There an estimated 131,000 people living in modern slavery in Malawi (GSI 2018). According to Girls Not Brides, one out of every two girls in Malawi will be married by her eighteenth birthday.
Ndaziona was forced to leave education and get married at a young age.
I didn’t know the man I was supposed to marry. The thing that scared me the most was sleeping together.
The person who forced me to marry was my mother. I don’t know the reason why. I said, “I won’t stay here, I will leave because you’re forcing me to marry.” So they said, “When you leave, don’t ever come back.”
After three months, I became pregnant. I am 7 months pregnant. My body has aches and pains. When I think about it, I become upset and angry. I have fear because I have never given birth. This is my first time, so I don’t know how it’s done.
Before I got married I thought about school a lot. Now I can’t go back to school. I can’t run. I can’t play and I can’t do my chores. The dream in my heart is to continue school, become a doctor and help my friends.
Narrative and image provided by Girls Not Brides. Original video ‘The Child Within’ by Camfed.