The Girls in the Wild Fig Tree: How I Fought to Save Myself, My Sister, and Thousands of Girls Worldwide

Nice Leng'ete

The "incredibly powerful" (Kirkus Reviews) story of the human rights activist who changed the minds of her elders, reformed traditions from the inside, and is creating a better future for girls and women throughout Africa.N

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Book Information

Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Publish Date: 09/14/2021
Pages: 240
ISBN-13: 9780316463355
ISBN-10: 0316463353
Language: English

What We're Saying

September 10, 2021

In her heartrending yet hopeful memoir, Nice Leng’ete describes her journey to becoming a human rights activist and dedicating her life to fighting female genital mutilation.  READ FULL DESCRIPTION

September 14, 2021

Books to Watch | September 14, 2021

By Dylan Schleicher, Gabbi Cisneros, Emily Porter

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Full Description

The "incredibly powerful" (Kirkus Reviews) story of the human rights activist who changed the minds of her elders, reformed traditions from the inside, and is creating a better future for girls and women throughout Africa.

Nice Leng`ete was raised in a Maasai village in Kenya. In 1998, when Nice was six, her parents fell sick and died, and Nice and her sister Soila were taken in by their father's brother, who had little interest in the girls beyond what their dowries might fetch. Fearing "the cut" (female genital mutilation, a painful and sometimes deadly ritualistic surgery), which was the fate of all Maasai women, Nice and Soila climbed a tree to hide. Nice hoped to find a way to avoid the cut forever, but Soila understood it would be impossible. But maybe if one of the sisters submitted, the other would be spared. After Soila chose to undergo the surgery, sacrificing herself to save Nice, their lives diverged. Soila married, dropped out of school, and had children-all in her teenage years-while Nice postponed receiving the cut, continued her education, and became the first in her family to attend college. Supported by Amref, Nice used visits home to set an example for what an uncut Maasai woman can achieve. Other women listened, and the elders finally saw the value of intact, educated girls as the way of the future. The village has since ended FGM entirely, and Nice continues the fight to end FGM throughout Africa, and the world. Nice's journey from "heartbroken child and community outcast, to leader of the Maasai" is an inspiration and a reminder that one person can change the world-and every girl is worth saving.

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