27 April 2014

Zambia: Early Marriages Rock Chainda

Photo: Janet Fleischman
Young Zambian girls (file photo).

SOME residents in Chainda township are concerned over the increasing number of teenage marriages in the area. The township's population is rapidly increasing and residents attribute the development to early marriages and teenage pregnancies.

Some residents told the Sunday Times that it was now common to see teenagers getting married in the township. Kenny Mbalazi said it was disheartening to see how young children were forced into early marriages.

Mr Mbalazi said some parents still believed that marriage was the only source of better life for their children and thus they encouraged them to get married early. He said results from early marriages were usually bad and that the children involved suffered more.

"There is a lot of suffering from the teenagers who usually get married at tender ages. These problems also tend to affect even the parents who usually force them into these marriages," he said. Other residents talked to said most teenagers in the area do not even consider education to be important as they thought marriage was the only solution.

Gift Mubu is a resident in the township who did not complete his education but instead married at a tender age. Mubu said he dropped out of school due to lack of funds to complete his education.

He said since there was nothing to do, he decided to look for a job and marry his girlfriend instead of wasting her time. Mubu, however, said he did not know that there were so many challenges in marriage and sometimes he realises that he married too early.

A woman of the same residence who preferred to remain anonymous said it was difficult being married to a man who was unemployed. She said her husband usually went out drinking with his friends while she relied on her in-laws for everything she needed as her husband was unable to provide for her.

"I live at my in laws' house with my husband who does not do anything but relies on temporal jobs which can't even manage to sustain me and my two children." "When he gets paid, he spends his money on alcohol with his friends and I have to go to his mother for everything I need," she said.

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