Meet the rapper fighting female genital mutilation with her music

Meet the rapper fighting female genital mutilation with her music

Mfonobong Akpan

Female genital mutilation is still being practised in many African communities today despite the obvious adverse health effects on victims. The practice which is rooted in gender inequality, attempts to control women’s sexuality, and ideas about purity, modesty and aesthetics. This Senegalese singer has started a fight against this practise, beginning from her hometown.

Fatou Mandiang Diatta, a Senegalese rapper, singer, and activist who goes by the stage name Sister Fa, is fighting back against the practice of female genital mutilation/cutting in Africa through her music. Her fight against the practice started with her writing about her own experience with mutilation. In 2011, she was awarded the Freedom to Create Main Prize for her projects in Senegal aimed at improving the situation of women and girls in general.

Sister Fa, who is currently based in Berlin, was herself a victim of female genital mutilation when she was about four or five years old, and she has never quite forgotten the horrors that came with the experience. According to her, she could never understand how an act that caused so much pain and suffering, and even death, for women and girls could be accepted and honoured anywhere as tradition.

With this notion, she began to spend time finding ways to address the issue of female genital mutilation, and the ignorance that surrounds it in Senegal, particularly from a misconceived religious perspective. In 2000, at the age of 18, she entered the music scene to tell her story and advocate for the education of people against the evils of mutilation, starting from her hometown.


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