Home » Archive » 8yr-old MARRIES 61yr-old ….. Who Suffers?

8yr-old MARRIES 61yr-old ….. Who Suffers?


I had to wondered is this a form of molestation.  This little boy is being robbed of his child hood.  Instead of getting ready for school, or playing with friends his age, he is getting married to a 61-year-old woman.  Well let me rephrase that, he has married a 61-year-old woman. No need for maturity and  no need for puberty. He hasn’t even reached his teenage years.  Articles like this sadden me because if it was a little girl would it get this much publicity?  These people are celebrating and glorifying this young 8-year-old boy to have a wife. His wife is  61 years old  woman with 5 grown children and here she marries a 8-year-old boy.  Will this boy ever truly respect women?  I find it hard to believe so.  In guest filled event with family and friends, he was arranged to be married before even becoming a teenager because his ancestors told him to. I can’t imagine if the child is a husband all of the improper things that are and will be  introduced into his life before becoming a teenager.  Haven’t we seen enough sad stories of child abuse or molestation? Where is the mother?  How long will his life span be if he has the worries of a husband at the age 8 years.  Some could call this rape or molestation, but in South Africa it is considered neither, it is a boy coming into his adulthood.   Not only does the boy suffer but this woman suffers too, she has an eight year old husband, i don’t even want to say the word intimacy.  This an inevitable reminder that our children, women and girls around the world are  still suffering unspeakable injustices and inequalities. Take the case of an 8-year-old girl in Saudi Arabia, who was married off to a 47-year-old man in order to settle her father’s debts in 2009.  Both of these stories I find demoralizing to women because in both stories were derived in patriarchy worlds that still exist in our society, both the boy and the grown man marrying  females that are given  to the men (or boy) as gifts (commodities) instead of  marrying for love and companionship with someone of their own age.  My question is, how can we attack those who molest our children but not those who marry our children?  And a part of me wonders how can a mother of 5 children can marry a child?   Expression from the bride and groom show no happiness,  in which I find very fitting because they is nothing happy about a child being married off to an adult or the demoralizing of a female.


  1. pammiano says:

    Media spin?

    One of the downsides to instant and worldwide media coverage is sometimes things get told out of context. Since there are conflicting reports on this, it is hard to know which version is true, but here is something I found on it:

    “It’s already shocked the community but the family has defended the ceremony, saying it was just a ritual and not legally binding.

    Sanele’s 46-year-old mum, Patience Masilela said: ‘This is the first time this has happened in the family.

    ‘Sanele is named after his grandfather, who was never had a white wedding before he died so asked Sanele to get married. He chose Helen because he loves her.

    ‘By doing this we made the ancestors happy. If we hadn’t done what my son had asked then something bad would have happened in the family.

    ‘I didn’t have a problem with it because I know it’s what the ancestors wanted and it would make them happy.’”


    It appears it may just be a ritual. It is hard to understand cultures and customs very foreign with our own, but if the above is true, this does not appear to be the same as other countries where older men take child brides and use them as housekeepers and sexual objects. While I do not pretend to understand or condone such a ceremony, perhaps it is just symbolic.

  2. Stephanie Jones says:

    I’m not familiar with this event outside of your blog post, so I have no idea if this tells the entire story. For the sake of these two people, I sincerely hope that there is more to it than this. I have heard about the 47 year-old man and the 8 year-old girl though, and it disgusts me. Women are not commodities to be bought and traded. It’s such an archaic practice that I’m honestly shocked and horrified when I hear that this type of thing still happens.

  3. skatiba says:

    I really have to question the authenticity of such report because many of the news reports reported by media for such topics outside the United States especially in third world countries do significant lack of credibility and authenticity. If the case is true, it is clearly a child abuse and if it is just a ritual for a culture that we do not understand (i.e. just a symbolic ceremony with both parties’ parts after the end of the ceremony) we need to take a seat back and try to understand it the background and the intention. I did hear about Saudi man who married the eight years old girl who is absolutely unacceptable even my many middle-eastern societies. I believe that an old man marrying a really young girl do happen in some part of the middle east but I also believe it is not the norm and it only occurs at a low ratio. And again to happen in such a fashion that the girl is only 8 years old is rare to happen there.

    I would really try to get additional information and sources about the event in the blog which I could not get any new information. Media tend to try to make up stores that are hard to discredit due to lack of information. I remember a similar report of a wedding of about fifty men marring really young girls in a mass ceremony in the Gaza strip. The report provided a picture of a line of young men holding hands with girls one can only describe as children. After exploring the topic and researching the event, I found that the young girls were not the brides but were just leading the grooms to their brides which were not pictured in the report. Children take parts in wedding in many cultures even in the United States but the media takes a picture and make a different story to attract people attention and reviews.

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