No more exciting way to begin my blog season (Tuesdays and Thursdays - September 2016 to June 2017) than with the launch of SiA Magazine Fall 2016 in Sierra Leone! And no better time than now when the world is tuned into the strongwomen of Sierra Leone standing up for our rights, dignity and humanity at the highest corridors of global power. Our counter campaign for equal rights is off the ground: From grassroots Bondo women's spontaneous protests in Bo last August following a Guardian UK "training workshop"; to the chiming in of educated professional Bondo women against western funded NGOs tweeting lies surrounding the unfortunate death of a 19 year old young woman in Makeni; and, of course, none of these to be outdone by the bold advocacy of our Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children's Affairs, Honorable Dr. Sylvia Blyden on behalf of the Government of Sierra Leone and the majority of affected women in our country last week at the Geneva conference on the Convention of the Rights of the Child.
The continued public harassment of mainly Sierra Leoneans at UK airports by Britain's self-styled anti-Female Genital Mutilation gestapo and the laughable antics of a notorious Sierra Leonean FGM asylum seeker/activist in the UK who is claiming protection against a high-ranking Sowei may be aimed at embarrassing the Government of Sierra Leone. But good luck with that. There is no escaping the reality that UK authorities as well as their diplomats and Dfid FGM activists in Sierra Leone are hiding:
In my view it is not okay for western doctors to imitate and market Bondo's traditional genital aesthetic practice and call it "labiaplasty" for their rich white female patients (including under age white girls) while British officials and some of their unscrupulous local activists (restless for Dfid's 14 million pound anti-FGM aid money) use our media to portray the Bondo practice as "mutilation" and "child abuse". Lie. Lie. SiA magazine will get the debate going in Sierra Leone with the launch of our fall issue featuring white women's FGM, oops, did I say that? I mean, labiaplasty. Of course, labiaplasty sounds cleaner, more sanitized, prettier, more privileged and well, whiter. SiA Magazine asks whether this is truly the case. We will feature up close and personal before and after photos, so adults only please. And then, maybe then, we can have a serious, adult, national debate on this so-called FGM in Sierra Leone.
An editorial disclaimer to all my non-Bondo Sierra Leonean sisters who may wish to express their disdain about photos of white women's surgically modified genitals in SiA Magazine: This is not about you personally or your own, private, sacrosanct nether regions. This is not a reflection of what I think or my own personal views of the "natural" vagina. We are all perfectly made, circumcised or uncircumcised. This is about exposing the hypocrisy of FGM and the racist and sexist claims about the genitalia, sexuality and social status of circumcised African women in Sierra Leone and beyond.
Fuambai Sia Ahmadu, PhD
Editor in-chief, SiA and the Shabaka Stone