This is the 5th post in a 6-part series on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM, or female circumcision).
Any one who is following the multitude of campaigns that are active across the world to eradicate the great evil that is FGM, will know that the name of Waris Dirie, is synonymous with great suffering, sacrifice, patience and wonder. Her journey from a nomadic existence in Somalia to world famous supermodel, is truly the stuff of fairytales! No wonder then, that her autobiography shot to the top of the best-seller list on its release, and more recently, a Hollywood film is in the offing, and possibly a theatre production of her extraordinary life. Her vivid descriptions of her circumcision at the age of 5 will make you squirm in your seat and cause rain to fall from the eyes of even the most hardened of readers, while her confidence, tenacity and conviction are a continual source of inspiration and motivation for me.
Read a shortened version of her remarkable story here:
8 years ago, Waris Dirie was appointed as the United Nation’s leading spokesperson and campaign representative, steering their work towards abolishing FGM. So far, 28 African countries have outlawed the practise, but as we all know, law in the 3rd world means little unless it is implemented from the ground up, and work is carried out with rural people towards finding other ways for them to express their cultural identities safely, and with equality and respect.
The below videos are taken from ‘African Voices: a journey with Waris Dirie, visit her official website for more: www.waris-dirie-foundation.com
In the below extracts, she talks some more about her incredible life, the beauty of destiny and how her painful past helps to shape the manner in which she raises her own 2 sons. She also talks about her work within the campaigning sphere: what she has achieved, and how much is still to be done.