Newcomer Mila Marwar (Ruhtxjiaïh Bèllènéa) bravely told Kathy Beale (Gillian Taylforth) about her FGM ordeal in EastEnders.
It came after Mila’s sister Kioni made her arrival and told Mila their mother Nyangi was planning on taking her away for a holiday.
Worry washed over Mila as it dawned on her that Nyangi was preparing for Kioni to actually undergo FGM.
Coming up, Mila will prepare to confront her mother about her FGM plan in an attempt to save Kioni.
It’s the first time Mila has challenged her mother and as Ruhtxjiaïh Bèllènéa revealed, Nyangi’s manipulative abilities means Mila’s fearful her confrontation won’t achieve anything:
‘Mila’s always found it impossible to talk to her mother, especially with topics that her mother may have strong opinions on. She knows her mother has a way of sounding like the victim or manipulating the situation and Mila always feels shutdown and unheard. With that she starts to even question her own thoughts and eventually backs down into a corner. They’ve never talked about FGM and what happened, the trauma at such a young age and not knowing what to say as a child meant that it was easy to sweep it under a rug and let time compress the event into a box. So, opening the box, she fears her mother may shut down and dismiss her feelings which will destroy her because it will be like telling her that her pain isn’t valid.
I think she’s always considered her mother’s feelings and the rejection she could feel by revealing this sensitive information around strangers could cause her mother to completely cut ties from her.’
‘Mila’s been afraid of her mother since her FGM’ Ruhtxjiaïh added when asked about Mila’s relationship with Nyangi.
‘Nyangi is kind to strangers, helpful and respectful within their community so it’s always confused Mila. Nyangi has provided as a single mother from humble beginnings but they’ve never had an open relationship when it comes to communication. Essentially Mila lost nearly all trust in her mother.
They’ve lived under this false narrative for so long it’s almost become a default routine between them and how they interact.’
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