Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

THE PAIN OF A BITTER-SWEET LOVE NEST

September 21, 2014
Reads :5193

JABOU AND SAM POLEL

JABOU AND SAM POLEL

Sam Polel is not handsome but has striking features and wore an aura of a likable personality. To some of his sceptics, he is a player. His friends, on the other hand, envied him, as been a ladies man. Anywhere Sam Polel goes, ladies fall for him like dry leaves fly from a tree branch in a windy afternoon. Unlike most of his friends, he pays meticulous attention to his appearance. He will never leave his house without first ascertaining the colours of his dress fall in perfect matching order and loves carrying a mesmerizing flagrance. Sam Polel is slender and of a medium height with a shiny ebony skin. His best mate, Demfadou, is squared-shoulder, muscular and has an oval face with carefully chiselled high cheekbones and a pointed nose. He has a light skin and striking eyes almost feminine-like. His tall posture is erectly pencilled and accentuated prominently by his flat stomach. Demfadou’s enviable statue always stands him out like a lone star among his friends. Despite his magnetic looks, he is shy and lacks confidence in approaching and wooing women.

Demfadou with all his good looks is not lucky when it comes to women. “Polel”, he fondly addresses his best mate, “do you think something is not right with me?” he caught Sam Polel off guard with his rhetoric query. “What…what do you mean by that?” challenged Polel sheepishly. “Well, you almost get every girl you want and I seem to run out of luck with them yet I am more handsome than you. Please let me into your secret”, cajoled Demfadou. “Don’t be silly Dem. Perhaps you are just going after the wrong ones”, laughed Sam Polel. “This isn’t funny. I am utterly serious”, retorted Demfadou. “Listen Mawdo Pullo, this is really beyond my understanding. Honestly, I thought you were just on again with one of your many silly jokes. What happens to Sibo anyway?” demanded Polel scoldingly. “Please don’t go there. Guess what? She is head over heels with you. She decided to go out with me only because she has eyes for you and thought she will eventually make you fall for her too”, he lamented sadly. “Seriously, you are losing it Mawdo. How can you even come up with such a laughable thought? Are you out of your mind?” charged Sam Polel. “Maybe you are right, I am out of my mind but I can’t remember when I was sectioned. She confessed her feelings to me last night when you left us at the house”, revealed Demfadou. “You know what, don’t let her drowned you in an ocean of rejection. You will soon meet your soul mate”, Polel reassured his mate.

Jabou, Nyakoi’s colleague, is a tall, very pretty and light-skinned Mandingo girl almost passing for a Fulani. She is every man’s dream woman, slender, curvy hips and a carefully notched round butt. Her charming face is dotted with two piercing gorgeous eyes and a leaned pointed nose. Whenever Jabou smiles, her velvety and succulent lips retreat like ebbing waves revealing a set of evenly arranged whitish teeth which illuminate against her smooth light skin like soothing stars in a milky way. What is even more beguiling about her is the dimples that surfaces on her cheeks every time she smiles giving her a flawless gorgeous look. Most girls endowed with similar beauty radiate a pugnacious arrogance around them but Jabou is down to earth, approachable and very sociable.

Nyakoi, Sam Polel’s girlfriend, is nick-named by her friends as Lux, a bandit version for local or uncivilized. However, she is blessed with rare inviting features and a bubbly personality. She is mediumly built with a flawless face. Her two greatest features are her full lips and even boobs which most women will go out of their way to have. These are complimented by a perfect glossy ebony skin. Her smile is equally contagious. Nyakoi wears an imperturbable attitude which wins her many associates. Both Nyakoi and Jabou are successful bankers. They are not the closest of friends but share the circle of friends and hang out from time to time. Their friendship is purely centred on when they need one another. For instance, Jabou likes going to the pictures but doesn’t fancy going alone and Nyakoi sometime needs a shoulder to cry on which Jabou is always ready to offer.  Jabou, on the one hand is a party girl while Nyakoi, on the other hand, pays little or no attention to her looks and despises parties. Albeit it she is a banker and meet many dignitaries often, her dress code is well below standard. As a result, Sam Polel often goes to parties and functions without her.

“Jabou, I have noticed how Polel eyes you. Perhaps you may find it weird but I would like to hook you two up”, suggested Nyakoi. “What do you take me for? I appreciate we are not close but at least we are work colleagues and often hang out together. I would be lying to say I don’t fancy Sam but how will the others see me if they find out that I am now seeing him?” Jabou asked quizzically. “What is more important, your personal happiness or other people’s opinion about you? Listen darling, whatever you do in this world, some people will interpret it differently. Some will even go to an extend of fabricating despicable stories about you. Yes, they will talk and say all kind of stuff about you and him but at the end of the day your personal happiness comes first. Moreover, they will not continue to talk forever”, encouraged Nyakoi. “Tell me girlfriend what actually drove this crazy idea into your head all of a sudden?” demanded Jabou. “It is said all that glitters is not gold. Polel and I have been going out for some time now but the truth is we are not an item as most of you perceived. As a result, I don’t want to continue holding onto him with a thin hope that things will work out between us one day. That day will never come. Consequently, it is not fair on him for me to hold him back from pursuing his happiness. I have been observing you too for a while and realize that you two are definitely perfect for each other”, explained Nyakoi. “Just hold it there. I will not feel comfortable with him in as much as I want him, it is just not right girlfriend”, countered Jabou. “You know what, this is a done deal. I will speak to Polel about it later and I insist that you two give it a go. It may be hard for both of you at the beginning but eventually you will get over it. Happiness is paramount darling”, concluded Nyakoi.

“Babe, you not looking all yourself today is anything the matter?” inquired Sam Polel. “No, not at all Polel. I have been seriously thinking about us lately and it is about time we accept the fact that it will never work between us”, began Nyakoi. “Are you seeing someone?” demanded Sam angrily. “Just drop it. How could you of all people think so low of me after all these years we have been together? I am not seeing anyone. I am different between you because I refused to live in denial. We both know that we have reached the end of the road of our relationship. Just look how stressed we get with each other over simple things, Sam”, reasoned Nyakoi. “I have been thinking too but we can still work things out darling,” Sam tried to explained. “There is nothing left between us to salvage. It has burnout itself can’t you see the obvious? Stop acting like the proverbial ostrich and face your demon, Sam”, challenged Nyakoi. “I know but we can still figure a way out”, began Sam. “I have spoken to Jabou at length today. Both of us know you two are an item and I would love you to get together for your personal happiness”, suggested Nyakoi. “Oh, hell no you are definitely talking blah blah. How can I break up with you and hock up with your friend?” asked Sam sheepishly. “Jabou and I are work colleagues and even if we were best friends, I am not selfish. You two will be great and happy together instead of us continuing to be stuck with one another. You are neither happy nor am I. At least if you get together, we will all eventually be happy and to me that is what really matters”, countered Nyakoi.

After what seems to be a never ending persuasion and counter argument, Nyakoi finally prevailed over both Jabou and Sam Polel to get together as couple. However, the new couple agreed to keep their new found love under rap and cover until they are both ready to go public.

Sulayman Jeng, Birmingham, UK

AMADOU’S BRUSH WITH INJUSTICE

August 30, 2014
Reads :5229
BABILI MANSA

BABILI MANSA

Amadou is a very shy but upright man who resides in Kankary Kunda. He alerts and avails himself to the needs and aspirations of his community particularly those who are in dire need of financial and moral support. Albeit he most often goes the extra mile to be there for anyone that requires his assistance in one form or another, he is also conscious of not overstepping his moral and religious obligations. He treats all his neighbours equally. Amadou is so generous that he is dotingly nicknamed Mobayta by his friends and family. His house was never short of visitors. His family especially the little ones could not understand why he has so many visitors day in and day out. At one point, it was highly rumoured that he was aspiring for a political position. Soon it dawned on his friends and family that Amadou nurses no political ambition. His best and childhood friend, Samba once confronted him: “Ams why are you so unwittingly generous?” Amadou was taken aback by Samba’s unexpected rhetoric question. For a while he was quiet battling to figure out the right answer to his friend’s query. As if Samba has forced him to plunge into a deep reality check pool, his mind exploded with conflicting reasons. Some painted him as a fool who deprived his family only to help others who do not even appreciate his kindness while others glorified him as a man who gives to his community without expecting any returns. After what seems an unending silence, Amadou finally found his voice and replied: “One who does not live for his community is never missed by its”.

 As Director of the Department of Care and Hospitality, Amadou is always mindful of not mixing business with pleasure. Consequently, he admonished all his friends and family that his office is purely for official matters; anyone who has a personal issue should come to his house instead. Those who could not draw a line between business and personal matters saw him as a martinet and a very strict person. Some of his colleagues at work who often entertain their friends and families at work considered him as the bad apple in the bag. Word soon started going round the department that he was cold and callous. Anytime he walks the corridors of the department, chilling whispers followed his footsteps. Once in a while he summons some of his junior staff to caution them about using their offices for personal issues such as allowing their friends to abuse the office telephones. Furthermore, he established a very strict break system for his department which curbed down the amount of time wasted by some of his staff loitering in and out of office during official hours without reason. This earned him a handful of scheming foes. Whenever he is at work; the idle one feels unease. They tried everything possible to influence him. One of such was to set him up with charming girls. Anytime he was alone in his office, they will send in a very beautiful girl provocatively dress to charm him. Again this failed abysmally to their greatest disappointment. When it became clear that it was not possible to seduce him, they spread another story that he was so scared of his wife that he could not look at another woman. Some even went further to conclude that his wife’s marabou has turned him blind to other women. Their every effort to bring him on board failed.

One day, the Seyfo of Kankary Kunda gave a new decree that every fortnight everyone in Kankary Kunda must attend his Mansa bengo. The Mansa bengo was an occasion to while away time, fornicate and waste community resources. It was also a moment for merry making by wining and dining with the Seyfo. Loud music from various cultural groups of Kankary Kunda fills its airs. The Seyfo dressed in a white kaftan sits under a makeshift shed surrounded by his “Konsin mbaroos”-security guards and council of elders. The Konsin mbaroos carried strange weapons which mesmerised the people. The Seyfo, Afang Karamo Kankuntu Nyapinkang Jaralaa Mansa, smiled as he browsed through the huge crowd. His gaze lingered on a very beautiful young girl before his scary face broke into a devilish smile. He then turned and whispered to his chief security. He took a bundle of cash and handed it to his guard to give to his latest prey-the charming young face in the crowd. Amadou was not happy which what was going on. He promised himself that he will not attend the next Mansa bengo. He could not understand how the Seyfo could be so lavish when most of his people were languishing in abject poverty. As he drifted into a captivating day dream, he recollected his father demanding “What kind of a neighbour will go to bed with a full stomach while his neighbour goes with an empty and crying stomach?” Suddenly, he was catapulted back to reality with a nauseating uproar by the crowd and saw the Seyfo dancing like a Nfanbondi.

In his train of thoughts, he wondered if as little as quarter of the resources spent on the Mansa bengo was used to build good road networks, it will go a long way to harness travelling between the wards of Kankary Kunda. It will also make it easy for traders to transport their products from one market place to another. Once the economy booms, the health sector will also be improved since the educational sector is being looked after by the Toubaboo. He decided to suggest that to the Alkali of Seyfo Kunda since he was also overseeing his department. Perhaps the Alkali will also suggest the same to the Seyfo. On a second thought he decided to keep his idea to himself less he is perceived as anti-establishment.

The next Mansa bengo was observed without Amadou. This did not go down well with the Seyfo. He called his Alkali and thundered: “I knew it…Yes, I knew it…Amadou is a very bad citizen. He is one of my enemies. Why didn’t he grace the last Mansa bengo?”The Alkali tried to reason what might compelled Amadou not to attend the Mansa bengo. He said, perhaps, Amadou was either ill or out of town. “No!” roared the Seyfo “I know he is planning a plot against me. But I will teach him a lesson.” At that point the Alkali kept his peace and let the Seyfo continue to rattle. Shortly after the Alkali left his office, the Seyfo rang the Kebba of Nyapinkang Agency and ordered for the immediate arrest and detention of Amadou.

As soon as the Seyfo hung up on the other side, Kebba of Nyapinkang Agency began bobbing up and down his lavish office contemplating whether to carry out the Seyfo’s order. He knew Amadou as a very righteous, generous and caring man who commands a lot of respect from the community. Arresting him will spell gross misappropriation of justice. Furthermore, it will depict him as a puppet and unpatriotic who abets in the miscarriages of justice. On the hand, if he fails to arrest and detain Amadou as ordered by the Seyfo, he will not only lose his job but also might equally be arrested, detained and tortured. Either choice has damning consequences, he observed. He took a deep breath and caressed his nose unconsciously as a thought flashed like a lightening in his clouded mind. “Why didn’t I think of that before?” he heard himself thinking aloud. He took his private cell and phone Amadou. “What a pleasant surprise”, Amadou said from the other end. “Listen Na Kebba, we don’t have much time to waste on pleasantries. I have just received an order for your arrest from the Seyfo but I am giving you enough time to ready yourself and run for your safety”, countered Kebba of Nyapinkang Agency. At least, thinking this time he has done the right thing. “Are you out of your mind? How can I abscond and leave my family behind beside that will only confirm I have committed a crime. No, I am not going anywhere. You go ahead and execute the order”, Amadou sternly maintained. “Perhaps, Na Kebba, for once put your family before righteous. If you leave now, you will settle before you even realize and then arrange for your family to join you. But if you remain adamant and subsequently get arrested, tortured and/or even killed, who will look after the same family you talking about?” he tested Amadou.

“Hello…Hello…Amadou, are you still there?” as the long silence grew. Amadou was thinking of what Kebba of Nyapinkang just told him. Yes, it makes a lot of sense. Whatever choice he made, his family will be without him until God knows when. Should he run away as suggested by Kebba of Nyapinkang or should he stay and dare the devil he thought. “Yes, hello. I am still here, just thinking of my options”, he said when he finally found his voice. “Listen, Na Kebba, time is against us. Just go please”, he begged Amadou. “In as much as I would love to, my gut is telling me to stay and face whatever awaits me. Thanks so much for your kindness”, Amadou concluded and hang up. “Stupid!” he roared and banged his mahogany executive desk upsetting it neat and beautiful flower vases, pens, photos and files. “Are you okay boss?” queried his slender and charming young secretary as she walked majestically into his office. “Do I look like I am?” he snapped at her. “Oh darling”, she said soothingly as she wrapped her tender arms around him and planted her succulent lips on his. The touched of her moist and tender lips and her pleasant fragrance vehicle him to cloud seven and shortly brushing Amadou’s issue into the bin of his mind.

A loud knock on the door jolted them from their erotic position. “Come in please”, Kebba said reluctantly straightening his suit as he walks to stand behind his desk pretending to dictate a memo for his secretary. His deputy walked in looking very flustered. “Kelefa, what is it again? Whatever it is, let it wait. Now go and get two officers and pick up Amadou for detention”, he dismissed Kelefa with a wave of hand. Kelefa’s lights up with the order like a child seeing his father sing and almost run out his boss’s office. Kelefa is always excited by orders of arresting people especially the likes of Amadou.

Sulayman Jeng, UK

DEATH IS ANNOUNCED OF CALIPH GENERAL ALHAGIE BA MASIREH JABBIE

August 26, 2014
Reads :2571
CALIPH ALH BA MASIREH JABBIE

CALIPH ALH BA MASIREH JABBIE

INNA LILLAHI WA INNA ILAYHI RAJI’UN

It is with regret and heavy heart that Kibaaro News announces the departure of Alhagie Ba Masireh Jabbie, Caliph General of Jarra Sutukung. The Caliph General answered to Allah’s call, surely to whom we belong and to Him shall we return, today at Sutukung Jabbie Kunda. He was son to the late Karang Sambou Lamin Jabbie. The departed took over from Alhagie Ba Gimbo who also inherited the Caliphate from Alhagie Karamba Sotokoi. Alhagie Karamba succeeded Alhagie Seedia who took over the Caliphate from Kang Dembo a successor of the great Sambou Lamin. Alhagie Ba Masireh will be inherited by Alhagie Wahab Jabbie, one of the sons of the late Grand Marabou, Kang Sambou Lamin. May the departed souls abode in eternal peace at Janna.

A recitation of the Holy Quran will be performed at Birmingham this afternoon for the departed Caliph General by his disciples, friends and family.

We are backward because we have chosen to wear borrowed clothes – Sidia Jatta at Oslo Meeting

August 23, 2014
Reads :2862
Mr. Sidia Jatta

Mr. Sidia Jatta

Lamenting on the development pattern of Africa in general Mr. Sidia Jatta said the development of the wealthiest continent on earth in terms of natural resources is stagnant because we have chosen to wear borrowed clothes. He made a comparison between Ghana and Korea that five decades ago Ghana was at the same level with Korea in terms of development but as at now, Korea is flying upwards while Ghana’s economy is in shambles. He exclaimed “what is wrong with us”? And why is it that when other continents are going upwards we are retrogressive? He said one of the fundamental reasons is that we are using a foreign tongue which we are struggling to understand.

Mr. Jatta who have been campaigning for the local languages to be used in Gambia’s national assembly deliberations said what is happening in the Gambia and many African countries is a similitude of the novel “Animal Farm”. The constitution of the Gambia stipulates that all Gambians are equal but it is the same constitution that stipulates that you can’t be a president or parliamentarian unless you can speak English. This is outright discrimination Mr. Jatta charged. He argued that a good junk of the Gambian population don’t understand English so what is the essence of using English as a language of communication in the national assembly.

It does not makes sense for parliamentarians to discuss national issues in a language the people they are representing find it difficult to understand he buttressed. This is the secret of Africa’s underdevelopment. It is because we are using borrowed clothes. Even our presidents don’t fully understand the official language he is using. The Politician cum Linguist said we would continue to falter until the end of the world unless we put off those borrowed clothes. “Language is rooted in culture and you have to master that culture in order to master that language. Therefore subjecting our 3 years old kids to learning English is counterproductive. The above remarks were made in a meeting with Gambians at the Mosque in Grønnland, Oslo on Friday August 22nd 2014. Other issues discussed at the said meeting are; P.D.O.I.S’s agenda 2016 and the political landscape.

Mr.Jatta who is at the end of a two months European tour have had series of meetings with Gambians particularly in Scandinavia. Earlier on the veteran politician had seminars on youth mentorship and youth migration, the former organized by the Gambia Association in Oslo in collaboration with African Center for Information Development (ACID). He also had similar meetings and seminars in Sweden and Denmark.

“WULARAMANG BANTABA ASSOCIATION” HAS NOW BEEN OFFICIALLY REGISTERED AS A NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION

August 1, 2014
Reads :1887
BANTABA

BANTABA

The Wularamang Association, which brings you the radio talk show that continues to attract large audiences, has now been registered as a non-profit organisation in Sweden. “The organization holds an open door policy and welcomes interested individuals and other organizations that cherish our values irrespective of their ethnic, religious and political affiliation”, reveals its committee.

Speaking to Kibaaro News, Kebba Landing Sonko, Chair and President of the organisation declared “Wularamang Bantaba Association is purely a non-profit-making, non-sacred and non-partisan political organisation formed on the backdrop of promoting our African cultural heritage and NKO literature”.  Mr Sonko went on to reveal “membership of the organisation is open to all who embraced it ideals and strive to promote African cultural independent by proliferating our ancient African culture wherever we may be in the globe but at the same time upholding oriental and occidental cultures”.  

There is no obligation on listeners and contributors to the program on Kibaaro News Radio to become members of the “Wularamang Bantaba Association. However, membership in the association avails the individual rights to determine as well as veto the day to day running of the association. Listeners are reminded that once they subscribed to the Skype id: Princegambia, they become automatic members of the “Wularamang Kachaa Bantaba”, which is a radio talk show hosted by the association. Consequently, to become a member of the association, one has to formerly register and pay a certain membership fee to the “Wularamang Bantaba Association”

The membership fee which entitles the individual to full access, vote, and administrative rights in the association is pegged at 200 Swedish KR per annum which is subject to periodic review by the executive and approval of the general body of members. An equivalent amount in any other currency is payable into WBA’s following account:

Account Number 838169332184572

The name of bank:  Swedbank

MOMODOU SABALLY HAS FINALLY BEEN FIRED AND ARRESTED!

July 7, 2014
Reads :3724
DISGRACED MOMODOU SABALLY

THE DISGRACED MOMODOU SABALLY

BREAKING NEWS

BREAKING NEWS

Unmpeachable news reaching Kibaaro has confirmed that “The Mighty Pen” of Banjul, Momodou Sabally, has finally run out of ink. According to the State owned Radio and Television Service (GRTS) tonight 22:00 News edition read by Ndey Kumba Demba, Momodou Sabally has been fired and relieved off all cabinet duties with immediate effect. No reason was given apart from his sacking order was issued by the President. Sabally who was recently stripped off his SG and Minister of Presidential Affairs portfolios and redeployed as Minister of Higher Education is dumped by Jammeh who perceived him as “being too arrogant”. Last night he was spotted at the nefarious NIA headquarters in Banjul.

“It is highly predictable that” Sabally, “like some preceding functionaries who allegedly ran afoul of the dictatorial Jammeh regime, will soon be slammed with charges of negligence of duty and malfeasance” (The Gambia Echo). The disgraced former SG and Minister of Presidential Affairs cannot say that he was not forewarned by those he coined as “bad and irresponsible citizens tarnishing the image of the Gambia in the diaspora”. His doom was so obvious that even the blind could see it coming like a hurricane.

Many believed Dictator Jammeh was alluding to Sabally when he stated: “Arrogance would not be tolerated especially towards anybody more so towards your fellow ministers. You’ve a responsibility but you are not a lord of anybody. If you are given a responsibility and you think that you are so good that you decide when to be approached and when not to be approached, you are in the wrong place because my government is not meant for that.”

President Jammeh continued: “You are given a responsibility to serve the people of The Gambia whether you are the president, vice president, minister, permanent secretary or minister for Presidential Affairs. Whatever you are in this government, you are just a mere servant of the people of The Gambia for which our boss is the Almighty Allah.”

“You cannot be more president than the president himself, you cannot be more Muslim than the Prophet Mohammed (SAW) and so I see no reason why anybody would see his or her appointment as a license to show arrogance and bluff, it will not work in this government. I am humble because I know why because the Almighty Allah is the master and that He says that we should all be humble.  So one fundamental principle is the fact that we are servants of the people of this country and being servants we cannot be so arrogant or bluff, after all what is it? It is just a mere appointment. After all, all we have is just the position and Allah can take it at any time. Being president doesn’t mean I am better than anybody. I am appointed president to serve the people of The Gambia and humanity and that’s why we are here. Even if you are an Imam, you are appointed to serve the people, so if you think that you are better than anybody else you making a great mistake. Allah talks about being moderate in every verse of the Qur’an, being humble, approachable and reasonable. When you look at Suratul Asri, as short as it is, it is the one that determines your relationship with anybody. It defines who you are.”

 “We work together for the good of everybody in this country, so if you think you are better because you are appointed something else when you are not even the president, you are you just attracting the yellow card in addition to the red card because once I give you the yellow card, the next would be the red card. After all what is it, if we die, we going to be buried in the same soil like the beggars where even the lunatic is going to be buried. So what is the big deal about being a minister or secretary general? We are just the mere servant of the people and in the eyes we are all slaves, so let us work together as a family. Let us always wish each other well because in Cabinet we are a family. The truth will always prevail, I didn’t appoint anybody to suppress anybody or to look low upon on anyone,” he concluded.

Sabally’s fall from grace to amazing disgrace should be a wakeup call for those Gambian intellectuals craving for a pine of pleasure with Dictator Jammeh who is celebrated for using, shaming and dumping people after they accomplished his dirty jobs for him.

FGM TO BE INTRODUCED IN UK SCHOOLS’ CURRICULUM

July 4, 2014
Reads :726
AUTHOR: SARATA JABBI OF KIBAARO NEWS

AUTHOR: SARATA JABBI OF KIBAARO NEWS

HORRORS OF FGM

HORRORS OF FGM

BY: SARATA JABBI

The West Midlands police in collaboration with FORWARD yesterday organised a study day for West Midlands education professionals, at Lord knights suit, Tally Ho conference hall, Birmingham. The aim of the conference was to get school teachers to be more familiar with the consequences of FGM as well as to introduce it into their school curriculum so as to tackle the practice in the schools community.

In her Presentation on “Understanding the basics of FGM”, Alison Byrne, specialist midwife and FGM at Heartlands Hospital in Birmingham, highlighted types; terminology; cultural context of FGM and its health and social consequences. According to her, “FGM is harmful to girls and it lives with them till the end of their lives and gets even worst during pregnancy period and child birth. I receive lots of FGM survivor women weekly, who needs help at all cost”.

Hodo Ali, FGM survivor, also shared her ordeal story about the practice and called on everyone to try and protect girls from it as according to her it could leads to many health complications such as amenorrhea. “In most women with amenorrhea, the ovaries do not release an egg. Such women cannot become pregnant” she lamented.

Miss Ali went further to urge teachers to be very observance on the pupils at school.  Some of the pupils could change after a returned from summer holiday and any female pupil with a different mode should be given attention and questioned. She revealed, “As many girls become circumcised when they go on holidays outside UK.”

For her part, Detective Constable Gillian Squires of Public Protection Unit, West Midlands Police, appealed to the participant to render support in breaking the culture of silence and report any case of FGM. “This practice is still happening here in the UK, and all we need now is to protect the girls as FGM is a child abuse and should be reported and dealt with.” Detective Constable Squires, however, reveals that from 2001 to date they have been receiving numerous case referrals, and urged teachers to introduce FGM in schools; talk; engage the community and be confident in making referrals to the authorities.

During her presentation on “Responding to FGM”, Saria Khalifa, youth programme leader, FORWARD, said “FGM education should be introduced in schools with the aim of creating an open environment where pupils feel comfortable to discuss the problems they are facing”. Saria also informed the conference that there will be school programmes that would include staff training on FGM; student awareness sessions; youth friendly resources; parent sessions; supporting pupils to take part in the campaign; etc.

In her closing remark the Director of FORWARD, Naana Otoo-Oyortey, said their aim is to get FGM into schools, work with communities to raise awareness as some people she added don’t think the practice is wrong. “I think FGM is a hidden crime and continues to be a taboo to talk about but it’s time for someone to break the silent and eradicate this taboo”. She described communities as the key in ending FGM and called on their engagement to be championed by coming forward and working with them to end the practice. “I know some might be wondering that we (FORWARD/campaigners) have been here for long but we need to see a world free from FGM first before we can go”, she postulated.

She finally thanked all the participants for their time and contributions and urged them all to stand up firmly and work together to make change happen. Other speakers included Birmingham-Solihull Women’s Aid, Integrate Bristol, and individuals. The day was observed by lots of groups across the West Midlands.