The Rich man married My Classmate in Our Primary 4
Angelica was my classmate far back when we were still in primary school. While we were still tender and unknown to the happenings in the world, Angelica was forced into marrying a very rich man.
Mr Joseph happens to be the richest man in my community. As of the time he came to marry Angelica I trust he was between the ages of 30 and 40.
Because of poverty and not enough money to take care of the family needs, Angelica’s father allowed his daughter to be married off to the rich man at that very tender age.
Though she is allowed to remain with her family until she attains 15 years then she can go ahead to live with her husband.
Meanwhile, while she’s at her father’s house, no man is allowed to befriend or make love to her as she is already the wife of another man.
Angelica grew up to the story of being already married to this rich man while she was still at her tender age.
At first, she didn’t believe her parents not until this rich man came to their house with the reason that he had come to take his wife.
The rich man already has 10 wives. If Angelica is added to the ten women he is married to, she will become the 11th person on the list.
Angelica tried all she could to run away from the community but unfortunately, the day he planned on running away, her husband was already on the ground to carry her.
The rich man thanked her parents so much for raising such a beautiful damsel.
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Angelica, my classmate, was 15 years old when the rich man came to take her.
While she left with the rich man, tears never stopped falling down her cheek.
She did everything possible to resist this marriage but unfortunately, it was too late for her.
Marriages are unbreakable in the land of Umuchima. It only comes to an end when a partner dies. And if the other partner wishes to take another husband/wife, certain payments will be made to the family of the deceased as a way of compensating them.
Angelica tried Every possible means to escape the rich man’s house but his guards were always on alert.
Unfortunately, since there was no other way to escape this marriage, Angelica decided to take her own life.
The news broke that the 11th wife of the rich man had committed suicide.
She drank rat poison and that brought to an end her life.
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A huge protest was staged by some young ladies who were lucky not to be married off when they were kids and the unlucky ones who were not allowed to know who they were married to before marriage.
They protested at the king’s palace and stripped themselves naked before the king as a way of protesting against man’s inhumanity to man.
Their protest was geared towards the eradication of the age-long tradition that allows a girl-child to be married off even when she is tender.
The king did not have any other alternative but to call for an emergency meeting with all his elders in council and they enacted a law restricting children especially girls from getting married before 15 years.
The death of Angelica brought to an ending marriage without the consent of the girl-child.
From then on, Umuchima did not practice early marriage again.