Never again will I be the face of suffering

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“A story of two different worlds but similar mission”

Surely women carry more than babies and water, they carry innovations, development and great ideas we just need to give them a level playing ground and Yes this world has great untapped resources i.e. Girls and women.

Two weeks before heading to Copenhagen for the Women deliver conference I was traversing West Pokot County in Kenya for the #EndFGMPokotRoadshow  courtesy of The Guardian Global Media Campaign to END FGM.  The above quotes from the Opening ceremony of the #WD2016 are less applicable in this terrain.  FGM is a real issue here and child marriages happen on daily basis. Women literally carry babies and water here.

                #MenENDFGM   @TonyMwebia quenching thirst during the #EndFGMPokotRoadshow


In Copenhagen the environment was completely different, no sleeping in Make shift houses and being burnt by scorching sun. No riding in difficult terrain on top of a pickup doing community sensitization and community dialogues. Smooth rides metro trains and shuttles. Ooh My!  “Is this heaven on earth or what!”, that’s what kept lingering on my mind.

  #MenENDFGM @TonyMwebia at Bella Centre attending #WD2016


I was almost forgetting what had brought me to Denmark until I visited the exhibition booths by different organization. In every booth there were photos of an African, Asian, Arab or Latino. The photos were mainly of women and children showing different suffering that they go through on daily basis to make ends meet.

This got me thinking deeply the African women and children on display are my Aunts, sisters, Cousins, Nephews and Nieces from another mother. Now the question was, “Do I represent the face of suffering?”  . Yes I do is the answer and I am not proud of it.  No hard feeling most of the displays depict the reality in Africa. Women and children bare most of the suffering in times of war; they are targets of retrogressive cultures of FGM and Child Marriages among other harsh conditions.

They say you can’t save the world, but also say change begins with you and me, you need not to have medals or be honored internationally to bring change. The little you do can go a long way in bringing change in your community.

As I sit down writing this piece I am in tears for the girls who are undergoing Female Genital Mutilation In the whole world. In most cases FGM act as a prerequisite for Child marriage. I know I can’t do everything but I will do the little I can in my beloved country Kenya.

I begin by calling upon all men from all the communities in Kenya and the world in general to give women a chance. Surely women can deliver more than babies. More than half of the world is populated by youths hence I call my fellow youths to join me in the fight against FGM. Remember if we said no to traditional harmful practices as youths we are bound to achieve an FGM free generation that we so much yearn for.

I hope that my fellow Youth scholarship recipients’ share   my views and vow never again to be the face of suffering. If everyone does the little they can this world will be a better place for sure. To me going to the #WD2016 turned out to be a mission and not a tour. I pray to God to give me strength as I implement whatever knowledge I gained.

You may think going to the conference was a smooth ride for me. Not at all am on the verge of losing my Job since I could not allow someone to go on my behalf. Africa killed its son I say. Since when did scholarships become transferable??? My boss can’t understand that and she had to make that demand…. That’s a story for another day. What I have learnt is youths need not to be modest in their demands they need to be firm. Youths need not to be recipients’ of policies they need to be makers of the policies.

Thank you so much to The Women Deliver for showing me the way. Thank you to those who believe in me, and more so thank you to my Parents for bringing me up and making me believe I can do it. Finally thank you God for the gift of life, health and brains.

I rest my Case its @TonyMwebia on twitter

Tony Mwebia

Tony Mwebia

Gender Equality Advocate, Writer, Activist & Consultant

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