20 January 2018
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Monday, 25 December 2017 07:36

Nkhata Bay Standard 3 poet raps society for enticing young girls into marriage

Written by  Hannifah Mtuwakale
NO TO EARLY MARRIAGES: Alinafe Chamba reciting her poem -  Pic by Hannifah Mtuwakale NO TO EARLY MARRIAGES: Alinafe Chamba reciting her poem - Pic by Hannifah Mtuwakale

Nkhata Bay, December 24, 2017: A Standard Three girl from Kavuzi Primary School in Nkhata Bay District Friday wowed an audience with a poem titled Mama which raps society for enticing young girls into early marriages.

Alinafe Chamba, 8, recited her poem on the tendency by some members of the society to call young girls “Mama” instead of their christened names.

She recited the poem during ActionAid Malawi’s award ceremony to the school for its active participation on helping to end violence and abuse on school children under Safe School Project.

Chamba said calling a young girl mama changes some girls’ mindset thinking that they are old enough for marriages.

In the poem, she said young girls should not be nicknamed mama until they are grown up and get married. Excerpt:

Allow me to answer to the name you gave me at birth
And get educated
So that I can buy you expensive blankets
And all the cattle that you sell us for

In an interview, Chamba said she wants to finish her education and become a pilot despite long distances from home to school and lack of learning materials.

“My mother and father are jobless and sometimes I go to school on an empty stomach. But I will definitely change the world around them once I become a pilot,” she said.

Her teacher, Martha Mhone, described the young girl as hard working and always top of the class during examinations although she lacks motivation from her parents in terms of providing her with learning materials.

“She comes to school even when she’s not feeling well. For example, she has a headache since last week and we thought she wouldn’t make it today but we are also surprised with her performance,” Mhone said.

Nkhata Bay is one of the districts with rampant cases of child marriages in the country.

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