45-Year-Old Esther Nyamusi knows the pain of Female Genital mutilation (FGM) having undergone the painful cut at the tender age of nine.

She spoke to the Nairobian about the pain of undergoing FGM saying that she has never enjoyed sex and has no idea how it feels like to ‘be on cloud nine’.

Nyamusi was widowed a few years ago. She said that sometimes “she felt like an object since she had no feelings whatsoever. The only time I had sex with him was when I wanted to conceive”.

“My clitoris was removed and that removed any sensation of pleasure during sex. I have four children. It was such a painful process giving birth,” said Nyamusi.

“For a long time, I was really angry with my grandmother who pushed me to face the cut. It was our culture and refusing meant I was going to be an outcast.”

When she was of age, Nyamusi became a traditional circumciser. She and other five women in her Manga village carried out the archaic practice for six years.

“We were paid between Sh200 and Sh500 per child. This was mainly done after schools closed. I regret what I did to those girls, but thankfully, I saw the light,” she said.

Driven by the guilt, Nyamusi joined the Manga Herat Centre for Community Mobilisation, a non-governmental organisation dealing with gender-based issues, including FGM in Nyamira.

“When I interacted with some of the members, I realised I was not alone. Most of these women confessed how painful the cut was. To date, they are still traumatised,” she disclosed.

“We should not intimidate our girls, they should be allowed to live a godly life and have an alternative rite of passage. We have a predominantly cultural community, but we should not live in the yoke of primitive beliefs.”