Child Bride

 

Photo credit. unfpa.org

Under age marriage.

Talking about underage marriage, in Africa we are the center of underage marriage in the world.

I am from Nigeria and I live in the North Western Nigeria (am from the North Eastern part of Nigeria), and the North West is where underage marriage is mostly practice.

I stay in Sokoto where underage marriage is a norm and not seen as bad, Sokoto have a very high cases of women living with Vesicular Virginal Fistula (VVF).

Underage marriage is a marriage between one of the two (or both) person involve in the marriage contract or agreements. I am looking at underage marriage not in the context of birth age (18 being legal or official), but looking at the persons as not being matured physiologically. Mentally, physically, and emotionally not being matured is also tagged as being underage. The girl child are mostly the most affected by this.

I am writing about underage marriage, I was in a village in Sokoto for a research work, and my guide a young boy of about 9 – 11 years of age said a statement that almost brought tears to my eyes.

Faruku and his friend saw a small girl passing by and his friend said “har anyi ma yarinya nan wanka” which means this in English “This girl has already been married off”. Then Faruku said they are just suffering this girl, they went ahead to talked about other young girls who are even in their matrimonial homes.

These young boys feel bad about the underage marriage, what saddens me was a young man who was with us and he sees nothing wrong with the girls being married off ag that young age, he is even trying to defend the practice and fault those you boys and being boys and don’t know anything yet. During this discussion a lot was going on in my mind and here are a few of them.

  1. How do these young boys know that these girls are too young for marriage?
  2. How come this young man don’t see the evil of this practice?
  3. Are these young boys truly too young to know what is marriage?
  4. Will they still hold on to this believe as they grow up as underage marriage is bad?
  5. How come the people of this community welcome such a practice?

As I finished my work and headed back home I was just disturbed in my spirit and I remember when I visit Maryam Abatcha Women and Children Hospital Sokoto, I saw so many women young girls most of them about 13 – 15 years of age suffering from VVF. I begin to wonder how did they get to this state and what is the solution?

I think more awareness and enlightenment and sex/reproductive health education has to be intensify to get everyone aware and enlighten. Leaders and elders of the communities need to be involve in this awareness campaign.

I pray there will be more voices who will  rise up and speak about this.

The Beautiful Heart

People literally spend millions and millions of dollars every year on beauty aids, enhancements, and surgeries just so they can look younger, prettier, sexier, etc. The sad thing is this: no matter how much time and effort a person tries to make themselves appear younger or look better, they will still get old…in other words…you can’t beat Mother Nature.

Photo Credit: Brandon Zierer via CC Flickr

So…what should a person focus their time and energy on each day? The answer is this…THEIR HEART because this is what a person is REALLY made of. The following story is a terrific example of this concept. It illustrates to us in a picturesque way about the true beauty of an individual.

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One day, in a heavily crowded place, a young man was shouting at the crowd.

“People look at me; I have the most beautiful heart in the world.”

Many people looked at him and were stunned to see the beautiful heart in a perfect shape, no little flaw, which looked quite amazing. Most of the people who saw his heart was mesmerized by the beauty of his heart and praised him.

However, there came an old man and challenged the young man, “No my son, I have got the most beautiful heart in the world!”

The young man asked, “Show me your heart, then!”

The old man showed his heart to him. It was very rough, uneven, and had scars all over the heart. Also, the heart was not in shape, appeared like bits and pieces joined together in various colors. There were some rough edges, some part of the heart were removed and filled with other pieces.

The heart of the old man simply looked like various pieces of heart joined together and formed as a heart.

The young man started laughing at his heart, “My dear old man, are you mad? See, my heart! How beautiful and flawless it is. You cannot find even a bit of imperfection in my heart. See, yours. It is full of scars, wounds and blemishes. How can you say your heart is beautiful?”

“Dear boy, my heart is just so beautiful as your heart is. Did you see the scars? Each scar represents the love I shared with a person. I share a piece of heart with others when I share love and in return I get a piece of heart, which I fix at the place where I had torn a piece!” said the old man.

The young man was shocked.

And the old man continued. “Since the pieces of heart I shared were neither equal nor in the same shape or size, my heart is full of uneven edges and bits and pieces.” “My heart is not in shape because sometimes I never get the love in return from those I gave it. So where do you see the real beauty? Your heart which looks fresh and fuller with no scars which indicates you never shared love with anybody. Did you?”

The young man stood still and never spoke a word. Tears rolled down his cheeks. He walked to the old man, tore a piece of his heart and gave the piece to the old man. 

Many people give importance and respect to physical beauty. Yet, physical appearance isn’t the real beauty…the heart is! Like the old adage says: “Beauty really is only skin deep!”

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Source: kidsworldfun.com