@globalpressinstitute.org
nakintin@yahoo.com

kelley Black's picture

Incredible What Women Endure

Dear Nakinti -

Thank you for sharing your personal experience of the impact of these beliefs on women. Please continue to educate on this topic and on the multitude of sound medical reasons that women struggle to get pregnant and also die during birth.

By educating people on why this practice needs to end. How can you help inform people in such a way that they are able to refute beliefs that no longer serve. What are these beliefs costing the community and those that engage in these practices (the men as well as the women). Surely it is costing both genders on a deep level.

with Love and Light,
Kelley

Nakinti's picture

Dear Kelley Black, I will

Dear Kelley Black,
I will continue to raise awareness and advocate on this topic.
It is time women be respected for who they are and what they become given their biology.
I can stand to see this continue to happen...not anymore.
I will need your thoughts too on this...what do you think can be done aside advocacy? Let me know your thoughts.
I plan to take this fight to another level.
Waiting to hear from you Kelley.
Love.
Nakinti

Nakinti B. Nofuru
2013 VOF Correspondent
Reporter for Global Press Institute
Bamenda - Cameroon
Email: nakinti@globalpressinstitute.org
nakintin@yahoo.com

Dear Nakinti

I applaud your commitment level to raising awareness on this topic. And, I agree regarding everything you mention above.
I think it's really important to involve men in the advocacy and to educate them on why it is important for the society as a whole for these practices to shift. It becomes too polarizing when the men are left out I believe but that is just my humble opinion. Let me know if it resonates with you.

To have these practices shift it will be very important to raise the consciousness of both men and women. and, a strong educational campaign that is honoring of the culture so people do not feel diminished.

Can you think of a man in your life or professional sphere who might be open to discussing this topic and hearing your viewpoint? You need a powerbase of men and women who are all influencing on this topic.

Hope this is helpful. Let me know how you are doing and if this resonates with you.

With Love and Light,
Kelley

Nakinti's picture

Thank you Kelley

Dear Kelley,
Brilliant proposal.
We sure have to include men when attempting to tackle women and gender issues...for they are part of the problem.
I am now thinking of a way to fully integrate men in this fight, fully.
Thank you Kelley for such thoughtful proposal.
Love.
Nakinti

Nakinti B. Nofuru
2013 VOF Correspondent
Reporter for Global Press Institute
Bamenda - Cameroon
Email: nakinti@globalpressinstitute.org
nakintin@yahoo.com

kelley Black's picture

Including men in the discussion

Hi Nikinti

Glad the proposal is helpful. Keep in mind that just as men are part of the problem they in equal measure must be part of the solution. Otherwise things will not evolve and shift to a higher consciousness and shift in behaviors. Let me know if there is anything else I can do to help. I suggest finding one man who can hear you and then get him to help discus with other men.

Love,
Kelley

Pushpa Achanta's picture

Unique story

Dear sister,

Thanks for your courageous piece. Sadly, women in a few parts of India are tormented for alleged witchcraft. I sometimes wonder if attitudes towards various genders are regressing although they're progressing apparently!

Continue the powerful expression.

Love,
Pushpa

Nakinti's picture

Thank you dear Pushpa, Women

Thank you dear Pushpa,
Women all over the world suffer differently...for sure.
As I fight for the Oroko women in Cameroon, I hope you join forces to fight for the women of India.
It is time women enjoy their full human rights and freedoms.
Thank you Pushpa for adding your voice to this discussion.
Love.
Nakinti

Nakinti B. Nofuru
2013 VOF Correspondent
Reporter for Global Press Institute
Bamenda - Cameroon
Email: nakinti@globalpressinstitute.org
nakintin@yahoo.com

Maura Bogue's picture

Powerful

This is a brave and heartbreaking article about a topic most likely new to a lot of people, Nakinti. You write in a personal and captivating way, and featuring the phone call in your narrative lead is a great way to grab the reader's attention. One point I'd love to know more about is what happened after the baby was born. Did people stop thinking you "have swine"? Maybe something to mention!

Nakinti's picture

Thank you Maura!

Dear Maura,
My heart sweetens when ever you mention I have done well...it feels like I have passed a big exam.
I cannot for sure say I did this on my own, it is thanks to the coaching I have had from you for close to 2 years.
My success is for sure your doing.
Ok, on whether people stopped thinking I had 'swine' after the baby was born...Yes, people actually stopped thinking I had swine.
With this custom, the bottom-line is 'if you have swine, you cannot bear children successfully, if you do have a child successfully, then it is believed you were, for sure, delivered traditionally at home in the presence of the woman who initiated you into swine. This is because this woman uses magical means to control the birthing process. Most often, mothers are accused of initiating daughters.
For me, I put to bed in the town of Buea, far away from my parents home. At the time, I was living with the parents of my boyfriend. And, I was delivered in a modern hospital with modern, trained midwives.
The truth is, the birth of my son cleared my name, once and for all. No body ever imagined that I was a witch, I never heard about it again.
Maura, thank you dear for making me mention this. I am sure it is a very important part of the story. I wish I could have mentioned this in the article. All the same, thank you darling.
With a million hugs and kisses, love you.
Nakinti

Nakinti B. Nofuru
2013 VOF Correspondent
Reporter for Global Press Institute
Bamenda - Cameroon
Email: nakinti@globalpressinstitute.org
nakintin@yahoo.com

Leina's picture

OMG!Nakinti,this is really an

OMG!Nakinti,this is really an indepth to this matter.I trust your pen sister! .Good job.This is an eye opener to the peril of Maternal Mortality in Cameroon.I can`t imagine how some of these myths are taken so seriously right up to these days.I labored with my last child for two days.If I were somewhere in Oroko I should have been tagged a swine witch and left to die.OMG plus I have a lot of flesh on me.lol!Thank you for shedding light to this important issue.How about a video documentary on this topic?Keep it up sister,so proud of you!
Hugs,
Leina

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