This week’s Star of the Week is 16-year-old Zerihongua Muhenje (right) who was courageous enough to speak out against her forced marriage to her 56-year-old husband with whom she recently had sexual intercourse. She relayed her story in the presence of her uncle who admitted to have given his blessing to the marriage. She was married off to the quinquagenarian husband when she was only 8 years old, and the timid Muhenje revealed to New Era that she only agreed to the sexual encounter because “culture dictates so”. “I don’t love him,” she lamented, with her eyes depicting great sorrow. “I just want to be home. He is abusive. He makes us work the whole day without giving us food,” added the teenager. Muhenje is not the first and is not alone in the struggle against cultural practices whereby children usually have no choice but to go along with the cultural dictates. As evidenced by the response to the story by the regional police and social workers in the area, Muhenje’s voice served as a wake-up call to the authorities, and the public, that action needs to be taken to stop some of these practices that society so often condone in the name of culture.
2018-02-23 09:26:57 7 months ago