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One early morning I found myself sitted and dissolved in my world of thought. I was contemplating on this heartbreaking issue of child marriage which is not a modern trend but grows from the old days where we find Marie Antoinette being presented to Louis Auguste at Versailles, before their marriage. She was married at age 15, on 16 May 1770.
In modern days the same thing it is has shot up the sky and girls still remain the top victims. According to Girls not brides, one out of every three girls in the world falls victim to this ogre. In terms of percentage, Niger has the highest cases at 76% and in terms of absolute child marriage, India is highest with 26 610 000 marriages. Projections are that by 2050 a total number of 1.2 billion would have fallen victim to child marriage.
In most cases, especially in the developing world, the major cause is poverty. Children are forced to get married against their will in order to secure provision for the family, although they are likely not to enjoy the experience. Looking at some victims of these marriages within and around my community I started pouring out my feelings in a poem titled, Haunted Mind:
I simply like it that way,
The torture my thoughts subject me to
That moment when my brains can’t stop.
My processing unit seems to be over speeding.
The idea is good
But the timing seems too early.
3 O’clock in the morning,
I wake and sit
Nothing to work on
But mind at work.
I picture the young lady somewhere
Sitting by the seashore,
Her tiny face hid behind the uncombed hair.
With her torn jeans she sits directly on the sand,
Her mind miles apart with her body.
Her soul seems tormented
Only if I could predict…
Armed with curiosity,
My tongue won’t stay still
That is until I understand her story.
Whether it’s worth it,
No one cares.
My mission, almost impossible
Is to put a smile on her face.
Chit chat and the story goes on,
In a flash, she drops a tear
And the next moment they are tears.
Young girl pours out her heart,
“I am young, I have dreams, I have expectations…”
“And the problem is,” I jump in;
Young girl bursts out;
“He is old, ugly, polygamous…”
That is when I understand her trauma,
Young girl is suffering the wrath of rot tradition,
A husband imposed on her
Simply because parents believe she is an asset.
To her, the marriage will be a daily torture,
For them, it will be a fortune
For he is a rich bastard.
A man of no shame,
Lacking sense in its commonness
Finding a wife in her
A girl his son was senior to in school.
What’s wrong with this world,
If all these old mandalas enjoy the honey of our generation,
What will be left for us then,
Or do they expect us to then take home a secondhand wife?
So we should wait for their final sleep,
Until then we would suffer in lust
Longing for their wives who could’ve been ours,
Only if they were not greedy.
No no no,
For me, this won’t work.
I can’t see the moral decay prevail,
And they preach Ubuntu
When they can’t control their conjugal thirsts for fresh blood.
Enough is enough,
No acrimonious man should temper with the honey of my generation.