when you think about African traditions, there are a number of tasks women are required to do and this varies from different cultures/tribes across the continent.
In the Ugandan culture especially in the central region, women are required to elongate their labia for a number of reasons which are not scientifically proven.
This process is referred to as visiting the bush (okukyalila ensiko), every girl is required to visit the bush and this starts at the age of 12.
Some women find it okay and others find it painful and annoying.
Personally, I find it unfair and disgusting.
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How visiting the bush is done
When a girl reaches an age of 10 years or more, an elder who can be an aunt, sister, mother or grandmother talks to them about the process of visiting the bush.
When pulling the labia, a girl is required to have some local herb which can just be picked from the bush or prepared at home.
These herbs are not safe for the vagina since they always contain some germs and harmful bacterias that are not good for the health of the vagina.
It’s a matter of plucking the leaves and squeezing them to get the liquid which is put on the vagina as you start pulling.
It is said that the best size of the labia should be the same size as the middle finger.
Personally, a friend of my mother took me to her home to explain the process upon my mother’s request.
Since she was old, it was okay for her to show me directly how to do it and with what herb.
At the time, I was 13 years of age.
At that age, I was even late because, In primary school, I was in boarding section and in the night you used to see/hear girls do the pulling and sometimes girls invited their friends to pull since its more easier when someone else is doing it.
Since it was a must do for any woman in our culture, I started pulling my labia but it’s so so painful, itchy and I even got wounds on my labia.
I spent most of my time in boarding school, I was always away from my mother and she was a busy woman but once in a while, she always kept asking me if I did it or not. click to tweet this story
Why is it necessary for a woman to pull her labia(visit the bush)
There are a number of speculated reasons why women in the central regions of Uganda are required to pull the labia (visit the bush) but from what I understand, it’s not for their own sake, it’s for the sake of men.
I believe women are manipulated to pull the labia because the men want them pulled.
These are some of the reasons why women are required to visit the bush :
It is believed that a woman who didn’t pull the labia isn’t sweet like the one who pulled the labia.
when you ask men how it increases sexual pleasure, many will tell you that since the labia are long and big, it becomes more fun when the testicles touch the elongated labia.
others believe that a woman’s feelings increase when the labia is elongated.
A door to the opening.
it is believed that a woman’s vagina is an opening that needs a door to be kept warm.
Women without the pulled labia are referred to as cold down there and that a woman who has elongated labia stay warm and ready at all times for their male counterparts.
When it comes to this point, I find it so ridiculous because how can pulling your labia help a woman push the baby through the vagina.
I hate this custom and will always hate it.
Why is that only the inferior women are the ones doing all this, Men don’t do anything and yet a lot of pressure is put on women.
When a woman doesn’t pull the things, she is regarded as empty and she will be forced by her husband to do so.
Most women believe it’s the right thing to do, they are okay with it and I guess this crazy custom will continue for more years to come.
Did I visit the bush or not?
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If I said yes, I would be respected in our cultures and if I said no, I would be regarded as not a complete women(empty women )
But the truth is, I never visited the bush but I tried doing it.
I always lived a life where I felt terrified of not being married or being accepted by a man if I don’t pull my labia.
When I got a boyfriend during college, he insisted I should pull the labia and just like any other week women, I tried to do so thou I never succeeded.
Pulling the labia is a process that needs consistency all the time and I never did so.
After several attempts, I failed, my labia weren’t prolonged and whenever my mother talked about it, I lied to her.
I felt inferior of why I had to go through pain for a sake of pleasing someone else.
In my heart, I knew it wasn’t worth it.
But a question always popped in my head if I could ever find someone who would appreciate my vagina for what it was without asking me to elongate my labia until I found him.
Why is it that only certain African tribes want women to do/change so much about their vaginas?
Women are so terrified and tortured in a number of ways that even if organizations like the world health organization have fought against female mutilations, they haven’t succeeded.
I find visiting the bush disgusting, I believe every woman should enjoy the look of their vaginas, every woman should enjoy the beauty of her vagina.
Since I had tried to do it, I was thinking about going for surgery to reconstruct the beauty of my vagina until I found someone who loved it.