10 hours ago
Saturday, 10 November 2007
A remarkable story of courage, a true rags to riches. This is the true story of Waris Dirie, how grew up living a nomad live in the deserts of Somalia, owing not more than she had on her body. Her biggest wish is to have a pair of shoes, but despite this, for us Westerner's unbelievable poorness, she talks about her country of origin with great passion and love.
When Waris is due to get married to an old man, she flees from her parents and seeks refuge with various relatives in the city, eventually, she ends up as a 'servant' to a Somali family in England. Hardly any wages and working 7 days a week, no holiday, sadly, not at all uncommon in this, our country. But Waris has guts. Her writing style took some getting used to for me she takes very blunt, and often not very 'ladylike' - and I grew to love her. I remember in one passage, when she moved for a short period out of London to the countryside with her 'fake' husband, she thinks is great she can 'wee' again occassionally behind bushes. *smile*
She gets 'discovered' and becomes an international Supermodel. But there is more to Waris.
When Waris was 5 years old, she underwent 'female circumcision', or, as it should be called more accurately 'genitale mutilation'. With her own boldness and honesty, she tells us how it was done and how she suffered afterwards, and how many of her friends / relatives did not survive it. Apart from the initial pain, there are numerous problems in later life: menstruation, childbirth and not to mention just plain old ordinary sex, of course. Waris tells us her story, but what I like about it is that she does not descent into a ranting and raving match about her country, culture and parents, she shows a lot of respect and love.
I wish Waris all the best in her fight to help eradicate this brutal and completely unnecessary practice.