Chiefs Explain ‘Money Wife’ Practice, Where Girls Are Exchanged For Money, Foodstuffs In Cross River Community.
Some chiefs of the Becheve tribe of Obanliku Local Government Area of Cross River State have explained the practice of the ‘money wife’ practice which has persisted in their community till date.
The explanation came to light as the founder of the Chess in Slums initiative, Tunde Onakoya, paid a visit to the community in a bid to empower the girls.
In a video, he shared from the trip on Sunday, some of the chiefs explained the inhumane practice, which involved the selling of a girl child to a man by her parents in exchange for money or farm produce.
Onakoya also revealed that the chiefs were open to ending the practice. He said, “The chiefs started narrating how their mothers were also victims of this age long tradition and how it was no longer a thing of pride but a necessity borne out of extreme poverty where the families are left with no choice but to sell their daughters. They wanted it to stop too.”
One of the chiefs said, “You are not worthy, you are not a man until you (have) a ‘money woman’. You must engage a ‘money woman.’ In those days, it was as if you have bought a car. It was a (thing of) pride but on the other hand, it was driven by poverty.
“Sometimes they feel like ‘I need money’ and there is no other source of getting the money. So you go to somebody who has money and you say, ‘Give me money, just start to give me money, so, when this girl or that my sister gives birth to a female child, she becomes your wife.’ Then the person starts to give money and is recording it.
“If she borns (sic) and it’s a male child, you wait, until she gives birth to a female child, then he will tell you ‘That is your wife.’ You will begin to nurse the child till about 12 years old, upwards. Then, he will say, ‘Take your child, grow (sic) her up to the point you can start using her as your wife.”
Another chief added, “It was not merely money, some were lazy people who could not cultivate. They collected food items.”
Credit: Twitter | Tunde_OD