A Man Marries a Little Girl in Nigeria as Part of Culture

AP photo

 

By

Joseph Besong

In Africa culture plays a very big role in marriage, especially in the traditional setting. Some marriages still accept old traditions that look ancient and old fashioned.

Within this culture and tradition it is acceptable for a grown up man to get married to a little girl of 10 years in some parts of northern Nigeria. This tradition is understandably under pressure and criticism from people who believe this is bad and insane. The Hausas in Nigeria find no wrong with this tradition and keep encouraging it as a treasure.

Recently a man who in lives in the Northern part of Nigeria got married to a 10 year old girl as part of that culture. This practice is common with the Muslim community in the Northern part of Nigeria. They continue to practice this and are not bothered about the critics. This story surfaced on Facebook when one Alfa Bolondes posted a picture of the ‘traditional’ wedding on his Facebook page. The post understandably invited a great deal of criticism. The said Alfa Bolondes even boasted about the wedding claiming that it’s part of culture.

 

 

 

It should be noted that marriages of this nature are common in the Northern part of Nigeria and are normal to the inhabitants, but understandably a taboo to people from other tribes and nationalities. It doesn’t make any sense to see a grown man getting married to a girl of 10 in the 21st or any other century. What kind of culture can’t be erased if it poses a problem to the welfare of the girl child? This is one of the questions many are asking and are not receving any answers. The child marriages in Northern Nigeria are affecting the personal growth of girls in that region. They are derived of a good life and education.

Dealing with the issue is difficult and complicated because in the North they have religion and government as one. The Federal government of Nigeria has tried in vain to solve some of these issues. Worthy of note is the fact that the Chibok girls who were abducted by Boko Haram in Nigeria are part of this northern region. Videos that came out showed that the girls were pregnant, some already with babies.

Many are therefore asking whether this taboo marriage is a bond of love or something else. According to some Nigerians, the marriage is valid according to the traditions of the people in the North. I am not sure the bride has any consent to the marriage because they are so young they don’t even know what to do. They are forced into the marriage contract by tradition. They are unable to stand in the way of this because they are helpless in the midst of a dangerous tradition.

Again, this tradition is notably in the Northern part of Nigeria. The brides and grooms usually wear the same traditional attire. There are food and drinks to celebrate the union. Families from both the bride and groom usually partake in the traditional activities. Early marriages are one of the many miseries affecting the girl child in most parts of Africa. It’s not always easy to crack down on ‘tradition’ because in the light of things, they see it as normal and do not tie any negativity to it whatsoever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

joseph besong

Joseph Besong

I am the editor-in-chief of Kilimandjaro radio. I hail from Africa, precisely from Cameroon in Central Africa.

I did my secondary education at Bishop Rogan College Soppo-Buea located in the South West Region of Cameroon. After graduation, I proceeded to the University of Buea-Cameroon where I read English minor in Journalism and Mass Communication. I later worked in Cameroon as a broadcaster with Two radios namely Radio Evangelum and CBS Radio all located in Buea.

Presently, I work with Kilimandjaro radio, an online radio station based in Canada.

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