Pulling is a choice

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Added 19th February 2020 05:28 PM

Why don’t we just leave people to pull if they want to?

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Ladies visiting the bush.

Why don’t we just leave people to pull if they want to?

By Charity M. Ngabirano
The light knock at my door that Sunday morning sounded unusual, and startled me out of bed. I panicked, wondering if everything was alright. I quickly grabbed a lesu, and headed for the door knob, carefully jumping over a pile of laundry that needed folding from about three weeks ago.
I was not prepared for what met me that morning. There stood my ssenga, bending over a couple of magazines, with her right leg comfortably hoisted on a stool.
I shrunk. I had gone to bed early the previous night, so I had no idea she had even come over. I wondered what exactly had necessitated her early morning appearance at my door.
She cut through my confusion: “So, can I come in? I have a few things to tell you.” Ho! More confusion. 
eople attending a senga sessionPeople attending a Ssenga session recently.
A few things from her, meant being stuck in the same room for hours on end. Her “few things” were always lengthy.
Once we were settled into the most comfortable positions each could find, she started: “Mpozi, how old are you now?” I responded without any hesitation, but with lots of where exactly is this going?
Then she dropped the bomb: “So, have you visited the bush, yet? Now here I had to sit up and carefully consider my next words.
If I said no, she’d go on and on with a lecture on the importance of this activity, how it is done and emphasize the reasons over and over again. And yet I also thought maybe if I said yes, she’d ask to check my progress.
But before I could choose which side to fall on, she asked: “But do you know what it means?” I nodded, and went ahead to support my answer with a story from school. I ended the story by affirming that indeed, this sweet daughter of hers, who sat right across, looking so ready for marriage, was efficiently equipped for that side of life. She was elated.
 eaceutuuzotheinisterofstateforgenderlabourandsocialdevelopment1jpg Peace Mutuzo, Minister of State for Youth and Cultural Affairs.


She thanked me continuously for taking care of myself as a proper woman ought to. I was super glad when mom came by, smiling sheepishly, and cut this session short with her breakfast announcement. “I will come back and we talk more.
I have to make sure you are well prepared for the future because if you are not, then I am to  blame.” I smiled, embarrassed.
At breakfast, I couldn’t look at her. I couldn’t look at mom. I had a number of questions.
Was mom in on this ambush? How come she had never talked to me about these things by herself? Were these bush visits really necessary?
Would I fail to get married, really, let alone fail to give birth normally? Up to now, I don’t understand the use of these elongated things. I have failed to figure out which length is even better since some people have extremely long ones that are rumored to be the length of a belt.  

Ladies in the bush.

However, in all this circus, I have never had a problem with ladies that choose to pull their things. I am only perturbed by the ones who force young girls to go to ‘the bush’, for ridiculous reasons.

These girls grow up thinking that they are always supposed to work hard to impress a man — endure pain so he can have something to play with for pleasure. Why don’t we just leave people to pull if they want to.

Probably after you have figured out whether you really want to or not, then you can go for it. But this business of having older women, some of whom have failed in their own marriages, drag young girls into these unusual marriage preparations, should stop. Let the girl pull in peace, if she wants to.
If I do not want to change my body part to fit an ideal, then let me be. Don’t force me into the bush, I will visit when I want! Plus, y’all should also stop putting FGM and this bush practice in the same bracket. People out there have heaps of praises for these elongated things.
They have lived the experience and can even stage a demonstration if anyone talks ill of the practice.I’m just here wondering what the men do in preparation for marriage. But what do I know? While some of us are increasing length, other communities elsewhere are cutting them. Life!


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