By: Habiba Cooper Diallo
On September 25th, I was in back in Toronto to present a short story I have written about obstetric fistula at The Word On The Street, Canada’s largest literary festival. This event takes place annually at several cities throughout the country such as Toronto, Halifax, Vancouver and Ottawa.
Over the summer I had entered my submission to the Youth Open Mic competition. Excitingly, mine was among the 8 successful submissions to be read at the This Is Not The Shakespeare Stage.
I was a little jittery before my reading. Though, once up on stage I felt completely relaxed. I explained what obstetric fistula is to the audience and proceeded to read an excerpt from the plot.
After reading my excerpt, the host asked me the million-dollar question to wrap up the presentation: If I could pick any author to sit down and chat with, who would I pick? My mother of course :)
My seven fellow youth authors read poignant works of literature on topics ranging from love to politics.
All in all, I really appreciated having the opportunity to share my literary work on fistula with the audience. They were genuinely interested in my piece and I am delighted to have built a little more awareness about the affliction.
Habiba Cooper Diallo
I am a Canadian fistula advocate and blogger, and the founder of the Women’s Health Organization International, WHOI. I have been doing fistula awareness-building in Canada for the past 10 years. My work on fistula has led me to Ghana, Senegal, Guinea, Ethiopia, and Sierra Leone. I have been featured in Forbes, the HuffPost, and UNFPA