How many activists can say that they’ve inspired a group of teenagers to write a song about them?
Efua Dorkenoo, globally recognised as the mother of the FGM movement, worked for more than 30 years toward protecting women and girls against the practice of FGM. To us, the young people of Integrate Bristol, Efua was an inspiration, a friend, and above all, she was always there when we needed her.
I remember the first time I met Efua properly – we were about to start the first performance of our play, ‘My Normal Life’ and Efua was going to be on the panel discussion afterwards. She arrived looking glorious, her glowing African skin contrasting with the beautiful, long and elaborate white dress. She looked at least 20 years younger than her age and her smile lit up the whole room.
In spite of her busy schedule, Efua came to our events time and time again. But her real loyalty shone through when we faced at times fierce opposition in the early days of our campaign. She said it how it was. She said it to their faces. She said it to us. ‘Just kick it’, she’d say. And we did.
So this song is for you Mama Efua, with all our love, our gratitude, and our admiration. It carries a promise: we will keep up the fight, we will keep your fire burning until girls everywhere are free, fearless, happy and safe.
Article by: Najmo Mahdi