Ibrahim Kanuma winces as he recalls as soon as a 63-year-old guy asked him for their teenage child’s turn in wedding. The proposal had not been uncommon in northwestern Nigeria’s remote, dust-blown state of Zamfara, but he considered the suitor too old for their only child, Zainab (13).
“Regardless if he previously been aged as much as 50 – okay. But that old, he will quickly perish and keep her lonely, ” states the civil servant in their workplace in Gusau, their state money.
To guard their school-aged son or daughter through the crushing stigma of widowhood, Kanuma instead offered their blessing to a union with a “reasonably aged” colleague – in their 40s – also though this type of betrothal is unlawful.
For Kanuma and many more in north Nigeria, the current outcry over son or daughter wedding is puzzling.
Zainab’s wedding is forbidden under Nigeria’s Child Rights Act, which bans marriage or betrothal before the chronilogical age of 18. But laws that are federal with age-old traditions, along with ten years of state-level sharia law in Muslim states.
“I would personallyn’t force my child to marry someone she does not like, but the moment a lady is of age starts menstruating, she should really be hitched, ” Kanuma states.