Monday March 20 2017

The Switch: Rising above traumas of FGM

 

The day the main character in the book, Tezira Chelimo, underwent the gruesome act of female genital mutilation (FGM), a switch in her life was turned off. It became her life mission that other girls don’t go through the same ordeal.

Written by accomplished writer Mary Karooro Okurut, the book does not only delve into the abyss of physical trauma female genital mutilation subjects its victims to, but it also brings out the emotional suffering they have to endure for the rest of their lives.

In The Switch, the author takes the reader through the world of a young girl subjected to the demands of culture against her will.

Chelimo struggles to come to terms with the reality of what culture has thrown at her by first keeping it a secret, even to those she holds so dearly.
This vice has been talked about at different platforms, but in the book the author uses descriptive writing and imagery as a vehicle through which she takes the reader to this gruesome world. The author is able to create pictorial words in a way that makes them visible to the readers.

With unfulfilled promises of a better future, the main character does not accept to be weighed down. FGM fails to take away smart brains from Chelimo which became her ally in the struggle. Once she becomes a government minister, as she hopes to become someday, Chelimo will make sure no girl undergoes what she went through.

In The Switch, the author labours to show how both policymakers and communities are faced with diehard traditionalists who would want to see FGM continue.
The 200-plus page FEMRITE publication is a torch into a vice that has been branded a violation of the rights of girls and women in general.

In the nine chapters, the author not only writes for entertainment, but puts across pertinent issues that need to be addressed for many of the girls from areas where FGM is still practiced.

The Switch is another addition to the literary works of a former university don-turned-politician. Among her other books include Child of a Delegate, The Invisible Weevil, The Official Wife and Potiphar’s wife.
The book is available in all leading bookshops countrywide at Shs20,000.

Book review
Book title: The Switch
Author: Mary Karooro Okurut
Publisher: FEMRITE
Price: Shs20,000
Available at: Leading bookshops countrywide
Reviewed by: Henry Lubega

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