ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

A Song and a Swirl Of Dust

Updated on September 2, 2013

Fanta at the motor park

The dust hung in the air, unmoving. It seemed to cling to the inside of Fanta's nostrils as she breathed in and out and it made her want to take shallow breaths. Her boubou was not light coloured like her sister's; still, it was changed in moments by the layer of dust on it, on the bags, on everything. Her father had gone to find the vehicles that were going to Kafanchan. Fanta and her sister stood limply by the bags looking at the bustling scene before them. The barrow boys darted swiftly in between the crowds, the heels of their feet and those of the patient hawkers cracked by the harmattan into the tell-tale, carved tributaries of the less privileged.

The song

And the song started in her head.

The same one she had heard in her dream.

O, o young girl

Beautiful young girl

Your days are numbered

Purdah is calling.

This is the last of school

The harem is waiting.

This is the last of running

With skirts at your calves

Modesty has waited for you.

Come, come

Circumcision is not death

It is a little thing

It is such a little thing

For womanhood,

For honour;

For the privilege

Of marriage

To one who can never be yours alone.

Do not be afraid.

Can you miss the substance of dreams unknown and only whispered?

Your pleasure days are not gone -

Not at all;

For you never knew them.

The song ended with the laughter of maidens. A sand-swirl whisked up near her and Fanta saw faces of young girls in the whirl.

None smiled.


The setting of this is the northern section of a west-African country. Although the story per se is fictional, the area Kafanchan actually exists. There is a weather condition mentioned known as the harmattan. I have been fascinated by it for years and it still occasionally features in my writing. The harmattan presents itself as dual in character: it can be pregnant with secrets and it can also blow cold, dry winds; blowing clear through minds and spirits.

In this country, in every village, town and city there can be found places called motor parks, where people can pay for commercial buses and cars to transport them as far as the length or breadth of the country.

The song carries the main theme of the piece embedded in its calls to Fanta, our principal character. In imitation of the journey she is about to take, we are figuratively transported from our comfort zones to a strong traditional place defended for generations.

The debates, pleas, conferences and symposiums on this topic are not abating. I encourage you to follow the links to the UNFPA page and other source information to see the current statistics, NGO findings and interventions, and positions of government in affected regions.

Angélique Kidjo Raises Her Voice Against Female Genital Mutilation

Links to more on Female Genital Mutilation

  • unfpa- on Female Genital Mutilation/Circumcision.
  • WHO on FGM

Photo Credit

Thanks to gbaku for the picture 'Eyes'.



    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • jesusmyjoy profile image

      Betty Bolden 

      7 years ago from Bucyrus Ohio

      very nice great hub

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks Lyns. Your comments are encouraging.

    • lyns profile image


      7 years ago from USA

      Very nice and interesting hub, thanks for sharing, I voted up, interesting, and beautiful. lyns

    • saddlerider1 profile image


      7 years ago

      I stumbled upon magnificent talent here. akune you share, yet I feel you weeping. A true artist, I feel it in your words shared here. Sensitive indeed, yet poignant in it's delivery. Yes there is a lotta talent here and you are one of many. Ideals are important, your share was brilliant.

    • akune profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Surrey, England, United Kingdom

      Monsieur WD, vous etes tres gentil. I am so glad we have a community like this - a place for writers to just do their thing. The happening is almost a movement. There is a lotta lotta talent gravitatin' here as well because they feel safe, appreciated and feel like they've come 'home'. I pray it stays clean, not overly commercialised and that writers' ideals prevail.

    • peti profile image


      7 years ago

      Thank you for sharing such a moving piece. This is an enormous issue in the world and you touch on it in such a sensitive yet moving way. Thank you! I will follow you to read such quality hubs!

    • WD Curry 111 profile image

      WD Curry 111 

      7 years ago from Space Coast

      You are off the hook. I have to learn English. It took me awhile to get started. I loved your description of the harmatten. This is top drawer stuff. You can have my place in line. You deserve it.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Morning Akune.

      Very interesting hub.

      We sit in our western world and know very little of the ways of other lands.

      Take care.

      LOL Ghaelach


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)