Coñal Keele – Tune In
Coñal Keele is written in the Pulaar language and is being broadcast throughout the Matam region of Senegal.
Two of the story lines in Coñal Keele address early marriage and adolescent reproductive health.
Bokkiis’ Story — Early Marriage
Bokkiss is a cattle merchant. He buys and sells cattle at the market in Lobbundu. Kelli is his principle furnisher, and because business is not doing very well, Bokkiss is in debt to him.
Bokkiss has a 12-year-old daughter, Leeldo, who goes to school in the village and works hard. She is always first in her class, and she dreams of becoming a magistrate or sociologist.
Kelli offers to forgive Bokkiss’ debt – if he allows him to marry his charming daughter. On her wedding night, Leeldo tries to run away, but is quickly caught and thrown into the arms of her husband Kelli, who consummates the marriage, despite Leeldo’s young age.
Leeldo gets pregnant and has an extremely difficult pregnancy and a complicated delivery during which the baby dies. Following this delivery, she develops obstetric fistula. Kelli, angered by the loss of his child and Leeldo’s incontinence, brutalizes her. Bokkiis intervenes and puts an end to the marriage.
Full of regret, Bokkiis tries to help Leeldo recover her health by taking her to the hospital for a surgery to repair her fistula. Following the surgery, Bokkiss helps Leeldo to get back in school.
Bokkiis must face Kelli and repay the bride price and his debts for the cattle. Kelli tries to take Leeldo back, but Bokkiis opposes this with all of his might, despite Kelli’s blackmail attempts and intimidations. Kelli, mixed up in an affair about the sale of some stolen cattle that he bought and resold, is arrested and put in to prison for 2 years.
Leeldo continues to do well at school, and ends up becoming a magistrate who defends the causes of young girls, and raises awareness among the women in Lobbundu and in her country about the dangers of early marriage
Jahdigel’s Story — Adolescent Reproductive Health
Jahdigel is a young girl aged 18-years-old, in the first year at Jibru High School. Despite the advice of her friends, Jahdigel has sex with Silli, one of her classmates. She soon discovers that she is pregnant, but Silli denies that he is the father.
Jahdigel is thrown out of school. She is alone and very distressed. She attempts a clandestine abortion that almost kills her.
Upon her admission to the hospital, she is in a critical state. The doctor examines her, conducts several kinds of tests, and suggests that she take an HIV/AIDS test. The results of the HIV/AIDS test are negative, but she learns that she will never be able to have children.
Jahdigel takes a job as a maid. With the help of her friend and former classmate, Moyyo, she begins to study for her high school equivalency exams during the evenings.
Jahdigel passes the BAC exam at the same time as her friend Moyyo. Silli, who is caught cheating on the same exam, is suspended from school for 5 years. Jahdigel passes the exam with honors, and is accepted in a school for midwives. After her studies, Jahdigel is sent to work in a rural community that includes her native village.
Silli, who has sunk into abusing drugs, and who has high-risk sexual behaviors, contracts a bad sexually transmitted infection before being taken to court by the parents of a minor girl that he impregnated. He is sentenced to 5 years in jail.
Jahdigel becomes involved in discussions and meetings at the health center and at schools to exchange information with youth about reproductive health, sexually transmitted infections, and HIV/AIDS.