12-year-old Marriage: Think About the Future of Your Child - Prof. Agyekum Tells Child's Parents

Professor Kofi Agyekum has cautioned the parents of the 12-year-old child betrothed to the 63-year-old Ga priest, Nuumo Borketey Laweh XXXIII, not to jeopardize the future of their daughter.

The Head of Linguistics at the University of Ghana, Professor Kofi Agyekum, popularly called "Opanyin Agyekum", expressed concerns about the futuristic decisions of the child regarding the customary marriage.

A video surfaced showing Nuumo Borketey Laweh XXXIII performing traditional ceremonial rites to marry the 12-year old-girl and this is said to be in line with the Nungua traditions.

But the priest, traditionally referred to as Gborbu Wulomo of Nungua, has been widely condemned by society for choosing the underage child.

Opanyin Agyekum, speaking on Peace FM's morning show "Kokrokoo", strongly opined that this betrothal potentially has dire consequences for the girl and may affect her future.

Explaining how betrothal works, Opanyin Agyekum stated that this arrangement means that a 63-year-old man will be responsible for the wellbeing of the child and, hence, will have to commit financial contributions to the child and her family till she grows and attains the legal age of marriage, as well as take care of her education, among others.

However, to Opanyin Agyekum, this is worrying, as when the girl becomes an adult, she may refuse to marry her benefactor, which could result in chaos. 

For the protection of the child's future, Opanyin Agyekum advised her parents to rethink their decision.

"The family should not relish what this priest has to offer them presently, but think about the future of the child...Think about the child's development and future, and don't push her into  betrothal," he said.

He further warned that this could lead to stigmatization, saying "she will be ridiculed in her classroom and won't be happy in school. It doesn't matter what the man has promised the child's family; it is dangerous for the child; it will plunge her into grave trouble."