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Ever heard of Mum Zi of Calabar? If you haven't, you will now.
Mum-Zi is from the island of Calabar. If you are from Cross River State, you might know the story from your grandparents or relatives. More than a century ago, back in 1884, little Mum Zi who was just 8 years old delivered a child.
According to Lyall Archibald’s 1936 book, 'The Future of Taboo in These Islands', Mum-Zi was a member of Chief Akkiri’s harem in Akwa Akpa (now Calabar), who would later be the father of her daughter.
In most parts of Africa and elsewhere, a harem, in terms of royal harems of the past, may house a man’s wives and concubines, as well as, their children, unmarried daughters, female domestic workers, and other unmarried female relatives.
Mum-Zi was one of the many women and girls who lived in a harem belonging to Chief Akkiri. After giving birth at 8 years and four months, with the chief being the father, her daughter would also become a mother exactly eight years later in 1894. She was reportedly impregnated by the same chief who happens to be her father.
She gave birth at an age slightly older than that of her mother’s, as she was 8 years plus 8 months. Nevertheless, this remains one of the shocking moments in history.
A the time Mum-Zi's daughter gave birth, Mum-Zi was 17 years old, making her the youngest grand mother in world history.
A recent report by Girls Not Brides revealed that globally, more than 700 million women alive today were married as children and 17 per cent of them, or 125 million, live in Africa.
It added that about 39 per cent of girls in sub-Saharan Africa are married before the age of 18 and all African countries face the challenge of child marriage.
According to the report, Niger has the highest number of child brides, with three out of four girls married before they are 18.
The Central African Republic follows. There, the legal minimum age fo
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