Tuesday, 12 April 2016

5 Things You Should Know About Breast Ironing... Yes, I went through it too

Breast ironing practice
Image: Google
Yes, you heard right. It's called Breast-Ironing. Dunno about you, but I was amused at this name. Not until I read up on it did I realize "OMG! I was Breast-ironed!". Of course, I did not know that was it at the time. I only remember my aunts using omorogun- a small pestle-like object- to push in the tiny buds on my chest. The explanation then: I was too young to start growing breasts. 

Honestly, I remember it hurting. It hurt for a while actually. If you're a lady and you're reading this, you must know what I mean. Remember that 'Tiny bud' stage when the slightest contact with your buds hurt like hell? Then imagine somebody 'pounding' it. OUCH! So, yes, my breast-ironing hurt. But I was quickly over it. I think it happened only once sef.

The bad news is that breast-ironing, in most communities go beyond my experience. They involve massaging or pounding a girl's breasts with coconut shells, spatulas, iron spoons, hammers, etc heated in fire. Jeez! I don't even want to think of it.

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implications, consequences, disadvantages of breast ironing

It's a messed up practice that has been around for quite a while, but just recently it's been getting attention from the European community. One Conservative MP {Member of Parliament} in the UK, Jake Berry is calling for Breast-ironing to be made a criminal offence.  

Here are 5 things I think you should know about Breast-ironing:


It is most common in Cameroon. In fact, it is practiced across all areas in the country, with the numbers placed at around 4 million victims. However, cases have been found in areas like Republic of Benin, Chad, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Togo, Guinea Conakry, Guinea Bissau, Zimbabwe, and Nigeria.


Breast ironing is NOT insurance against rape or even sexual harassment. One survivor, Cathy AbahFouda got her breasts ironed by her mother at the age of 10 and even went on to perform it on herself in subsequent years. While sharing here, she said: 

"Breast Ironing, however, did not prevent me from getting pregnant at the age of 16 and leaving school"

Personally, I believe mothers and older women should pay more attention to giving young girls sexual education rather than trying to force 'chastity' on them through painful acts such as FGM or breast-ironing.


Breast ironing could have terrible health- physical & psychological- implications. Breast cancer, cysts, malformed breasts, depression, breast infections, etc are some of the side effects that medical experts warn us of.

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The UN estimates that 58% of breast ironing victims get it done to them by their mums.


The practice has been exported. Basically, everywhere you have a vibrant African community {which is kinda almost everywhere, abi?}, you have some form of breast-ironing carried out.

That's it. I already told you guys I experienced it as a kid. I just keep wondering how many of us would do the same to our kids... 

Would you?

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