Thursday, 19 December 2013

Baby girl ‘married’ to 3-year-old boy

The boy (wearing black coat) feeds the girl as a sign
     The boy (wearing black coat) feeds the girl as a sign of love.

Kamuli- Last Sunday, relatives and friends of two families gathered in Butamira Parish, Buyengo Sub-county in Jinja District to conduct a marriage ceremony.
The ceremony was not a usual one though; “the bride-to-be” was a six-month-old baby girl and “the groom-to-be” was a three-year-old boy.
Amidst ululations, the visibly ignorant children were given coffee beans and cowrie shells as a symbol of a covenant that binds the two for life. They were also given small pieces of millet bread mixed with sim sim to feed each other as a symbol of love and care.
The two children had been betrothed to each other. Betrothal is an arrangement of marriage of two people in the future.
According to the two children’s parents, the betrothal was pre-ordained and predicted by the spirits.
The boy’s father, who hails from Buyende District, spoke of how his son was born with two teeth and as he marked a year, the child predicted that his wife would be born in Jinja District with similar features as his and an engagement ceremony would have to be organised at birth.
The girl’s father also spoke of how his daughter, who was born with a pair of teeth, had equally foretold her husband-to-be.
However, Kamuli District police child protection officer Richard Kagoda dismissed the marriage, describing it as a mere visit by families to satisfy their psychological egos and not a marriage as the children cannot consent to it since they are still young.