HALIMAH: A WIDOW AT 15

I grew up into a different world. When other girls go to school in the morning, I either go to the farm with papa or stay at home with mama. When others do their assignment, I laugh and mock them, because papa said that, “Education is of no value to women”. I had always been papa’s favourite child, because I will fetch him lots of money when I become of age for marriage. But after last month, papa and mama now have a different view about me; they say, I’m a curse of Allah.

When I became thirteen years, I knew everything was going to change soon. I was been betrothed to Mallam Musa, untill last two years when I legally became his wife. Nobody consulted me when this husband was choosen. I wasn’t asked if i liked him or not. He is my husband, so was I told and so it became.

Mallam Musa is a truck driver and ten years older than my papa; papa is forty five years old now. He is married to a woman who had three issues for him. All his three sons are older than me, and like my brothers they on the streets begging.

Since I got married, I lost the freedom I had as a child. The freedom to play, run, jump and dance at will. Mallam musa is now in everything I do; I cook for him; I wash his dirty clothes; I sweep his house and satisfy his sexual desires – even when I’m sick. If I say no, he takes it by force. Isn’t this slavery?

Last year, I lost my first pregnancy. Mama and papa said it’s the will of Allah, but Amina – my neighbour, said I was too young to get pregnant. Amina is twenty years old, her uncle took her from her father when he wanted to marry her out at the age of ten. She told me that she has written the final year exams for secondary students and planning to further her education, so as to become an engineer. Above all, she will be the one to choose her husband – when she is ready for marriage.

Mallam musa died few days after my fifteenth birthday. He died in an accident while driving to sokoto from kano. Maybe it’s the will of Allah, because I’ve been silently praying for freedom. I got my freedom the day he died. He has no brother to inherit me, so I’m free, but mama and papa won’t let me be.

Now it is Kabiru from Nasarawa. Papa wants me to get maaried to him. Please I need a saviour. Someone should come and rescue me.

Is anyone out there? please come save me. I want a world that is mine alone. How can I be a widow at the age of fifteen, when my mates are in the making proccess of being great?

please come save me.
Child marriage is a societal crime against childhood that must stop.

#EndChildMarriage
join the train at @OurGirlsAU

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