Karonga child brides worries Evangelical Association of Malawi

Evangelical Association of Malawi has express great concern over parents who force their young girls into marriage in bid to get money in a form of dowry to feed the family.

Malawi's child brides: This photo shows a 16-year-old girl at her wedding.- Getty Imgaes

Malawi’s child brides: This photo shows a 16-year-old girl at her wedding.- Getty Imgaes

Evangelical Association of Malawi district officer Matchona Phiri said during the district stakeholders’ meeting aimed at reviewing different projects implemented in the district, that cases of early marriage in the district is worrisome as the community is still treating a child as capital to raise money for the family.

“We have various projects here in Karonga and most of them are doing well but we have a greater challenge to curb early marriage cases in the district which are rapidly increasing at a high pace,” said Phiri.

He observed that girls as young as  12 years old are forced to get married in exchange of money to provide for their families and capital to start businesses.

“In the areas where we are working the issue is very rampart in the Group Village Head Man Chisi were we tried to rescue about six girls who were forced to get married but they end up going back to their marriages as they were not welcomed in their families because parents were saying they cannot give back the money or cows they received from the man which is the husband of the girl.”

He continue to say “we tried taking the issue to the traditional leaders for help but they also seem not interested in the issue saying to them the issue is normal, all they say is that the act is part of their culture and that if the parents received the cows or money from the man, they are not supposed to give back.”

Phiri said their organization tried to involve the government on the same but fail to intervene.

“When we saw that we cannot handle the issue alone we tried to involve the office of social welfare for help in sensitizing the community on the issue but they too failed to rescue the girls.”

District Social Welfare Officer Heston Jaji agreed with Phiri saying the issue need great interference.

“Early marriage cases are really high in Karonga but because resources are limited government alone cannot handle the issue as it needs to change the mindset of the community at hand because it involves cultural practices,” said Jaji.

Adding that “as an office we have planned to discuss with Karonga NGO network to find strategies that can be used to sensitize the community on the dangers of early marriage and that doing so is against the law so that in long run we reduce the practice.”

According to Primary Education Advisor (PEA) of Chiwondo Zone Bester Mpawula, schools of Waye, Chazale, Zilangari, Kasimba and Mpuyu the practice is very high as they register about five girls dropping out of school on every school holiday because parents want money to feed their families.

“Parents here say if you have a girl child you are a rich person as such when the girl reaches adolescent stage they force her to get married so that they get cows or money from the man who will marry the girl and start business.”

Karonga is known with cultural practices such as Kupimbira and Kulowola which demand a man to pay money or cows to a girl’s family in order to marry her.


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Mulhopwana Khaalhelhiwah
Mulhopwana Khaalhelhiwah

Ananakhala Mchawa nde ikanakhala nkhani yaitali koopsya, koma popeza ndi ku Karonga, YONECO singalowelere sangaitanenso a ma TV kuzajambula. Dziko inu, ayi ndithu.


A evangelical ndi inu a PEA mwalowelera kwambiri kucipinda kwa Nkhondes. Abuse apakulibe. Mwanama

Yobe boo
If you do not understand ones cultural beliefs, better not say anything. Your cultures will also differ from those of others, but you should not pretend that the way you think and interpret life and the world is the same, and correct. Others are correct also. It is high time that we learn to respect others culture if we want to live as a unitary nation. It is wrong for Organizations campaigning for their pockets in the name of ‘Abuse’ understood in your poor context. Karonga has lived as a proud territory of the Nkhonde for several years in their… Read more »
Choka apa yobe boo
You are just another idiot. You think we don’t read your comments here on nyasa. You are one of the people who comment trush here about other cultures and tribes. And now because it is in Karonga then you are defending your culture….shupiti. And when others do it then you will be in the forefront scorning them…..shupiti. Ulenje umasimba wako. You forgot that what you ay about other cultures or tribes also happens in your backyard. And don’t cheat people here….they way you have written your comment….clearly shows you are from Karonga. Go back and look at all your comments… Read more »
Young Brother

@ Yobe Boo, tell me the truth my brother (am from south and not Mulakho) would you let your children to marry at this age? Its not bad to modify culture a little if there is evidence some issues (e.g. early marriage) are more harmful than beneficial. A bit more years in school for both of these kids is good for the economy, their lives and their future children. You really think its worth it to keep the status quo just because its the culture in Karonga?


So you see nothing wrong with the culture of marrying out 12 year olds? You dont think that that is abusing the 12 year old? Yes people are proud of their cultures but the fact is, some cultures promote abuse due to the primitive contexts from which they come from.

Child marriages are wrong in every contextt whether cultural, economic, legal or what.

Professor CJ

You must be stupid sir in trying to defend the marrying of a 12 year old. Judging from your statements, one can easily tell that you are one of the child molesters. At 12 years, she is a child and doen’t know anything, not even taking care of herself. Marriage is defined as a union of a man and a woman and not a man and a child. Get it fool!


Mpoto ndi ma ukakwati ana ang’ono akuthamanga pa liwiwro la mtondo wodooka!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Akanakhala anzanu atumbuka inu bwezi muli kukamwa yasa kulalata. Nanga zanuzo simukuyankhula bwanji?????????????????????????
Limbikirani kutitsa ang’ono kuti mwina mukachuluka muzapeze mavoti okwanira president wa dziko la malawi
Kwinakonso mukupezako phindu monga anthu lobola!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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