A VICTIM OF CULTURE
I am Adiza, Am I wrong to be Faiza? Or find myself to be Fairuza.
Hmmmmm! What’s my difference with Yahuza? Or my friend Hamza?
I have been resided to the kitchens, I am only useful on the farms.
I am a prisoner, I am in chains, I am a captive.
Not the one from wars but a result of the negativity
that has long stood in the culture of my people, of your people,
and of our people that the girl child has no right to speak.
I dream of being a doctor but tradition has doctored my dreams and resided me to the kitchens.
I dream of being a nurse.
To serve my community and the world.
But tradition has made me a nurse to serve only in my room.
The left energy boiling in me to be broomed away.
As Yahuza to be in uniform is a blessing.
Nature made me Fairuza and to ask for uniform has been made a curse.
How long shall I be victimized in this negativity?
I ask for my right, is it too expensive?
I seek for my right, is it too far away?
I start my journey today, and I will not accept any delay.
Our dreams have been curtailed for long, but hence we stand strong.
To fight for our right for we have longed in this plight.
Hamza Ayub is a 24 year-old poet from Ghana. In his poem “Girl Child Abuse” he uses female Muslim names (Adiza, Fairuza and Faiza) as opposed to male Muslim names (Yahuza and Hamza) to denounces the unfair difference in treatment between girls and boys. He addresses the constraints imposed on girls’ development and the discrimination of women in the public and private spheres on the basis of gender.