Dry (2015) - full transcript

An inspiring true story of Zara, a successful doctor who lives in Wales, and Halima, a young 13 year old girl who is about to be wed in a rural part of Africa. However as time goes on Halima develops a disease, which she gets shunned for. Through out her journey she is some what alone until her path collides with Zara. The day they meet their lives change forever.

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- I still remember my days in Aberystwyth.

Many many years ago I
graduated from the oldest

university in Wales and
home to the oldest school

of international politics in the world.

I'm really glad that
Aberystwyth is able to

host this grand award ceremony today...

But of course, you might
say as a politician,

I would naturally endorse my
alma mater that might be true,

but for me, I will always
support what is right and good.

Thank you very much.

- Okay, and now for our final recipient.

This lady, this amazing lady

has selflessly served our community.

She's one of our leading
specialists here in the hospital.

She's worked tirelessly to raise funds

for children's cancer
research and treatment

but in addition to that,

she's provided support
for teenage pregnancies

and many of our local families
have benefited directly

from her work, and let's
face it, who can forget

how she led us on that London marathon?

Yeah, that was so much fun.

Okay, we must recognize the brilliant work

of this amazing lady.

Please welcome Dr. Zara
from St. Luke's Hospital.

- Thank you so much, thank you, thank you.


Wow, it's amazing.

I am so honored to be
receiving this award, really.

Because I remember relocating
from Los Angeles five years

ago with my mom to this
amazing town and my friends

thought I was going to the
end of the world and truly

the train line literarily terminates here,

I must say, but I've got say, it's been

one of the best decisions
of my life, and I would like

to dedicate this award
it to all the amazing

kids we've worked with over
the years and to their families

for making our job so much easier.

And to all the medical
doctors from St. Luke's,

seated in the audience
today, who have also worked

with me on these projects.

I want to say thank you and God bless.

Thank you.

More drinks, Alex!

- Okay, here we go again.

To the smartest doctor.

- I'm so sorry, but it's
not safe for you to go home.

You need to stay here.

- Good morning Mrs. Jones?

Okay, so take a deep breath, good?

We just want to keep you
under observation, for a few

more days, run some
test and if you're good,

we'll send you home.

Is that okay?

All right, so nurse, take
her back to the ward.

- Doctor Zara, a woman
in labor was just rushed

into the emergency room.

- Oh, really?

How long has she been there?

- Not that long.
- Okay.

- We are here for your daughter,

What is your...

- I'm listening, I'm listening.

- Yeah, what is the problem that you're

dragging your feet about?

- Alhaji, I am not dragging my feet,

most especially now that
Halima is 13 years old.

I know she is big enough to
be in her husband's house

but you people have to exercise

a little more patience for me--

- Ibrahim, have you changed your mind?

Are you not giving me your
daughter in marriage again?

- I have not change my
mind, Sani, but you know

there are necessary things
that Halima needs to go

to her husband's house with, those are the

things I am trying to fix.

- Fix the date,

I will take care of all the expenses.



- What did Mama Adamu say?

- She said...

- Mr. Bird now came to the
ground and say, "Mrs. Tortoise,

"your husband say you
put all the hard things

"in the house, that he's
going to fall on them, oh!"

So she did, the tortoise
now come to the ground.

That is how the tortoise broke his back.

- Halima, what are you
doing here all alone?

Why are you not with
your brother and sister?

You should come in and rest.

You know next week is your big day.

- Ma, I don't want to marry now.

- Halima, you are too young
to understand these things.

You are young and this is the right time.

When you are old and worn
out, who will marry you?

And Sani has been so generous.

See all the gifts he showers
on the us every now and then?

It seems he's the right one for you.

- Why me?

I don't want go with him.

- Halima, your father
wants the best for you.

Since you're the eldest, he
wants you to get married first,

before your younger one, Tani.

She has been betrothed over a year now.

She is waiting for you to get
married so hers can come next.

Can't you see how excited she is?

- Mother, please.

- Halima, you are very young and healthy

and very soon you will become a mother.

See my Halima, getting
married to a very rich man!

Your friends and their mother
will be so jealous of you!

- It's been three months
since our last session.

- Is it already three months?

- Yes, where have you been?

- I had to take care of my mom.

- What happened to your mother?

- She's been suffering from
exhaustion from her last trip

and now I can't believe she's planning

another trip to Africa.

- You know that's what keeps her going?

- Yes, but she's been doing it for years.

Traveling every year for
her medical missions.

- One of those missions saved you.

- I know.

Maybe I just miss when it
was just the two of us.

- You feel she's not proud of you anymore?

- No,

she is.

- Do you think you might go with her

on one of her trips someday?

- I don't know.

- Why don't you go?

- Because told you before my life is here.

- When do we break this wall?

- What wall?

- Your fears?
- I don't have any fears.

- We have been going around
in circles each session.

When do you let me in?

- Maybe I need to trust completely.

- You don't trust me?

- I, it--

I'm sorry.


I have to leave now.

- Your next appointment is on Thursday.

- Okay, thank you.

- Thousands of women are
dying in Africa due to

the lack of medical care
and this is a serious

gynecological problem.

It was reported that more
than two million women

in the world suffer from
a condition called fistula

and one would have thought
in this 21st century,

that cases of fistula should not exist.

- You asked to see me?

- Oh yeah, have a seat.

I have an interesting proposition for you.

- It's not about going back
to Sierra Leone, is it?

- Oh, come on, I thought you liked it.

- I do, I do, but I got
back home two weeks ago

and Jamie was walking, you
know little toddler steps,

and I missed it.

I need a break.

- How old is Jamie?

- He's 14 months.

Why don't you ask Zara?

Sound like the Pharmco guys
gave a good presentation.

- Oh boy, did they ever, and
we can't possibly miss out

on the funds they can
make available to us.

- You should really ask Zara.

She does so much charity work here.

It's almost as if she's trying
to make up for something.

- Yeah.

It's funny, you know, she
gives her hundred percent,

but when you bring up Africa,
she shies away from it.

I don't know, beats me.

- Well, the fact that I'm
from there doesn't necessarily

mean that I know it more than anyone here.

- Okay Zara,

Pharmco Pharmaceutical is
investing over sixty percent

in our community hospital fund.

It's only fair that we reciprocate.

Don't you want to be a part of the team?

- I'm already part of the team!

I don't need to go to
Africa with a company whose

only interest is in making
profit all in the name of

charity, and I don't need
to prove anything to anyone.

- I want you to think about this.

- How was your meeting with Dr. Brown?

- He wants me to go to Africa
with Pharmco Pharmaceutical.

Can you imagine that?

- That sounds great!

- Great?
- Yeah.

Maybe we could go together.

- I don't even want to talk about that.

I'm not going there.

- Why?

What's wrong with that?

- Come on Alex, Dr. Brown
just wants to look good

in front of the board.

That's Dr. Brown.

You know?

- I wonder why he hasn't ask me?

- Maybe you should got ask him also.

I told him to, you know...

Just sit tight
for a couple of minutes.

It's nearly ready.

- Yeah, I told him to ask doctor...

All right, it'll
be just two more minutes,

nearly there.

- Um...

Uh, Mom?


Um, yes,

are you okay?

Yes, you want me to come?

Okay, I'll be there now.

Alex, my mom, I need to go to my mom now.

I need to leave.

- What?


- Hi darling.

- He's gotten a ring

- Who?
- Alex!

- Oh, show me!

- Well, I freaked out and I left.

- So he didn't ask you?

- Well he was about to.

The whole candle lit dinner,
the whole atmosphere.

I just freaked out.

I'm not ready.

- Come here.

It's natural to be afraid.

But Alex is a good man.

- I know.

Maybe I'm not just good enough.

- Look, I've always told you,

don't judge yourself so harshly.

You are beautiful, successful,

you're one of the best
doctors in the town.

Why on earth would you think
you're not good enough?

- I don't know.

Maybe I've gotten nervous.

Are you still planning
your trip to Africa?

- Yes, I am.

Are you going to come with me this time?

It will be fun.

- Mom, I've told you, I'm needed here.

- Wow, great!

She's almost due for delivery.

- We are really looking forward to it.

We're so excited.

- Um, however, from what I'm seeing here,

her pelvic is too narrow
for a natural birth,

so she might need to deliver
through Caesarean section.

- No, no, no, no, no, we
expected natural birth.

- I know, we have to consider the risk.

I mean, Caesarean section is not--

- No, no, no, we have read lots

of self help books on natural birth

and we are convinced it's right for us.

- Are you her husband?

- She is my fiancee.

- What do you think?

I mean, it's your body.

I'm here to lay down all the medical facts

for you to help you make a decision.

- Em, well, I would
prefer a natural birth.

- I know, we are not in anyway
discouraging natural birth.

I mean it's the best way, but if we sense

any kind of possible
complications, you know,

we take precaution so that
mother and child are not at risk.

- Now don't try to scare us.

We want natural birth, doctor,

and that's what we've decided on.

- I couldn't believe those
two, acting as if I suggested

the worst option to them.

- We advise and the patients decides.

- Well they're even
lucky to have a choice.

Some people don't.

I didn't have a choice.

It was very painful.

- What was painful?

- Leaving her or the
thought of not knowing.

- Do you have any regrets?

- I can't let go of
the pain, of the shame.

- Why do you come here every Thursday?

- I don't know.

I guess I'm supposed to
be talking to a shrink.

- Are you willing to look
inside yourself and heal?

- Welcome, yes.

- I need more.

- How is my beautiful daughter doing?

- We are almost done.

My magic fingers are giving
her the best make-over

this town has ever experienced.

Look at her, like a princess!

Even the old Sani will not recognize her.

- Ah, Dillaliya, Sani is a
nice one, and I know he's going

to take good care of my Halima.

- Oh, I'm sure, his other
wives seem to be doing okay.

Though I heard his mother is a handful,

giving his wives so much trouble.

- Dillaliya, his mother is
a good woman, and I know

she's going to be fine with them.

- Oh please, ignore the way I'm talking.

It's just everyone seems to
think I have a big mouth,

but Halima is so beautiful--

- I think your job is
done, right, Dillaliya?

- Yes, yes.

- My daughter, all your
friends are going to be jealous

of you because you're
marrying a rich husband.

And even those who cannot find husbands

for their own daughters.

Cheer up, my dear.

Cheer up.


- Now here is the dowry.

- It is complete,

may God bless this marriage.

- Ah, doctor, I can't take it anymore!

- I don't want you to
push unless I tell you to.

I want you to save all your energy, okay?

- Shut up!

Doctor, I can't take it anymore.

- I'm here, baby.

- Don't call me baby!

Take him out, take him out, take him out!

- Please, I need you to leave now.

Let's move her now to the theater, please.

- Cut me open, I don't care.

Get it out of me!

Thank you doctor, I'm really grateful.

- No problem.

- And uh, I'm so sorry, doctor.

I'm glad you did the operation.

- It's all right, there's no problem.

The most important thing is
that mother and child are safe.

How're you feeling?

- A bit tired, but I'm okay.

- Oh, Mom.

- Oh, hi darling.
- Hi.

- I didn't want to leave
without seeing you.

- I didn't know you were coming in today.

- My trip has been moved forward,

so I needed to do my final check ups.

- Oh, okay.

- Are you okay, darling?

- I'm fine.

When are you leaving?

- In a week.
- Okay, I--

The test results.

- Oh, thanks.

Here's your results, Mama.

Okay, mom, you are good to go.

Clean and healthy.

- I need to be on my way.

- I was exactly like you when
I married my first husband.

That was before he died.

Poor man, he had a fragile heart!

But after then, I married
my second husband,

which is Sani's father,
Sani, your husband, eh?

Sani's father loved me.

He could not get his hands
off me, but after a while

he too died, he too had
a fragile heart.

But don't worry.

You see, I like you.

You are very strong.

Look at your bones, you'll give
me a lot of grand children.


- You stubborn boy.

What is wrong with you,
what is wrong with you?

What is wrong with you?

- Hey, woman, stop beating him!

- Halimagida, this boy is very stubborn!

- Is okay, is okay.

Go, go, go to your brothers.

Hey, hey, afternoon.

Where's my mother?

- She's over there.

- What about my new wife, Halima?

Where is she?

- She's equally there, she's with Hajia.

- Ah! Halima!


Ah, good afternoon, Ma!


- I was just having a little
discussion with your new wife.

What a beautiful addition she is.

- Halima, my wife, how are you?

Let's go in, let's go in, my wife.

Halima, my wife.

My pretty one, this is
for you, as my new wife.

I want you to always look
nice and beautiful for me, hm?

You are welcome.

- Is there something you
need to talk to me about?

- No, why?

- Just wondering.

- I'm just remembering my dad.

And I miss him so much.

- You know, I'm here for you.

- Yeah, I know.

- Halima.

My pretty one.

You know you are mine now, eh?

Don't do that.

Come close to your husband.

- Don't hurt me.

- Hey, shh!

I'm not going to hurt you.

Come, come, come to me!

Hey, hey, hey--

Listen, listen to me!


Keep quiet, shut up!

I paid a lot of money
to have you as my wife!

I waited for you all these years,

but still you want to struggle with me.

Stop it, stop it, I said!

Did your mother not prepare
you for the role of a wife?

Do not be stubborn with me, you hear me?

When I come here next time,
I expect complete submission!


- I think this one is okay.

- Eh.

- Halima.

What is wrong with you?

Why haven't you bothered to join

the rest of us to do some cleaning?

Why are you locked up in here?

Come, let me clean you up.

- He beats me, all my body is paining me.

I don't want to see him again.

- Sorry, he didn't beat you.

I'm sure that's his own way to show you

how much he loves you.

- I don't want to see him again.

I don't want to see him again.

- It's okay, Halima.

You are young, but you will
understand soon enough.

- Stop, uncle, please.

No, no!

Uncle stop, uncle stop.

- Thank you so much.

- That's him, right?

- Alex!

What are you doing here?

- You're cheating on me with him?

- Have you been following me
and what are you talking about?

- I'm talking about you
sneaking out every Thursday

to see another man.

I trusted you, Zara.

- No, I trusted you not
to invade my privacy.

- Your privacy?

Are we private now?

- Listen Alex, I'm not going

to take this crap from you or any man.

I need to sort myself out.

- Oh, so that's what you are
doing, sorting yourself out?

- You're damn right,
that's what I'm doing,

sorting myself out.

What is this?

You sneaking up on me?

I mean, that is so creepy.

I'm done

- Zara come back here.

Zara, I'm talking to you!

- Where are you coming from?

Is everything all right?

- He beats me.

My whole body is paining me.

- Halima!

He is your husband.

He can do anything.

- Halima, have you come to visit us?

How is...

You're crying?

What happened?

- He beats me.

- He beats you?

How can he beat you?

He's your husband, Halima.

By the way, what did
you do to provoke him?

- Nothing.

- Now go back to your husband's
house and learn to love him.

- At this hour?

It's late.
- It's late?

Go back to your husband house
and make his home your home.

- Please, no.

Halima, don't worry.

I will take you home tomorrow, yeah?

Let's go.

My in-law, I have brought her.

- She ran away?

- Um, yes...

No, she's--

- I understand, I understand.

No problem at all, no problem.

Greet your husband for me.

Where did you go to?

I'm asking you, where did you go to?

- Zara's not speaking to me.

- Why?

- I don't know.

- Zara goes in and out of her moods.

She'll come around.

- I hope so.


She's seeing a shrink.

- It's nothing unusual these days.

- No, I mean she's dating one.

- Are you sure?

- No, I don't know.

I'm confused.

- Well, you've been together a long time,

and I know she loves you.

I don't think Zara would
do such a thing like that.

- I'm afraid she might
have broken up with me.

- Why do you think that?

- We had an argument.

I've never seen her so angry.

- Oh, Alex.

Don't worry, I'll talk to her.

- Alex is gone.

You two really--

- Why didn't you tell me?

- Because there was nothing definite.

I tried to, but you were
too scared to hear me out.

- Are you sure she's really alive?

- Like you, I had my doubts,

but what I found is very hopeful.

The nurse confessed, but
I don't know anything yet.

On my last trip I was able to
get the address of Madam Kojo,

and I'm hoping to get more
information on this trip.

- Oh, god Mom, what do I do?

- All these years I have watched you grow

into a wonderful, successful
doctor and daughter.

And all of these years,

I have watched you suffering silently.

So I think

maybe if you could find out

if your child is alive or dead,

then you can put an end to your suffering.

- Mom, I don't want to go back there,

I don't want to go back there.

- Oh, I know.

- I just can't.

- That's why I'm doing the job for you.

He's one of the most important
men in your country now.

Listen you have to go.

- I can't, I can't do this,
Mom, I just can't do this.

- You have to.
- I can't do this.

- You must, you must.

- Mom, your hands are cold.

Mom, Mom?


You okay, Mom?


- We've manage to stabilize
her, but we're gonna have

to keep her under observation
for next couple of weeks.

- For a week?
- Yes.

- Oh my gosh, she going
to be so devastated.

She's suppose to be on her
medical tour to Africa.

- She would never make it.

She's dehydrated, exhausted
and her heart's in no condition

to be under any strenuous activities.

She will be fine, though.

- I know.


- Dr. Zara, I will look after your mother.

- Thank you so much.

- Oh, hi darling.

- How are you going?

- What day is it?
- Saturday.

- But my trip.
- It's been canceled.

- We can't disappoint those women.

They are depending on me.

We have over 1,000 women
waiting to be treated.

- I know Mom, but right
now we're really more

concerned about your
health and you should.

Relax, okay?

How are you feeling?

You still have the headache?

And your back?

I need you to relax, okay?

The doctor's gonna take care of you, okay?

Just relax, all right, Mom, 'kay?

Alex, it took my a lot
to write this letter

and I'm sorry to leave the
country without seeing you.

I know I have been acting
weird lately and...

But there are just some
things in my past that I need

to confront, some truth
that I need to know.

You have been amazing and I
cannot ask for anyone better,

but for us to move forward
in our relationship,

I need to sort some things out, you know?

Like I said to you.

I'm going back home and I just hope

everything goes as I planned.

Be patient with me.

I will always love you.

Thank you so
much for picking me up.

- It's my pleasure.

When your mother told me that her daughter

was coming to help, I was overjoyed.

She's told me so much about
you, that I've actually

been looking forward to meeting with you.

- Well, we finally meet.

She has also said good
things about you too.

- Oh, thank you.

And thanks for coming to come
help in our small hospital.

Your mother has been of such
great help all these years.

- Well, I just pray that I
will be able to help the little

that I can before she
comes on her next trip,

because I know she would.

I'm sure you would.

But first I will take you to your hotel.

- Okay.
- And then tomorrow

I'll come pick you to the hospital.

- Your mother told me
that you're pregnant.


Your husband did not waste at all.

Don't mind me.

I hope there's no problem and
that your mother in-law is

not giving you too much problems?

What about the small, small witches?

Your husband's wives?
- No.

- If you need anything
there, don't hesitate.

Just come and ask me, eh?

- Okay.

Thank you.

- Be walking gently, eh?


- Take care of yourself.

- Look at my daughter!

Isn't she beautiful?
- She's beautiful.

- She'll give me a grandchild
one of these days, very soon.

She has proven that she is the
true daughter of her mother.

Hello, how are you?

Halima, what took you so long?

- I saw my mother's friend Dillaliya.

- Dillaliya?


That village gossip!

I can't wait to deal with
that woman one of these days.

We don't want that kind of
association in this family.



Matron, good morning!

- How are you?

Very good.

- So that's the nurses' station,

and here we have the--

- Good morning, matron.

What are we going to do with this case?

- Which one is this?

- The one with the failing surgery.

- Oh, Dr. Zara, Mrs. Robin's daughter.

She'll be spending a few weeks with us.

- Oh, she's the one?

It's a pleasure to have you here.

- It's a pleasure to be here.

- You're welcomed.
- Thank you.

- Have you talked to Dr.
Londi about this case?

- He's on leave.

- Since when?

Over a week now.

- Who authorize it?

- Don't know.

- Not a worry, I'll handle this.

- Everything okay?

- Much as I hate to admit it,

we'll definitely be
needing your help here.

- Oh, how many surgeries
do you carry out in a day?

- One.

If we're lucky, maybe two.

These are trying times.

It used to be like 10 a day,
but with no more support,

everyone just keep silent
about the condition.

- There are lots of women here.

- Every time I see them my heart bleeds.

But we are looking for
more preventives ways

to keep them out of this condition.

- Can I see the file on the girl?

- Oh yeah, and that's the girl.

- Oh.

- I can't understand why
her surgeries keep failing.

- Well, I can see here that
the hole on her bladder

has been closed, but the bladder function

has still not been restored,
and I think we have to start

by doing a urodynamics examination on her.

What more can we do to stop this?

- We have been battling
with this condition now

for the past 10 years now.

Yet they still fall victim.

They still believe in early
marriages, female circumcision,

and giving birth at home.

- Let me handle this case.

- You were meant to observe today.

- I have seen enough from
a distance, I can tell you.

Where do all these women come from?

- From all over the country.

It's no longer the thing of the north.

We have so many woman out there

who don't even believe
they can still be cured.

- I need to do one more operation on her.

Prepare her.

- Fatima! Fatima!

She's not here?

- No she's not.

- I think you should go and
find this woman by yourself.

- I don't know her house Hajia.

- Where's Sani?

Let him to go and look for her.

I should call Sani.

- Let them go and look for her!

- Hajia, he's here

Why don't you go

and find the birth attendant now?

- Ma, I don't know, I don't know.

I don't know where she is.

I said you should
go to Adamu's compound,

ask them they will tell
show you where she is.

- Okay.

- Sorry, I'm sorry.

- I still feel we should
take her to the hospital.

- No, Hajia, no worries,
I already check her.

Her tummy worries, when her
tummy rests she will deliver.

- Why don't you give
her at least something?

- Okay, give her this--

- She's carrying my grandchild.

- Give her this one.

- I don't trust this, I
think we should take Halima

to the hospital--

Let's go to the hospital!

- Alhaji, have you seen my shop?

Alhaji just look at my
babes and make your pick.

- Who is she?

- Wow, she's new in the business.

- I think I like to go with this one,

I can go for her.

- Okay, I'll deliver her to you.

Be the first to taste her.

- Hey!

Madam Kojo!

- She bit your ears?

You think you can ruin my business?

You little rat, you almost made
me lose a valuable customer.

Take her away and do to her what we do

to disobedient servants.

You can do anything.

Stupid girl, make her suffer.

- Good afternoon.

- Um, I'm looking for Madam Kojo.

- Madam Kojo?

- Well, where can I find her?

- I don't know.

- Ragamu, where is, where is it?

- Look around here, ask the
people around this area,

they will tell you.

- But she used to live here before.

- He said when we get to
Ragamu, we should ask of her.

Do you know how to get there

or I should I just call someone else?

- Ragamu?

- Yes.

- That's quite far away from town.

I didn't know the new doctor is a local.

- No I was just talking to the driver

to see if he can get me there.

- Oh, okay.

Well, Dr. Londi.

- Oh, Dr. Zara.

- Oh?

- Oh, yes, I was actually
looking forward to meeting you.

I heard you were on leave.

- As you can see obviously
I'm back to the same struggle.

I could drive you down there.

I mean, I mean to Ragamu.

- Oh, no, don't worry, doc,
the driver will take me.

- All right, you're welcomed.

I hope you don't crash and
burn under the pressure.

- I hope not too.

- Okay, I heard you fixed the girl.

Her case has been quite challenging.

- Well, I'm happy that I could be of help.

- Modest, I would say for
a doctor of your caliber.

Well, um, they will keep
coming with the same cases

over and over again, so
roll up your sleeves.

Nice to meet you.

- Same here.

- Well, hope you enjoy it.

- I hope so.

- Your mom always do,
whenever she comes around.

- Halima, come, come, come, come.

What's wrong with you, huh?

Why you wet?

Why you dripping?

Let me check you.

This is serious.

- Matron, Nurse Ramatu just told me that

Dr. Londi wants to quit?

- He's not the first one to do that.

- Why?

- Doctor, there is no money
in treating fistula patients.

It's a job of passion,
no financial reward.

We pick them up after medical school,

train them as fistula
surgeons, the next thing,

they want to move to
the teaching hospitals.

- How have you been
coping all these years?

- God.

In my many years on this job,

your mother knows about it all.

I just believe that when
we take pity on the poor,

poor in health, we lend to God.

- But is there no way
they get their payment

directly from the government?

- Oh yes, we have sent a proposal
to the ministry of health,

we told them, "Pay them
and retain them here

"as fistula surgeons."

We can only train because we have to,

but we can't force them to stay.

- Dr. Londi, think about it.

- Think about what, Zara?

I can't do this anymore.

I've got a wife, I've
got one, two, three kids,

I've got aged parents,
I've got cousins, siblings

all staying in my place,
waiting for manna to fall

from heaven, and you know?

I am the provider of that manna.

Don't you understand?

- But you save the little you can.

You are a medical doctor,
your duty is to save lives.

- But guess what, I did
not sign a vow of poverty.

There are so many opportunities out there

and I'm going in search of one, please.

Now listen, it's rather
depressing going home in this gear

everyday and with the smell.

I've made up my mind.

You're not going to get
Londi this time, honestly.

I'm gone, Londi, you're gone,
Londi, you gone.

- What are you doing here?

- Halima, come here, come.

Come here.


Halima, do not let them get to you, okay?

- I don't know what is wrong with me.

- Nothing is wrong with
you, my dear, nothing.

- Oh please!

Why you lie to her?

She obviously some kind of
abomination to have this

kind of disease.

- Isn't that the same thing
that happened to Ayesha?

They said she committed adultery.

- Mariam, keep quiet!

You both should be ashamed of yourselves.

This poor girl have just
lost her baby recently.

Where is your conscience, you two?

Where is your conscience?

Come, let me clean you up, okay?

Don't worry, you'll be okay.

- Open the door for me.

- All right.

Halimagida, you're here.

- Can I come in?

- Welcome.

- Thank you.

- Hello.


- Push, push!

- Madam Kojo.

Do you remember me?

It's Zara.

Where's my child?

Where is my baby?

Mom, she couldn't tell me anything.

It looks like I will never
know what happened to her.

I don't even know why I came
here in the first place.

Mom, I just need to find her,

that's all I want is to find her.


- Yes?

You're in Africa.

Get closure on this so you
can move on with your life.

- The whole village is
talking about Halima

and this dreaded disease she
has brought to our household.

- I don't know what to do.

- You don't know what to do?

Hey, son, you don't know what to do?

Well if you don't know what to do, I do.

I will arrange to send
her to the buka's house.

Because I even suspect
that this is an evil attack

or even witchcraft, Sani.

- Hajia!

- Can you imagine the amount
the money that we spent on

that girl and her family
only for them to turn around

and make us a laughing
stock in this village?

Don't forget, Sani, the possibility

that she may have even committed adultery.

- I disvirgined the girl.

And she has remained in
the confines of this home

since I married her.

- What about that time that she ran away?

What about when she ran away
and we couldn't find her

until her mother brought her?

Do you know if she went in
search of her old boyfriends?

And then the other time, do you remember?

When I sent her to call
Adamu's mother for me,

she went away and never came
back, when she got here,

she said she's got lost.

Got lost, Sani, in this tiny village,

where the even cockroaches can
find their way to the stream.

Don't be naive, Sani.

Don't be naive!

- They are saying our whole household

is infected with disease, Halimagida

- Everyone smell, you know?

And people should stop
coming to our house.

We are just coming from Kiki's place.

It's Fatima.


- What is it, Mariam?

You people should leave
the poor girl alone.

- Have I not warned you before,

have I not told not to take her out?

- But mama, she has to go out.

- Hey, it's enough!

Halima, we will have put
you in a room where you stay

for a while before I decide
on what to do with you.

No going out and no cooking.

- What is the emergency?

- All the doctors have resigned.

- What?

- As soon as Dr. Londi left,
they all got discouraged.

Right now we have a back
log of women waiting for

repairs and we are short
of medical supplies.

- What are we going to do?

I mean, who is going to
pay for their surgeries?

- People in the rural area
cannot even afford to pay

for the first procedures in the surgery.

- Can't leave them here.

Who is the current Minister of Health?

- Miss Zara Robbins.

I am quite touched by
your zeal on fistula.

This is the ministry of health

and we do supervise every
kind of medical condition

We've been working on Fistula for years.

But we have some budget
constraints at the moment.

I will suggest you try
the office of the MDGs.

Maybe they can help you for now.

- What do we do, Dillaliya?

- Didn't I say it?

I knew that Sani's mother is a witch.

Look at what has befallen
our pretty Halima

in the hands of that wicked family.

- Dillaliya? Solution please.

- Who told you to take
her out of this compound?

Is it not enough that the
whole village is talking

about this dreaded disease that
she brought upon our family?

You had to go and parade her around,

round the whole village?

- Mama, We just went to the
market to pick up some fish.

You know she hasn't left this house since.

- What do you mean, she has
not left the house since?

Since she brought this
disease unto our family,

do you know the kind of disgrace
that my son has received?

Young lady, this is not the
time to cry, let me tell you.

Do you understand that?

You stay in your room until
we decide what to do with you.

- We will wait for our
husband to tell us what to do.

- Fatima!

Your husband!

Let me remind you in case you
have forgotten, that he is

my son and I make the
decision here in his absence.

So you don't stand there
and tell me anything

about anything.

Now, you go to your room
and go and do your cooking

and while you are at
it Fatima, clean her up

before the whole house starts smelling.

- Go back to your father.

Go and let your family
share in this embarrassment.

Why should I be the only one to suffer?

What did I do wrong?

I waited for you, bought
gifts for your family,

married you the right way.

What was my crime?

Please go!

Whatever your sins are,

I will not suffer along with you.

- Husband, please.

- Who is your husband?

You are the one who
knows who you slept with

that gave you this terrible disease.

- Halimagida, please I beg you.

I didn't sleep with anyone.

Please don't chase me away.

My parents won't receive me.

- Why won't they reject you, you witch?

I don't know what made
me waste my money on you.

The whole house smells.

My friends can no longer
come and pay me a visit,

and to worsen it you can't
bear children anymore.

Who will want to sleep
with a rotten pig like you?


Hey, listen to me!

- What happened, huh?

- Excuse me!

If I see you near her,

you'll pack your things
to your father's house.

- Please, please,

she's just a little girl,
Hajia, please, please!

- Hajia please.

- Hajia, please, see the
little girl in front to you.

Please beg out husband.

- Please.

- Come on.

Don't worry, it's going to be okay.

- Please Halimagida, please.

She's our daughter, where will she go?

She's not a witch, please
don't listen to them.

- Please.

- She has to go.

- Where will she go?

There's nowhere to go.

- My hands are tied,
there is nothing I can do.

- She needs us now, she needs us.

- Please.

- Please.

What kind of a man are you?

- Halima, Halima.

- I wish I would die.

The dead are better than me.

- Don't say that, my daughter.

There must be a solution.

I brought food for you.


- I heard there's a new doctor in town

who can cure your disease.

I came with some clothes and food for you.

I'll come and pick you up
tomorrow evening, okay?

I'll take you there.

- Fatima, where are you coming from?

Sit down, you went to Usuman's house.

Why did you have to stay that long?

- Um, when I was coming, uh--

- Anyway, just sit down, join us.

We are having a family discussion.

As I was saying, everyone in
the village is now thinking

that there is something
wrong with this family,

but thank God that Halima is out of here.

So, the best thing to do
now is to marry another wife

since I have divorced her.

We need to cleanse this
home and restore my dignity.

- Our husband, we need to
be careful this time around.

I mean, why'd you rush?

I think we should recover
from this Halima issue first.

- Halimagida, Mariam is right.

And also we are here to
take very good care of you.

You don't know what
another wife might bring.

We have been living in
peace for a while now.

Please, mai gida,

don't invite anymore evil into our midst.

- Let me make this clearer.

He is not asking for your
opinion on this matter.

He is only sharing his
intentions with you.

His very good intentions.

- Halimagida, as for me, since
you have made up your mind,

I don't have anything to say.

- You are a witch, you are
a witch, you are a witch!

You need to see the condition of--

- Doctor Mutanga!

- What is it again?

- We have another case, so.

- Another case?

Another case.

- How?

Because of this disease
you carry,.

- I have told you, don't drop that woman.

Don't drop that woman there!

I thought this was
supposed to be a hospital!

Either you serve life, or to kill.

- Don't drop that woman!

Come, come back here!

Come back here!

Come back, I can't carry this one!

- Please we are here to see the doctor.

My friend needs help.

- Fill this form.

- We can't read or write.

- Well, sit down there.

When Ike comes, he will help you fill it.

- I know.

- Oh, man, fu...

- Dr. Mutanga!

- No, no, go and, go and
put on the generator.

I am operating here now.

- Why didn't anybody tell me?

We used the last one this month.

- Okay, nurse give him some money, eh?

And you, just hurry up
and put on the generator.

I'm seriously doing something here.

- Dr. Mutanga, I no get any money.

- My friend give him the money.

What's your problem?

And I warned you people,

no speaking Pidgin English in this place.

- Ah!

- I don't know how to
handle her case, honestly.

I don't know where to start from.

See, where is the pen?

- Doctor, it's on your head.

- Oh, sorry.

See, the only kind of cases we
handle here are child birth,

you know, appendix, malaria,
two plus or three plus,

typhoid, eczema, meningitis, all this.

But this case, I don't even
have the kind of equipment

to perform that kind of surgery.

- But doctor, they told
us that you are very good.

- I'm very good, honestly.

But I'm sorry, I cannot

help your friend.


- Thank you so much, and
we are very grateful for,

you know, assisting us
in such a short notice.

- Anytime.

Are you still doing the mobile
clinic in the rural villages?

- Oh, yes, I and some doctors
are going round the villages

to operate on these women, and
since they can't come to us,

we have go to them.

- Of course, of course,
that's the best strategy.

I'll be on my way now, but remember,

we're always there to help.

- Thank you, thank you very much.

Thank you.
- Thank you.

- Thank you.

- Ayesha!

How are you doing?

Look at you, looking all fine and pretty.

- Thank you.

- You're going to be discharged next week.

- I know, Matron told me.

I hear you're going to the villages?

- Mhm, next week, in
a few weeks, actually.

- Doctor, please can you start with mine?

I know this girl that has this
condition and she has been

abandoned by her husband and family.

I would like you to help her.

I can take you around the villages.

- I doubt if you're
strong enough to do that.

- Doctor, please.

Let me go with your team.

I understand the language
and can assist in any way.

- Okay, I will think
about it, but right now

I need you to go to
your bed and rest, okay?

- Okay.

- I'll let you know.

- Help!

Somebody help me!

- What happened to her?

- She has been in labor for days now.

- How many days?

- Four days.
- Four days?

Oh, she's bleeding.

More gauze, more gauze, more gauze.

More gauze.

No! Wake up!


- I heard what happened.

- If only they had
brought her early enough!

If only they had brought her here on time!

- This happens while we are
still trying to save many.

We can't save every life.

- But I could have saved this one.

Why do they bring her
here when they allow her

to give birth at home?

What is the point?

Her records show she
attended antenatal care here,

but when she's about to give birth,

she's locked up with some quacks!

And then she's about to die, they remember

there's a freaking
clinic around the corner!

What's wrong with all these people?

- These people do not know any better.

Hey, you don't have to
be so hard on yourself.

We can't entirely comprehend it.

It's hard enough that they allow
little babies to give birth

to babies with no
professional help whatsoever.

We don't have all the answers,

but we are doing all we can.

- No!

We need to do more.

We can't keep losing these women.

I mean there has to be way!

If they can't come to
us, we will go to them.

Honorable Musa received

an award of excellence from
the Speaker of the House

for his contribution.

Honorable Musa said he was very
elated to receive the award,

and that he will--

- He's one of the few I like.

- Okay.

- Some of the doctors have
indicated their interest.

- Oh, that's wonderful, that's great.

So that means we can start
with the nearest village.

- That's right.

- Do you want some tea?

- Oh no, I'm just fine, thank you.

- Okay.

- So if you know anybody that has VVF,

anybody that has fistula, our
bus is set up in that place,

tell the person to come
so we can repair them.

Go, go, go!

- What is going on, Ayesha?

- It's the girl I told you about.

- Why are they stoning her?

I don't understand.
- I don't know.

Please do something!

- Matron!

Did you see what is going on?

- Yes, I've seen it all.

- They can't just stone her
like that, are they crazy?

Come on, come
on, come here, come back!

Doctor Zara, come back.

No, no, no, let's go, let's go.

Not now.

Get into the car.

- They can't just do that.

Listen, just get
into the car now, please!


- Take your food.

What more do you want
me to do for you, huh?

Tell me, what do you want?

- I want my childhood back.

I want to be a girl again,

playing in my father's compound
with the other children.



staying by my mother,

helping out in the kitchen,

listening to folklore under the moon.

Can you get that for me?

Can you?

- Halima.

- Did you hear what happened
to me in the market?

- Yes, I heard what happened
to you in the market, Halima,

but you have to be strong.

Stop crying.

Have to believe things will
work out themselves somehow.

- Yes, what do you want?

- Please, what is wrong with her?

- What's your problem in
what is wrong with her?

Are you her for gossip or you
want to hear it from my mouth?

- I'm only here to help.

- Which help, which help?

Didn't you hear what happened
to her at the village?

- I saw what happened today.

I came with the medical team.

- We went to the hospital.

They could not help, so leave us alone.

- Please don't talk like that.

I understand what you are going through.

I went through the same thing too,

but now I'm dry.

- Just go, go, I don't
want to go anywhere.

Go, go!


- Halima, Halima.

- I know you know where she is.

You don't know the guilt I
carried with me all these years.

I just want to know that she is happy,

or if she's in a good home, or?

Just anything.

I beg you, tell me something,
just tell me just anything.

I beg you.

- She was struck with
stroke a few years back,

but she's recovering.

She speaks like, once in a while.

- Who are you?

- My name is Rita and I'm her daughter.

- Well, I just want to know
what she did with my child.

- She told me about her.

She said it was the biggest
regrets of her life.

- I don't care about that.

I'm sorry your mother was
such a horrible person.

All I need to know is to find my baby.

I want to know where my child is.

That's all I want to know.

- Um.

There's a woman in Kuma
village, her name is Hadiza,

but I don't know if she still lives there.

- Just give me any information,
anything, I can find her.

- I don't know much.

I'm so sorry, but be rest
assured, if I find something,

I'll definitely contact you.

- Hello?



Good afternoon.

- Good afternoon.

- Please sir, we are looking for Hadiza.

- Is everything all right?

- Yes, no problem, but is this her house?

- Yes, this is her house.

I'm her husband but she
has gone to the market.

Is anything the matter, please?

- No, no, no, no, we are just
very close friends of hers

and we came to visit her.

- Oh.

You are welcome, yes, yes, just a minute.

Come and have a sit.

Come and sit here and wait for her.

- Okay.

As well.

You are welcome.

Welcome, welcome, welcome.

- I don't know what you're talking about.

She's my daughter!

- She is mine, she was stolen from me.

- Get out, get out!

- Listen Hadiza, this is the mother.

- You have no right to come in here.

- Please, I beg you, I don't
want to lose her a second time.

I just need to see her face.

I just want to make sure that she's fine.

That's all I ask, please.

- Leave my house before
I do something drastic.


- I know it's difficult
for you, but please--

- Leave my house!

Get out!

Get out!

- Get up!

Now leave the house.

Leave the house.

I said leave my house!

- I'm on my way to the hospital, my dear.

That doctor, their operation,

they were operating women,

operating women, operating women,

that's what they've been saying,

Even at the village square, she said that,

she was telling them, I heard.

She was telling them,

you know me I don't say what I don't see.

She was telling them
that operation, hospital,

pregnant hospital, everything hospital.

- Oh my god.

- The whole thing is burned down!

- Who could have been
responsible for this?

- I don't know!

- I told you, Dr. Zara,
these people can be crazy.

Come on, come on, come on.

Doctor Zara.

- Where are all the people?

- We have to look for them, we
have to look for all of them.

It's okay, it's okay, it's okay.

- Why is our children
burning our hospital down?

The only community hospital,

and these people have come to help us.

Our children are doing it.

Do you know of it?

It is not us.

- Why is it not you, is your
children who are doing it.

You better go and warn them.

This will not happen again.

- Who's next?

- Oh, she's next, she's ready now.

- Oh, how are we doing?

- I learnt that some new
doctors came into the village.

- Are you sure they can help her?

You said the other doctor rejected her.

- They rejected her, but
this one is different,

because Amina, Rabu's
daughter just got well.

My prayer now is that
Halima agrees to go with me.

- Let's go and talk to her, let's go.


Halima, Halima, Halima!

- Halima!

- Please, go and get the doctor!

Please, please.

Oh my god, Halima.

- Help!

Help, help!

Hospital, hospital please, help Halima!

Halima, please!

Help, help, please, help!

- Halima, Halima!


- Pick her up, pick her up right how.

- Halima!

- Move it, move it!

Wait there, move it!

- I'm sorry for abandoning
you when you needed me most.

- I'm not your real mother.

I needed a child so badly,

so when my friend told me she
could help, I had to do it.

She's your mother.

I just met her.

She came all the way to look for you.

- I'm so sorry.

I didn't know you were still alive.

I thought you were dead.

But I'll do everything in my power

to make sure you are okay, okay?

Everything to make sure that you are well.

- Mama.

- No!

Hold on, let me check your pulse.

Oh my god, nurse!


Oh my god, don't die!


- Halima, no, Halima, no!

- Oh god!

- Make her suffer!

Silly girl!

- Why are they marrying them off?

That's the reason.

Marry them off, they get
pregnant, and then at the end

of the day, you throw them
away like piece of trash.

This needs to stop, and
that's the only thing I want.

The government has to do
something, everyone has to stand up

to make sure that we restore
our healthcare system.

That is all I ask for.

Restore our healthcare system.

- Well said.

We do wish you well.

In case you want to
reach out to Doctor Zara

to support this cause,
you can send your money...

- Who is this women who is
talking all over the place?

- Um, I don't, I don't know.

You don't know?

You were sent a letter and
you did nothing about it?

- I'm sorry your lordship,
we had other pressing issues.

- What issue could be more
pressing than this lunatic doctor

who will do anything to
paint this country bad.

I want you to get to her and let her know

that the assembly is interested
in this case, whether the

bill is passed or not,

convince her that we care.

- We are have tried as much
as we can to really help,

but without enough government
support there is so

little we can do.


She's everywhere!

Now get on it!

- All right, your excellency.

- Yes come to our mother hospital.

Just come down.

Where are you people from?



Oh my god.

What are you doing here?

- I thought someone show
come and keep an eye on you.

- I'm sorry for running
off on you like that.

- You better not do it again.

- Thank you so much for coming.

Thank you.

Mister speaker!

- Please sit down.

Honorable colleagues,

distinguished ladies and gentlemen,

before we go on, I'd like to

say that I,

I have decided to take
over the chairmanship

of this committee on this
issue, because of the gravity,

and the seriousness that it deserves.

The whole country is asking questions

and we must have the answer to give them.

Dr. Zara Robbins,

the floor is yours.

- Thank you, honorable speaker,

for this wonderful opportunity.

I'm standing in front of
you today, not just because

I'm a woman, but first, I am
a human being, and as such

my fundamental human rights
needs to be protected.

The African woman can
be described as the most

endangered species of our world.

Culture conditions her from
cradle to a life of submission

and subservience against
her natural inclination for

freedom and self-determination.

She is at birth a child
to be loved and cared for,

but as she gains age and
consciousness of her environment,

archaic traditions discard
and discount her social value

to a mere object to be used and given away

to almost anything to almost anybody!

That I am alive today is a miracle.

You all might wonder what is my story?

My daughter Halima died
in my arms few days ago

from fistula.

She was rushed to the hospital
almost in a state of coma,

the fistula has resulted
in giving her septicemia

and then she died.

I'm a medical doctor, I
have saved so many lives,

but the one person that I cared about,

the one person that I
just wanted for one day

to tell her how much I loved her.

The one person I could
have given everything for

or could have done anything for,

ended up dying in my arms.

And you know what?

I am not different from all
these women who go through

this trauma every day.

I am just lucky.

My parents died or rather they
where killed by the rebels

who invaded our village
and killed everyone.

I escaped

and ran to my aunty's house,

but she wasn't please to see me.

- Silly girl!

Why are you just coming back, eh?

Can't you talk?

It now takes you forever to
bring water from the backyard.

Her husband
was nice to me at first,

showered me with gifts,
looked at me in awkward ways

that I did not understand
until eventually.

Uncle stop!

No, no, no!

No, no, no!

Uncle stop!

- Why are you crying?

- Uncle raped me.

- Uncle raped you?

What are you talking about?

Hear this, evil child.

After you have killed
your parents, now you want

to destroy my home?

God forbid!

Look at your mouth, rape?

How do you know what rape is?

Huh, Zara you cannot live in
this house with me any longer.

I said go, go, you must go!

My aunty had to chase me away.

I found myself on the streets.

I was hawking

and then two men kidnapped me

and took me to a woman called Madam Kojo.

Madam Kojo, who felt she
owned me and could do anything

with me, forced me into prostitution.

And it was at that point
that I realized that

I was carrying my uncle's child.

But Madam Kojo had her plans.

She had other plans.

She lied to me that my baby died.

My baby!

And then I developed fistula.

- What?

- Not again.

- What is it?

Must you do this every day?

- How can you do this kind of a thing?

Look at my body.

I can't take this anymore.

- Off to the witch who did this house.

Go on!

- Which kind of evil child is this?

From one problem to the other.

Now you are born,

now your pikin' die, now
you still do piss for house,


Please return to wherever
they brought you from.

This witchcraft is not
good for my business.

Return, I beg leave my house.

Leave my house now!

The whole house is smelling.

- I felt so ashamed that I meant nothing.

I believed everything my aunty
told me, that I was evil,

that I killed my parents, that
I allowed my uncle rape me,

that everything happened
to me that I deserved,

that I'm such a horrible person.

But you know what?

The death of my daughter
made me realize that no!

I don't.

I don't deserve it,

I deserve to be happy, I
deserve to be protected.

I deserved to be loved.

Just that I wish I could show the love

that I got from my adopted
mother to my daughter,

who found me on the streets
repaired me of fistula

and then changed my life.

Today I stand before you

to speak for the rights

and welfare of the daughters of Africa,

to speak against their abuse and reduction

to the status of material gifts.

Especially at a tender age.

The practice of underaged
marriage, female circumcision,

lack of access to medical
care and education

is a gross abuse of womanhood.

I insist that the final and
most decisive anti-fistula

effort should commence now.

Time has come for us to
put a stop to this menace.

Time has come for us to save ourselves

from this crippling scourge.

We need to enforce the Child Right Act.

We need to pass the national health bill,

create an agency for the
eradication of Fistula

in order to achieve our
millennium developmental goals.

And in all,

I beg you, please,

let these young girls
have their childhood,

because when it is taken away from them,

you can never get it back.

And in all of this today.

I confront my abuser,

who amazingly is one of you.

Honorable Musa Abudullahi.

I ask the honorable assembly
not only to grant me

the wishes of these women,
but also bring to judgment

to Honorable Musa for the
crime he committed against

a young girl many years ago.

- Order! Order!

- It's with pleasure that
we unveil this center

dedicated to Halima, the little
girl that died of fistula.

May God rest her soul.

I hereby declare the
official laying foundation

of Halima Fistula Hospital
and School of Education open.

- Thank you so much.

- Thank you very much.