By: Agengre Peter
In April 2022, 15 years old Mbamah (not her real name) woke up on a warm day in a different compound at a different location, a farming community in the Nabdam District of the Upper East Region.
She had no idea that it was supposed to be her marital home. But many others did, including elders from her family but not her mother.
She was responsible for cooking, fetching water, cleaning the compound and going to the grinding mill for flour.
In the afternoon of 2nd May, 2022 when GBC News visited her, Mbamah looked very hungry and innocent as she pounded baobab leaves to prepare some soup.
She did not exactly know that elders from her family had received tobacco, cola, akpeteshie and some guinea fowls as part of the bride price from her supposed husband’s family. However, the mother did not approve of this and resisted it strongly.
After the mother reported the incident at the Nangodi Police station, the young guy was arrested and the little girl rescued.
“It was about two, three days my daughter didn’t sleep at home. I looked for her from different places but didn’t find her. The fourth day I learnt she was at a guy’s house. So I traced that house but she wasn’t there. But an old lady there confirmed to me that she had gone to fetch water. I told them that they should let the girl come home that same day.” Mbamah’s mother narrated.
“I am doing this because, my daughter is not up to the age of marriage. She just turned 16 years on 7th July, 2022. She is also learning a trade. I’m suffering because I married with no job and I don’t want my daughter to suffer same when she grows and marry.” She said.
Mbamah is an enrolled apprentice at a weaving shop not far from her home. She could not continue school when government reopened schools after the lockdown in 2020. Financial constraints made her to accept some coins from the young guy leading her into this act that she has little knowledge about.
“The elders in my family have said that they would not have anything to do with me and my husband any longer. Because I resisted the marriage of my daughter, I’m now seen as a bad woman. They say I have disgraced them. And so if there is any problem, it’s between me and my husband. No support from extended family again.” Mbamah’s mother cried.