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Tale of girl, 16, married off 3 times


AT 16, Idah Bwalya, a resident of Kakote village in Kaputa, has been married three times. Her parents married her off after she dropped out of school in Grade Four when she was 13 years old. Idah’s parents wanted her husband to help them with farm work. She had a dream of becoming a nurse in future but faced a stumbling block when she was married off. Her parents could no longer afford to buy her school requirements and other things to enable her to stay in school. Her mother, Esnelly Mulenga, informed her that since she was not going to school and that she was just staying home, she needed to get married so that she could start helping the family financially. As a child, she agreed because she thought her mother was right and knew what was best for her. Her mother hoped that something fruitful would come out of the marriage. One of the boys aged 18 from the village expressed interest in her and went to meet her parents for marriage formalities. The man, only identified as James, was ordered to pay a 50-kilogramme bag of rice and K4,000 as bride price. “When I just moved in my husband’s house which was about 40 kilometres from my parents house, all was well. Although we were struggling, he would provide for me as he has a small shop and we had a small piece of land where CLICK TO READ MORE