Loving Heart: Woman dubbed the 'Marriage Terminator' is saving young girls in Malawi

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Theresa Kachindamoto is driving a change in her Monkey Bay community.

Theresa Kachindamoto has used her position as a community chief to ensure an end to child marriage.

Theresa Kachindamoto, a woman from a noble traditional family in Malawi is saving young girls in the country from having early marriages. Her dedicated passion towards the cause is a reason why she was dubbed the "Marriage Terminator".

The community influencer who quit a 27-year-old job as a secretary at a school located in Zomba, a southern Malawi district.

 

A report published by Al Jazeera described her as one who is invested in nurturing her hospitable personality - a factor that will have her demand that her visitors enjoy a meal before discussing the purpose of their journey.

Based on this incredible personality, a position that will ensure an end to a social worm that have seen young girls submit to early marriages was perhaps the most ideal for her and that is what she got according to Al Jazeera.

Her Monkey Bay community had appointed her a chief because she was "good with people". It seemed like an impossible and unbelievable privilege for Kachindamoto who was the least favourite to assume that position among her siblings.

After going through the traditional rites that accompanies such a role, the woman resumed to her leadership role to the shock of child marriages.

ALSO READ: 14-yr-old girl kills husband 5 months after wedding

According to reports, she discovered girls as young as 12 years old with babies as well as their teenage husbands.

This prompted her to take measures aimed at eradicating a problem which had her announcing to the subjects that she wasn't going to allow their lifestyle to continue.

"I told them: 'Whether you like it or not, I want these marriages to be terminated.'," Kachindamoto was reported to have said.

Her intense pursuit of the cause has the support of the government whose parliament had passed a law discouraging Malawi girls from marrying before the age of 18.

In the year 2012, a survey conducted by the United Nations ranked "Malawi 8th out of 20 countries thought to have the highest child-marriage rates in the world", Al Jazeera mentioned in its report.

A member of a mothers group in the village of Chimoya, in located in Dedza district, Emilida Misomali, think the motivation behind the early marriages in the community is based on the weak financial strength of its residents.

This has made most parents in the environment insist on giving out their daughters.

The long arms of the law have failed to reach those in rural communities who appeared to have gladly indulged themselves in the oversight.

"Most of them say 'It's better that she gets married. We can't afford to keep her ... she will make us poorer'," says Misomali while describing the mentality of the parents.

Child marriage in Nigeria

The child bride pandemic appears to be an Africa-wide affair.

Some cultures in Nigeria are known for supporting unions between an older man and a child.

A civil Nigerian society however has no love for such a relationship.

The desire to have it removed introduced the #ChildNotBride campaign which saw public protests against the practice.

ALSO READ: 56-yr-old woman who got married at 53 gives birth to baby boy [Photos]

Part of the demands of the participants included ensuring that the Nigerian Senate make a law that will make it punishable to marry a girl who has not clocked 18.

The abuse generally encountered by women in Nigeria tells of a society which still sees the female gender as objects despite its claim of intellectual advancement.



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