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Only A Flame #ChildNotBride

Moskeda Lounge


I sat crouched at a corner of the room… With my arms circled around my folded knees.

Another stream of tears rolled effortlessly down my cheeks as I relived the experience.

I could still feel his fingers like the gentle slithery movements of a snake as he caressed my body.

I closed my eyes….If only I could shut out the images…

But No…. They were there… Refusing to leave…They came with such vivid clarity!

Images of flailing arms … Fighting to keep away the evil that loomed above me.

I remembered trying to scream… But I couldn’t hear the sound of my own voice.

Randomly the images came, in no defined order. I recalled a struggle to retain my underwear as groping hands determined to take them off…

The sound of a dress being torn…

Then I remembered the slap! Like a thunderbolt, the impact had gone through my whole…

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The crime that is child marriage – the sin that is child marriage!


He said her ‘cocoyams’ were ripe. That was all the reason he needed to approach Halima’s father to ask for her hand in marriage. The smile on Adamu’s face was disgusting and not because it was hard deciphering how much of his teeth his lips covered for they were of like shade and colour. Worse still was watching Hassan, Halima’s father, nodding, giggling demonically and embracing his new ‘son-in-law’ after hearing his proposal.

The entire marriage process was quicker than it took for him to spot her and ‘like’ her in the first place. Pervert! With two wives and six children, half of which were older than Halima, waiting for him at home, I wondered what he needed her for.

Girl as she was, Halima looked on like some young untried knight as her mother broke the news of her marriage to her. And then all she could do was…

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My 2013 Caine Prize ShortlistTweets

Find this year’s shortlist here.

My tweets in May 2013 on each of the five submisions follow below. We now know who won and carried away the fat yam “tuber”!

  1. @ikhide Okparanta – a delicate exploration of a taboo subject spiced with one fascinating moonlight tale @StNaija

  2. @ikhide Ibrahim – shattered ribs/bones & dreams + a journey into self, soul, society, relationships & fringes of the spirit realm @StNaija

  3. @feathersproject ije enu, indeed, nwanne nkem! Oso ndi, owe ndi! where have the all “clue-full” ones gone?

  4. @StNaija Pede – Home coming for a Johnnie Just Drop (JJD), a mocking x-ray of Africa – running over with with sardonic humor @ikhide

  5. @StNaija Tope Folrain had me in stitches with the way he demolished the new cure-all xtianity! fayaaaa! @ikhide

  6. @ikhide Elnathan – street children, social neglect, juvenile criminality, election rigging and post election violence. @StNaija