On top of that, girls are often sent away to camps for “kusasa fumbi,” which means cleansing, but is actually a place for sexual initiation. These are places that train girls as young as 7 to perform sex acts to please their future husbands.
Kahindamoto took a hard-line stance against everyone involved in these practices, threatening to dismiss any chief that sanctioned it.
When parents protested Kachindamoto’s actions, she didn’t back down. Knowing that she could not change the mentality of the parents, she changed the law instead.
She got her 50 sub-chiefs to sign an agreement to abolish early marriage and annul any existing unions in her area.
Of course, that didn’t stop some people.
In order to show just how serious she was, she fired 4 male chiefs in areas where the practice of child marriage was still occurring until they agreed to abide by the law, annul the marriages, and send the girls to school.
Despite receiving death threats, Kachindamoto was undeterred.
“I don’t care, I don’t mind. I’ve said whatever, we can talk, but these girls will go back to school,” she said.
Kachindamoto also finds ways to pay for the schooling of girls whose parents cannot afford the fees.
And she is not one to sit back and assume all is well. She’s even hired a network of “secret mothers and secret fathers” in the villages to make sure parents aren’t pulling their daughters out of school.
As for those who still balk at their chief’s new law? She’s unconcerned.
“I’m chief until I die,” she said, laughing.
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