Kenya: The Benefits of Circumcision Are Exaggerated, We Should End It
opinion By Waga Odongo
Many years ago when I was seven or eight, I happened to be using the urinal at the same time as my friend Samuel.
A cursory glance his way revealed that we had differences in the trouser department that I hadn't expected. Small boys aren't all the same, as it turns out, when they get stripped down.
I asked him about our differences and he filled me in. We looked different because I was circumcised, while he wasn't.
Blame my sheltered life. I had no clue about this mysterious thing.
Previously, the only other person I had seen naked was my older brother, but there weren't any differences in anatomy. Turns out I wasn't the stock version, I had been modified.
Samuel asked me questions about the procedure that I couldn't answer primarily because I couldn't remember it.
I had no memory of a foreskin. I was missing a part of me and didn't even know it.
I found out later that I had achieved "manhood" a few months after being born.
No one bothered to inform me of my elevated status as a man in the intervening years.
Samuel got his chance to be a man years later when we were in Class Five, and held a big party to celebrate.
During the party, we kept asking him "Is it true you can't walk for weeks due to the pain? Do they put it on a sling?"