Parenting key to ending child marriages, says chief


PARENTS are a vital instrument in curbing early child marriages, especially in rural areas, says Chief Nyamphande IV of the Nsenga people of Petauke.
Chief Nyamphande said parents must be continuously engaged in the fight against the vice as they are decision-makers.
The chief was speaking when Panos Institute for Southern Africa (PSAf) senior programme officer for media communications Gillies Kasongo and South Africa’s Wits University Radio Academy executive producer Xoli Matomela paid a courtesy call on him at his palace.
“There is need for parents to be involved in this fight as they are the ones who usually make decisions for their children,” he said.
Chief Nyamphande has attributed the high number of early marriages in rural areas to poverty and late enrolment of children into school.
He said when children, especially girls, enrol into school late, the chances of dropping out are high due to puberty.
“Poverty has been a major factor leading to early marriage as parents marry off their girls once they reach puberty, in exchange for finances and other material things such as goats and cattle,” the chief said.
And Chief Nyamphande said the cultural way of parenting has broken down as most parents have adopted the Western culture of raising their children.
“In the olden days, parents would sit with their children and educate them on the realities of life. These days, however, some parents have no time for such hence their [children] have resorted and keenly depend on information from the internet, which in most cases is not good,” he said.

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