Early marriages a societal headache

By Fairstars Mukungurutse

Conversations around early marriages have taken centre stage, with concerned citizens raising alarm over this social ill.

While a number of cases go unreported, a lot of girls are dropping out of school and married off as a perceived way out of poverty for most families.

Such is the case at a house in Mbare where four teenage girls eloped with two of them already nursing their new born babies while the others are expecting next month.

With their eyes riddled with tears of regret, the teen mothers and mothers-to-be chronicled what transpired during their long stay out of school as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I was staying with my grandmother and I was in Form 4, but then after the schools were closed during the Covid-19 lockdown, my granny said she did not have money to send me back to school. I didn’t have money to register for my O’ Levels. I then met my boyfriend in July last year and decided I should rather get married,” one teen mother confessed.

“I met my husband the time we were not going to school. I decided to elope though I had not finished my school. I then delivered during the Level 4 lockdown and my baby is 2 weeks old now,” another said.

“I left my village when I was Form 2 and came to work as a maid here in Harare. That is when I met my man and now I am 8 months pregnant,” said another teenage mother.

It is, however, not all gloom and doom as the young mothers expressed interest in going back to school if another opportunity arises.