Delaying marriage until the girl child is 18 years of age Gives Her a Chance to reach her potential. This is the story of Maud Chifamba. Born in Chegutu Hunters’ resettlements, to a less privileged family, Maud defied adversities and hardships with her rare scholastic excellence and broke academic records at an early age.
I was very dedicated to the life I wanted to create for myself, so I always read ahead. At Grade 5 I was top of my class and in Grade 7 I scored 6 units.” – said Maud Chifamba.
Education gave Maud the space to pursue her full potential, which can be a reality for many girls in Zimbabwe if given the chance. It is a powerful strategy to end child marriages and girls who receive an education are less likely to marry young.
Some of my classmates were married off because there was nothing else for us to do after finishing Grade 7.” – she said
Throughout her academic journey, Maud excelled with flying colors; at 11 she self-taught herself and excelled in her Ordinary Levels examinations in 2009. This attracted the attention of the Government through the Ministry of Education who paid for her A-level education passing with 12 points in 2011 at only 13 years.
As of 2012 Maud Chifamba was the youngest university student in Africa. She graduated at 18 with a bachelor’s in accounting Honors Degree and now is an accomplished Chartered Accountant.
She wants young girls across Zimbabwe to know that they have so much potential they can tap into, and their dreams are attainable. She is an active anti-child marriage advocate in the #GiveMeAChance campaign and urges the media to also play their part.
When reporting child marriages, let us report it as it is. It is RAPE! Let us start bringing stigma to this so that people know what they are doing. They are raping children; no wife is 14 years old.” – she concluded.
#GiveMeAChance is a national campaign aiming to end child marriages, by appealing to parents and communities to give ‘Girls a Chance’ to pursue their dreams and not marry them off before the age of 18 years. The campaign is being by implemented by Population Solutions for Health through Population Services International and funded by the Swedish Embassy.