Nice Nailantei Leng’ete will never forget the first time ‘cutting season’ came around in her Kenyan village. She and her elder sister Soila ran away and hid in a tree all night. It was dark and they were petrified. They were just eight and 10 years old. “‘We have to run, it will be worth it,’ I said to my sister,” Ms Leng’ete, now 27, told i. “I was scared.
I was thinking, will they find me there and force me to go through FGM [Female genital mutilation]? I was worried that I might die, or if I did not die I would not be able to go back to school and I would be married.” For Maasai families, the cutting ceremony is a celebration that’s considered a necessary part of raising a girl, and a way to prepare her for adulthood and marriage.
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