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I wish I had listened to my mother when she advised me not to get married at a young age

Posted by African Press International on December 30, 2008

KENYA: Caroline Mwita: “I wish I had listened to my mother, who advised against getting married early”


Photo: Bristol-Myers Squibb
“I do not know whether I got HIV from my husband or from [one of] these men”

KISII, 29 December 2008 (PlusNews) – “I met my future husband when I was around 13 years old and I went to Kisii town to live with my father, who worked there as a watchman.

“We talked [she and her future husband] and he told me that he was working in one of the supermarkets as a loader, and we started going out.

“I managed to convince him that I should finish my primary schooling before we could marry. Unfortunately, before I could even sit for my final primary education exam, I became pregnant and we decided to get married.

“After only one year, my husband died. He had been sick on and off but I did not expect him to die that soon. After the burial, I was told that I would be inherited and I was scared, because the man who would inherit me was old enough to be my father.

“I had no choice but to do as they wanted. I could not even go back to my parents because my father [agreed with] these people. All I could do was cry, but I soon got used to it.

“The first man to inherit me died, and our child died soon after birth. And it is then that I realised I was [HIV] positive.

“The second man only stayed for three months and left to inherit another woman. I am now living with the third man to inherit me after my husband’s death.

“I do not know whether I got HIV from my husband or from [one of] these men. We have sex without even protection, yet you cannot even tell them a thing.

“It is sad, because somebody is just inheriting you, yet the community gives them complete control over you.

“At times I wish I had listened to my mother, who advised me against getting married early.”

ko/ks/ source.www.irinnews.org

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