We are not the only one campaigning against early marriage. Yesterday, the Presidency joined hands with the United Nations (UN), religious and traditional leaders, the Canadian government and other stakeholders to launch a major campaign to end early child marriage in Nigeria. Spearheaded by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in Abuja, making Nigeria the 16th country to join the campaign by the African Union (AU).
I did a report in 2015 at Shao town in Kwara State, a tourist site known for its annual mass wedding festival, on http://icirnigeria.org/culture-versus-the-girl-child/.
Here is what the village priest who marries off scores of teenage girls in a single ceremony, told me:
“The Awon is a spirit from the river in Shao,” Oloruntogun Ojetunde said in local Kwara dialect. “But it appeared in the form of a woman in the community when the inhabitants were still few. It introduced herself as a spirit from the waters to two hunters and a certain elder that she has come to bless the people, and when she was about to disappear, she gave an order that all women in the village must be married to men in the same village, in one single day. It also blessed us that we will be fruitful and prosperous,” he further enlightened.
The priest said that the mass wedding ceremony has been conducted every year since the day the Awon goddess so instructed.
So strict is the adherence to her instruction that if there are no women to marry off in any particular year, girls from age 13, 15, even 12, are considered marriageable. This contravenes the Convention on the Rights of the Child which pegged marriageable age at 18.
This is one of the inspirations for my book A Girl’s Calender on Amazon. Several copies have been sold already. So no more dillydallying. Believe in this cause. Get your copy as well.
Press Play Events is proud to release from its stable a new title, A Girl’s Calender published by Amazon on Kindle.
The novel tells the story of the girl child and the travails suffered by a girl’s rights advocate in bringing education to girls who do not go to school due to certain traditions and cultures.
It shows how in certain northern climes in Nigeria, girls are married off early. As a result, they experience health issues during child birth. Two common examples are vesico-vaginal fistula and maternal and child mortality.
Without meaning to incite ethnic or religious strife, it tells the story in a very compelling manner. Though the characters are fictitious, the story is based on true life experiences and happenings.
The book also exposes the hiccups in the criminal justice system in the country and how the judiciary and police contribute to the over-congestion of the prison inmates.
Relevance of the Book
About 3.5 million girls have no access to education, according to the United Nations. This book contributes to the ongoing awareness creation that girls must be educated.
It is a contribution to the feminine virtue and strength.
- The book is a literary material that can be used to promote the reading culture amongst young people in various secondary schools. One of the major challenges of students of Literature is a lack of contemporary literature that is both enjoyable and relevant to the time. Most still have books such as Shakespeare in their curriculum. Students will have better ability to excel in English especially the Reading and Comprehension segment of a typical English paper, if they find the subject enjoyable and relevant. Besides the book contains no violent or sex language that could incite the reader into an unbecoming lifestyle.
- Secondly, the book is for entertainment as well as social value.
There are different types of scene ranging from the home, courtyard, beach, school, offices, prison yard, court, police cell, wedding reception and so on and so forth.
What determines your scene is basically your story plot. The plot determines where your character is at the point in time. This should determine the kind of scene that you will place he/she in. Whatever the scene you choose, you must study the common things found in such scenes. For example, things found in a hospital ward will definitely be different from things found in a hospital lobby or reception or a doctor’s consulting room. In order to enrich your writing, it is important to study such a scene. If your character is in a scene that you have never been to, perhaps a prison yard, then you may need to visit the yard or research what obtains in such an environment. You may interview prisoners asking them to describe their cells. And if you can’t visit the prison cell, you may need to don an online research, watch videos, study pictures to enable you have a full grasp of what you are writing about.
Authored by Abiose Adelaja Adams.
The Author is a midcareer writer and journalist. Having authored at least three books published on Amazon.com, A Girl’s Calender, Viral Diamonds, I am Not Afraid, she is passionate about coaching aspiring writers. She is the Chief Executive of the Global Center for Creative Writing as well as co-director of Pressplay Media Events, a company committed to mirroring societal ills through literary lens. For the purpose of Creative Writing, you can follow her on @itizwritten and www.facebook.com/pressplaymediaevents