Social Outrage as Priest, 63, Marries 12-Year-Old Girl in Ghana

April 1, 2024
The 63 year old Gborbu Wulomo with his 12 year old wife | Report Focus News
The 63 year old Gborbu Wulomo with his 12 year old wife

In a ceremony that has ignited widespread outrage and condemnation, a 63-year-old priest in Ghana, Nuumo Borketey Laweh Tsuru, married a 12-year-old girl, sparking a firestorm on social media. Videos and photos of the traditional marriage, featuring influential community figures, went viral, leading to a backlash from the public and activists alike.

Witnesses reported that during the ceremony, women advised the young bride on how to dress attractively for her husband and encouraged her to use perfume to increase her sexual appeal. These comments have fueled the controversy, with critics arguing that they highlight the inappropriateness of the union.

The marriage, criticized for being more than a mere ceremonial bond, has led to calls for its dissolution and for an investigation into Priest Tsuru, who holds the revered title of ‘Gborbu Wulomo’, a traditional high priest. The event was attended by a dozen community leaders, underlining its significance within the community.

However, leaders from the Nungua indigenous community, to which both the bride and the priest belong, have defended the marriage. They argue that the backlash stems from a lack of understanding of their customs and traditions. According to some community leaders, the marriage is in line with their cultural practices, despite external criticisms.

It has been reported that the girl is set to undergo a second customary ceremony to prepare her for her duties as a wife, including childbearing. Priest Tsuru disclosed that the girl began participating in rites to become his wife six years ago, a process he claims has not interfered with her education.

While Ghanaian law recognizes the validity of customary marriages, it strictly prohibits child marriages, including those disguised as cultural practices. The legal minimum age for marriage in Ghana is 18. Despite this, child marriage remains a challenge in the country. According to the BBC, although child marriage rates in Ghana are declining, the practice persists. The NGO Girls Not Brides reports that approximately 19% of girls in Ghana are married before they turn 18, with 5% married before their 15th birthday.

As of now, the Ghanaian government has not issued a response to the controversy surrounding this marriage, leaving many to question how the authorities will address this clear breach of the country’s laws against child marriage.