Four days after the dust has settled, four days after the placards were raised and angry opinions expressed. Four days after the tweets, BBM updates and viral pictures. #childnotbride #saynotounderagemarriage #giveherapennotapenis
Don’t we just love to fight for a cause? We played judge and jury. We sentenced the Senate and screamed at what we thought was the height of their crimes against humanity. We’ve never actually liked the Senate. Always viewed them as a bunch of chair-throwing, argumentative, law-making-law-breakers and they’d finally gone too far. Nobody questioned the story and those who doubted it rather than speak out, gingerly perched on a fence only to surface days afterwards loudly proclaiming their own take on the matter, a matter which was already stale because hours after the raucous, those who knew the actual story had debunked the rumours and taken the wool out of our eyes. Yes, Nigerians are fast to grab a hold of the fantastically emotional, like a Nollywood story gone real and yes, the Senators even though brimming with a truck load of sins were not guilty of the accusations that threatened to ruin their weekend but I’d like to bring 3 things to mind.
1. While majority of Nigerians were angry at the Senators for not only eating a large chunk of the national cake but daring to add our female children to the list of expendables, the sad truth is that we unearthed a big worm that has been eating away at the fabric of Nigeria for decades but that worm isn’t the Senate. Child marriages have existed before the Senate and in this case we should actually thank the Senate because if not for the amendments on the right to denounce citizenship, the matter would not have come to the limelight in this magnitude. Child marriage is prevalent in many parts of the world as some religions do not specify the age at which a young girl can be married off. The cry for the girl child was an authentic cry. Somewhere in Nigeria, a father may be having a rethink thus giving his young daughter a chance at a future that doesn’t involve underage marriage. ###Say No to Child Marriage###
2. As I began to think of the plight of the Nigerian child, I thought of those children forced into child labour because of their poorer circumstances. Everywhere you look, there’s a house help or nanny who’s but a child. Many of these children are made to do work far above their mental and physical capacities and deprived of love and care. Many are not allowed to go to school. If you were outraged at the supposed child marriage bill the senators allegedly wanted to legalise but have an underage house help in your house while your children live life happy and content then you are a hypocrite! You may wanna sit down at this point. First of all it is illegal, if you doubt me go grab a copy of the child right’s act. Secondly you may justify yourself that you are helping a poor relative or taking a kid off the street but what are you bringing the kid into within your home? Some of these kids are molested by adult members of the home and have no one to speak up for them or protect them. Would they not have been better off married? At least marriage gives them a name, a home and some respect. People worry all day long about their children getting molested in secret by ‘uncles’ or ‘aunties’ but who is worrying about your underage house help and the silent horrors she is exposed to when your back is turned? ###Say No to Child Labour###
3. And to the Nigerian man who spoke out against the Senators while pinging his little mistress (aka aristo chick) to meet him somewhere for their sexual rendezvous. Guess what? The Senators were innocent but you- not so much! She’s 30 years younger than you. It doesn’t matter that she isn’t twelve anymore. Exploiting young women because of the power, money or influence you wield is no lesser sin. ‘Mutually beneficial you call it’. ‘Skin to skin you demand’. ‘Get an abortion you order’. ‘Variety is the spice of life you sing out’ and guess what? We are left with a bunch of emotionally scarred young women who have had countless abortions and treated more infections than there are words in the dictionary. Young women who have shiny cars and the latest gadgets, human hair from different countries and money to throw around but inside they are cold, abused, demoralised and defiled. The light has gone out of their eyes. They dreamed at 12 that they would one day meet a handsome prince and fall in love but life taught them harsh lessons, biting poverty chased away the disney fairytales. You promised to help them, you promised to make things better in exchange you demanded a symbiotic relationship, almost like the one that occurs between father and husband when the bride price of an underage girl is paid…her dignity for your money.
###Say No to Female Exploitation###
Let he who has no sin cast the first stone…
We were born to be free! Never stop fighting for your right and the rights of others.
Have a lovely night chutzpah fam. Xoxoxo