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The Girls in the Wild Fig Tree

How One Girl Fought to Save Herself, Her Sister and Thousands of Girls Worldwide

Nice Leng'ete



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14 September 2021
'A real hero looks like Nice Leng'ete . . . [An] elegant and inspiring memoir' New York Times Nice Leng'ete was raised in a Maasai village in Kenya. In 1998, when Nice was six, her parents fell sick and died, and Nice and her sister Soila were taken in by their father's brother, who had little interest in the girls beyond what their dowries might fetch. Fearing the cut (female genital mutilation, a painful and sometimes deadly ritualistic surgery), which was the fate of all Maasai women, Nice and Soila climbed a tree to hide.

Nice hoped to find a way to avoid the cut forever, but Soila understood it would be impossible. But maybe if one of the sisters submitted, the other would be spared. After Soila chose to undergo the surgery, sacrificing herself to save Nice, their lives diverged. Soila married, dropped out of school, and had children -- all in her teenage years -- while Nice postponed receiving the cut, continued her education, and became the first in her family to attend college.

Supported by Amref, Nice used visits home to set an example for what an uncut Maasai woman can achieve. Other women listened, and the elders finally saw the value of intact, educated girls as the way of the future. The village has since ended FGM entirely, and Nice continues the fight to end FGM throughout Africa and the world.

Nice's journey from heartbroken child and community outcast, to leader of the Maasai is an inspiration and a reminder that one person can change the world -- and every girl is worth saving.
Imprint:   Wildfire
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 232mm,  Width: 152mm,  Spine: 20mm
Weight:   320g
ISBN:   9781472275813
ISBN 10:   1472275810
Pages:   320
Publication Date:  
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  Primary ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Nice Nailantei Leng'ete grew up in the village of Noomayianat, at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro in Kenya. After her parents both died within a year of each other in 1998, Nice was sent to live with her uncle. At the age of eight, she avoided being subjected to FGM by running away from home, multiple times. She attended college in Nairobi before joining Amref, where she is now a Health Africa Project Officer and continues to challenge the attitudes of her male-dominated tribe in her quest to end FGM. Since 2009, Nice and Amref Health Africa have helped more than 16,000 girls avoid female genital mutilation/cutting in Kenya and Tanzania

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