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She looks frail. Her wrinkled hands show years of toil. But these hands have a different tale. For four decades girls as young as nine have had their femininity redefined.
She circumcised her own daughters and would still continue with the practice had the Government not outlawed the practice.
Nami Ntuyai Pelekai is among the few female circumcisers who have come public and decided to call it quits and abandon a job they considered sacred.
The woman, 63, was a respected member of the community in her Kilonit village, Kajiado County. But not anymore. Recently, the woman who has circumcised more than 400 girls in Kajiado decided to down her tool of trade. She is no longer a circumciser.
In a recent exclusive interview with The Standard On Saturday, Pelekai revealed how she joined the trade at age 19.
"I got married when I was age 10, and by the time I was 19, I started circumcising girls. My grandmother taught me how to do it and so I was following on her foot steps," she says.
The mother of nine, three sons and six daughters, who she circumcised, says were it not for the Government warning women to stop the practice or risk facing the law, she would still be sharpening her ormorunya (the circumcising knife).
"Many girls preferred I do the cut since the ones I attended to healed quickly. Within one week they were healed. I was and I’m still the village midwife," she recalls.
However, there were times when the girls she had circumcised would develop complications and would bleed profusely.
"Three years ago, there was a girl I attended to and she almost bled to death. We had to rush her to hospital, but I blamed it on her parents. They had not fed the child well," she adds.
Pelekai says she even taught her co-wife how to circumcise girls and every August and December holidays, she was rarely at her homestead.
"I would move from one village to another circumcising girls who will then be married off and that was my happiness since I transformed girls from children to women. I was respected in the society," she says.
Every year she would circumcise between ten to 15 girls during the holidays but sometimes she would be called when there was an emergency to do it. For instance, when a girl conceived before she was circumcised, Pelekai was called to initiate her.
"In Maasai culture, it was considered a taboo for a girl to conceive before being initiated. So when there was such a case, I would be called to circumcise and cleanse the girl," she adds.
Pelekai says girls as young as nine were ready to be initiated and married off. Some would even be married off before receiving their first menses.
"I was married off by my dad when I was 10. Most of the Maasai people are still practicing this culture of choosing a suitor for their daughter immediately she is born," she adds.
To Pelekai and her colleagues, the Children Act (2001), has only made things hard for them.
"I used to be paid Sh1,000 per girl and received lots of gifts like traditional brew, maize, chicken but now there is nothing like that," she adds.
Female circumcision is mainly practiced in the name of tradition and culture, as an initiation rite. A number of other reasons include the belief that it moderates sexual desire in women.
Pelekai says once she had circumcised a girl, she would then apply milk and ghee to the wound. This will be done every day until the girl heals.
"The ghee will soften the wound and it is believed to have some medicinal value," says Pelekei.
Although, she has never done it for the last three years, she says the practice is still rampant among the Maasai. The rite will not end soon unless the Government intervenes and encourages alternatives.
"This is the way we have been initiating girls from childhood to womanhood. Majority will not stop unless the Government gives us an alternative rite of passage," she sums it.