Interview Date: February 25, 2020
Interview Location: Phebe Rehabilitation Center, Bong County
Interviewer: Kathy Beth Stavinoha
Assisted by: Emma K. Katakpah
Mammie Davids is from Nimba County. She is 26 years old and is not married. The second child born to her parents, she has one brother and five sisters. When she was a little girl, they played kickball.
She got her fistula in 2006. After two years of leaking, she had a fistula repair operation. She has had three operations to repair the fistula because of a recurrence, but she is dry now. She was in pain (labor) for two days. She was in Monrovia on GSA road. The child (baby) was big, so she couldn’t deliver on her own. They took her to the James Davis Hospital. She had a C-section (the child operation) and came down with a fistula. The baby died. She has five girls. Her first child was born in 2003 and the last in 2010. Currently they live in Monrovia with her brother, who is taking care of them while she is at the Rehab Center. Their father lives in Nimba.
She and her boyfriend are not together now and her family doesn’t want to see him. Her brothers and sisters have stuck by her. When I asked what was hard about having a fistula, Mammie said that her boyfriend abandoning her made her sad. When she went into labor, he cut himself off from her. He would not come to the house, so her people got vexed (angry) and her family told her not to be with him.
When she had the sickness (her fistula), she had to spend the whole day washing her clothes by herself. She is dry now. She is not experiencing anything anymore so she tells God thank you.
She said having a fistula “opened her brain,” (opened her eyes) because her boyfriend was bossing her around in Monrovia so she tells God thank you for opening her brain. Fistula taught her tailoring, fistula taught her tie-dying, fistula taught her [could not understand], fistula taught her soap-making. She can do everything now. Her favorite is tailoring.
She sees tailoring as her future. When she leaves the Rehab Center, she and her children will survive on it. She is building her own house. At the time of the interview, it had reached roof-level. When her house is finished, she will have her shop attached to it. She will be able to conduct business from the house. Her children can be home while she does tailoring and sells her clothes.
She likes to sing and dance. She composed the words to a song that she sang for us in her beautiful voice. Some of the lyrics are:
No money can buy your salvation
No man can do it for you
Your family member can’t do it for you beside God
You must be baptized and be born again
I fear no man by the grace of God
Mammie is a fistula survivor. Hear her story in her own voice: