EastEnders star discusses importance of dark FGM story

Mila Marwar (RuhtxjiaÏh Bèllènéa) in EastEnders bravely told Kathy Beale (Gillian Taylforth) that her mother Nyangi was planning on taking her young sister Kioni away to be ‘cut’.

Mila also told Kathy that she knows that was her mother’s plan as she underwent FGM (female genital mutilations) when she was younger.

As Mila desperately tries to save her sister, actress RuhtxjiaÏh Bèllènéa has been speaking about the importance of this FGM storyline:

‘We need to be faced with the reality of the world we live in and all its shapes, colours and intricacies. This story and topic is so many peoples reality, not distant strangers but people living and walking by us every day, and I hope Eastenders have made a brave and needed step in reflecting our society and hopefully it encourages people to look out for each other, learn about each other and ask questions to bring awareness.

And mostly support this community of women by looking into organisations that are there to help them and provide the right medical attention that they need.’

When asked how she felt to be tackling this subject, RuhtxjiaÏh added:

‘I immediately felt a weight of responsibility but in the best possible way. I was so glad that a current topic that most people wouldn’t want to handle, because of its fragility and cultural identity, was being brought to the forefront on such a massive platform and I was honoured to know I would be able to give it the respect, care, and commitment to truth it deserved.

I wanted to make sure I focused more on the women’s version of events and how they are affected because they are who this is happening to, so I was ready for the challenge but aware that I wanted to get it right.’

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