If the Body Makes a Sound

They will cut your stomach open like a fruit, Emefa says to Chichi as they walk back home from the river, their pots balanced on their heads. The women in the village of Atebubu are going mad over the news—Chichi, daughter of Awo, has decided to give birth in the clinic in the city and, what’s worse, undergo some kind of surgery, one where the baby does not come from between her legs. Chichi’s mother, a popular plantain seller, faces a tough time at the local market. The women disperse their small gatherings when they see her approaching, and some will not even look her in the eye. The rumors spread fast, a few of the stories surprising Awo upon hearing—Chichi has ridiculed the traditional method of childbirth and called the town’s midwives ignorant, their tools unsterile. She’s using all of her life’s savings for this surgery when she could afford five plots of land for farming. Others even cursed her daughter’s womb, saying, Nothing good will come from there, that child will be no better than any of ours.

People on couch
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