• The Girls in the Wild Fig Tree

  • How I Fought to Save Myself, My Sister, and Thousands of Girls Worldwide
  • By: Nice Leng'ete
  • Narrated by: Nneka Okoye
  • Length: 6 hrs and 37 mins
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars (53 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The inspirational true story of one girl who changed the minds of her elders, reformed traditions from the inside, and is creating a better future for girls and women throughout Africa.

Nice Leng`ete was raised in a Maasai village in Kenya. In 1998, when Nice was six, her parents fell sick and died, and Nice and her sister, Soila, were taken in by their father’s brother, who had little interest in the girls beyond what their dowries might fetch. Fearing “the cut” (female genital mutilation, a painful and sometimes deadly ritualistic surgery), which was the fate of all Maasai women, Nice and Soila climbed a tree to hide.

Nice hoped to find a way to avoid the cut forever, but Soila understood it would be impossible. But maybe if one of the sisters submitted, the other would be spared. After Soila chose to undergo the surgery, sacrificing herself to save Nice, their lives diverged. Soila married, dropped out of school, and had children - all in her teenage years - while Nice postponed receiving the cut, continued her education, and became the first in her family to attend college.

Supported by Amref, Nice used visits home to set an example for what an uncut Maasai woman can achieve. Other women listened, and the elders finally saw the value of intact, educated girls as the way of the future. The village has since ended FGM entirely, and Nice continues the fight to end FGM throughout Africa, and the world.

Nice’s journey from “heartbroken child and community outcast, to leader of the Maasai” is an inspiration and a reminder that one person can change the world - and every girl is worth saving.

©2021 Nice Leng'ete (P)2021 Little, Brown & Company

What listeners say about The Girls in the Wild Fig Tree

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Inspiring

This is a reminder that one person can make a difference and to keep fighting for your rights.

3 people found this helpful

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Inspirational

This was a Captivating book. It shows what one courageous person can do to change her world.

2 people found this helpful

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Fantastic and Inspiring

I loved this book and couldn’t stop listening to it. The narrator was wonderful. I recommend this book to all women.

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Terrific!

What a terrific story about overcoming of a dangerous cultural practice! What a terrific example of change coming from within a culture instead of being pressured from without which does not lead to lasting change!

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Powerful

This was an amazing audiobook. powerful story and beautiful performance. would definitely recommend this listen.

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Truly a wonderful read

An inspirational life, worth documenting. Nice is making a difference in this world. We should all strive to be indomitable of spirit like her.

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Powerful, more than FGM

While the cut is the core issue of the book, there is so much more. It gives an enlightening look into Maasai culture, and then also its role, particularly with regard to women, inside the greater Kenyan society. This was actually quite welcome, as it provided me with a context I must admit was woefully lacking in my understanding. What results is the description of a colorful and complex culture, at once unique and traditional, at other times supremely recognizable with problems universal to all. The author deftly balances the effort to address her culture's shortcomings, while retaining its heritage, as well as welcoming outside assistance without letting Western sensibilities dictate how that progress proceeds. I had slightly feared the pomposity of the subtitle, but reasoned that it was merely the cynical addition of a book publisher, seeking to goose sales. But as the book goes on, Nice, always an appealing personality, gets her legs under her, (balanced on her favored stiletto heels), and the confidence, edging toward prideful, does begin to appear. But even if it does, it's well earned for a brave and inspirational woman. A genuinely enlightening book.