This summer, Daniel Tamiyi Zamani from El Zamani Motion Pictures Production led multiple campaigns raising awareness of the devastating effects of FGM in Nigeria.
The campaign began on the 20th of June, airing on Jordan FM 93.0, discussing the effects of FGM on young girls, and calling for government intervention by providing greater health education as part of the school curriculum. Zamani was shocked to discover that their radio host, Mr. Theophilous, had never heard of FGM, highlighting the need to raise greater awareness on the subject in Nigeria.
On the 8th of July, a Community Awareness workshop on FGM took place in the Anka community in Abuja. Chief Abwami Ishaya, the community leader, agreed to educate his people on the risk of the barbaric act of FGM.
On the 11th of July, Zamani aired a program on Kapital FM 92.9 Radio Nigeria with his guest, an Islamic cleric, Chief Imam Dogongada, who described the act of FGM as “devilish”.
Islam and culture are two seperate institutionsChief Imam Dogongada community Abuja, Chairman Dairatul Jafariyah Fitorika Tijaniyah of Nigeria Abuja
FGM was described as a cultural practice mistakenly understood as part of the religion but with no health benefits and many destructive consequences.
On the 21st of July, Zamani hosted the Azhata Community Campaign. During the session with traditional birth attendant Mrs Esther Gambo, there was a debate between women who had gone through circumcision, believing that their parents did the right thing for them. Upon meeting Miss Blessing Shehu, a victim of FGM who had suffered the loss of her baby following complications during childbirth as a result of being cut, the dangers of FGM were realised. During the session, many perspectives changed after confronting the harmful effects of female circumcision.
The final programme took place in September. Zamani held a campaign at Agwan Hakimi Palace, with Chief DanGiwa Makkeffi, Ward Councilor Hon John Nyawosa Maikeffi, anti-FGM activists and healthcare experts. Once again, Zamani was shocked by the lack of awareness surrounding FGM by both men and women. Filicia Emankwu, another survivor of FGM, was invited to share her story, leading to a consensus on the need to work further with GMC to mobilize awareness across the rural villages.
Zamani’s extensive campaign highlights the need to raise awareness about the dangers of FGM. The power of radio shows and community campaigns to completely change perspectives shows the necessity of providing activists with access to these public platforms as a catalyst for change.