This is the story of a girl born in Northern Kenya, Marsabit. A place known for its harsh weather condition, hot and dry and with a society that is largely illiterate and with a barbaric culture.
A girl's place is in the kitchen. She will not be taken to school. She will be taught the duties of a wife then she will undergo female genital mutilation. She will be married off to the village elder betrothed to her at the age of 4years. She is 13yrs old and pregnant with her first child. She goes into labour and her grandmother who is the traditional birth attendant helps her through it. The labour is difficult, it goes beyond the expected time and her grandmother decides she needs to be taken to the nearest health facility which is 100km away and with a poor road network, it will be a days journey.
Her mother has no money, she decides to sell their only remaining sheep. This takes a whole day. Her 2nd day in labour. She is still at home. On the 3rd day they start the long journey to the health facility. She is tired and weak, she has lost alot of blood and at the verge of death.
At the facility the health worker refers her to the county referral hospital for cesarean section. Her pelvis is too small for the baby to pass through. It takes another 2hours to organize transport.
She gets to the referral centre and a c-section is done. The baby is no more, she probably lost the baby on the 2nd day labouring at home. In theatre she is bleeding. Despite the doctor's every effort the bleeding doesn't stop and her uterus has to be removed to save her life. She will never have a child of her own.
She is safe but has developed a fistula. She has no control over her bladder and her urine just flows. Her journey to recovery will be long.
She has lost her baby, her ability to conceive and control over her bladder. Her husband now marries another 13yr old for his wife cannot give him children.
It is in this society that Daki is born, her narrative different from her friends for she is lucky her mother went to school. She is encouraged to go to school. The journey is not easy. It involves long treks to school and back. The mornings are cold and misty. There are dogs on the road. Daki was attacked by dogs when she was 5ys old while going to nursery school. She was bitten on both lesgs. It was a tough time for her. She now has an inherent fear of dogs. She must be accompanied by an adult at least half way to school, where she will meet children from other villages.
The afternoons are very hot, walking home is unbearable but she has to. At home her mama encourages her to read and helps her with difficult concepts. She sleeps and in the morning the cycle repeats again.
The school calendar is often interrupted by ethnic rivalry. A man in village A was murdered. In a revenge mission another is killed in village B. Everyone is afraid for no one knows who will be attacked next. Businesses are paralyzed and so is school. Parents pull children out of school. A day or two of no school and then it normalizes until they strike again.
Daki is lucky, she now proceeds to high school in a different county far from Marsabit. Here she meets other girls from different cultures where both boys and girls attend school. Girls who get to choose whom to marry and at a time of their choice. She is inspired. She works hard at school for she has seen a girl can become whatever she wants to be.
She wants to be a doctor. She goes to medical school and endures the long hours of study. She enjoys the journey.
She is now a doctor. She has returned home and wants to change the narrative of the girls in her village.