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Ngelawu Nawet – Tune In

Story lines

Ngelawu Nawet is written in the Wolof language and will be broadcast nationwide throughout Senegal.

Wereyaan’s Story — Family Planning

Wereyaan is a 25-year-old woman who has three children of which the youngest is 6-months-old. She manages a small business, selling corn soup in front of her house. Her husband, Soogi, adores her – but his mother, Kumre, hates Wereyaan, and has made her a principal rival.

Wereyaan is still breastfeeding her first baby, when she discovers that she is pregnant yet again. Wereyaan has a very difficult pregnancy, and she suffers from extreme anemia. She finally miscarries. Kumre uses this opportunity to convince Soogi to take a second wife, one who is “capable of bearing healthy children” one after the other.

A few months later, Wereyaan discovers that she is pregnant again. Inadvertently, Soogi tells Kumre the news. Because of her fruitfulness in getting pregnant so easily, the second wife quarrels with Wereyaan, and even begins to beat her. This child is born by Caesarean.

Trying to resolve the problem of her closely spaced pregnancies, Wereyaan goes to the health center to obtain contraceptives without telling Soogi. Kumre learns of her visit to the health center, and is quick to tell her son. Soogi has a violent quarrel with Wereyaan, and even threatens to divorce her.

Expenses from the wedding of his second marriage, in addition to his second wife’s spending whims (as manipulated by Kumre), plunge Soogi deep into debt. Soogi can’t take it anymore, and confides in Wereyaan. Wereyaan uses the opportunity to remind Soogi that, although he must respect his mother, that he should also know that “If the eye cannot carry the load, then it must at least appreciate that it is heavy.”

Thus, Wereyaan returns to the family planning center and obtains a contraceptive method. Wereyaan discovers that she has inherited a great deal of land and cattle following her father’s death in her native village. She uses some of the money to pay her husband’s debts for the second marriage, and buys a bedroom worthy of him, a TV, and a living room, and a big bed for Kumre.

Wereyaan starts a modern restaurant “Foonde Were,” where she serves traditional food including corn meal soup for breakfast. The restaurant is a great success, and Wereyaan gains national notoriety.

The visit of the Minister of Health to “Foonde Were” is an occasion for Wereyaan to reveal to a large female audience the key to its success: to mobilize support from their partners to plan their families in order to be able to have time to develop themselves, to enlighten themselves further, and to become part of the economy by participating in revenue generating activity, in order to support their husbands and their families.