A 47-year-old Johane Marange apostolic church member who was married at the age of 12 has opened up on her experiences in the religious sect.
The anonymous woman whom The NewsHawks named Norest Kubaya, to protect her identity, said she became the 7th wife of a polygamous man.
She speaks as the nation is still demanding justice for Memory Machaya, a 14-year-old married girl who died at the church’s shrine during childbirth.
Memory was forced to drop out of school while doing Form One to get married to Evans Momberume, a much older man.
Norest Kubaya narrated:
I was in Grade Five when I eloped for my marriage. I must admit that it’s actually me who wanted to get married. My father was against it. He feared for my well-being since I was still too young to be married. Being a child, I was lured into the marriage by the prospects of a better life. My father wept when he heard I was pregnant the following year.
Her husband married 4 other wives after her and has 64 children from his 11 wives.
Norest Kubaya added that there are trained midwives at the shrine who help expecting mothers. She said several young women have died while giving birth because of complications that needed operations and may lose a lot of blood. She added:
Burials are done secretly by few family members. The doctrine is that we must not reveal much to outsiders. I lost 10 of my children at different ages, the oldest being seven years. It was due to different illnesses, but I never went to hospital to get medication for them. We accepted that it was natural for them to die. Even some of the newly married still believe this.
She said she regrets that she ended up in this polygamous affair when she was still too young to start a family.
Norest Kubaya added the majority of these young girls are deceived by goodies, including biscuits, and zapnaks (snacks).
She exonerated the church leader, Noah Taguta, whom she said has on several occasions spoken against child marriages.
Norest Kubaya urged authorities to arrest men who were engaging in child marriages.
More: Pindula News