The news on Senate child marriage law shocked me and I guess that's the same for anyone in their right mind. Just before I started writing this, one of my closest friends and mother of two girls is prepared to take the next available flight to Nigeria holding her sharpest kitchen knife. I dared to ask what use would her knife serve, she yelled “make I go chop off their pedophiles penises” she then ranted on in Igbo.
I was not far from the way she felt. I took to Twitter and expressed my disagreement with great hope that my voice amongst millions of similar voices may be heard and in essence put to stop this horrific act of innocence robbery.
This buzzing issue of child bride sent some personal memories flooding back to my mind; I was only 16 when my first suitor approached my parents for my hand in marriage. It was a norm if you grew up in Anambra State. In fact some of my classmates got married at a very young age and started having children too. Some of them survived early marriages and unfortunately others were torn by domestic abuse and low self esteem.
My parents were kind enough to ask for my opinion when that forty something year old rich man came to marry me. And my answer was 'tufiakwa! my dad laughed and told him that I was not ready. I continued to say no until I became ready. All I wanted was to be educated and my family supported me all the way. I finally got married at age twenty-five. Prior to my marriage, I enjoyed being a child, a teenager and young adulthood. I would have been greatly disappointed if that great opportunity was taken away from me.
I cannot begin to process the disappointment a young child must feel when they are denied of their innocence, their human right to grow and develop.
How is Nigeria suppose to catch up internationally if we still have people who are willing to marry off children? How would a child cope with sexual relationship that married couple share?
Surely, allowing the law of under-age marriage would showcase Nigeria as a dirty perverted giant of Africa.
All views expressed here are those of Jane Meadows
Check out Jane’s blog: Herculesinheels.wordpress.com
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