A REVIEW: AN ADVOCACY FILM ON FGM & CHILD MARRIAGE
Sandra’s Cross is an advocacy movie with themes on gender-based violence such as child marriage, female genital mutilation, girl child education and intimate partner violence. The second season of this series is about a young girl Hauwa (Habiba Mohammed). Hauwa is betrothed as a baby and given out in marriage as a young girl to Nuhu (Benjamin Adeniran). She is forced into marriage against her wish and denied western education which she has always craved to have. Hauwa’s neighbour Agnes (Habiba Mohammed) notices that she is withdrawn and catches her in a suicidal attempt, then picks up interest in her. Hauwa and Agnes become friends and they are able to talk about her issues and possible solutions. While this is going on Agnes discovers Hauwa is pregnant. Even though Hauwa does not want the baby, she carries the baby to full term. Her preference is to get educated.
Agnes being a Doctor discovers that Hauwa has a medical condition coupled with the fact that she has been mutilated which places her at high-risk of complications during childbirth. Nuhu sends her to his sister, Aisha to take her through the traditional method of childbirth which is devoid of western medical attention against Agnese’s advice. She is rushed to the hospital after the traditional birth attendant couldn’t help her anymore, she delivers the baby but loses a lot of blood, suffers consequences such as Vesicovaginal Fistula (VVF) and dies in the end. Agnes takes it upon herself to see that her baby is not mutilated. She is able to do this with the help of Nuhu’s first wife and policemen who give her the information and support needed. Although the main story is about Hauwa, Agnes also has issues with her husband going on while she is helping Hauwa at the same time.
The movie gives a picture of the multiple effects of female genital mutilation and child marriage on maternal health. Culture and tradition were identified drivers of this behaviour. It also depicts that everyday individuals could help when it comes to issues related to gender-based violence despite the fact that their own life is not perfect. The law enforcement agency is also shown to have played a major role in bringing the culprits to book. Everyone is a stakeholder when it comes to providing solutions to sexual and reproductive health challenges. This hinges on raising awareness and educating people on the effects and consequences of their actions; so many deaths and health defects would have been avoided if the perpetrators had a good knowledge about their actions. Sandra’s Cross II raises awareness of the public about these salient matters.
You should plan to watch it when the web series goes live on YouthHub Africa TV.