Escaping from Early Marriage
Nasieku’s story is more about finding strength amidst the adversities that we encounter. At a very young age Nasieku was betrothed to an older man by her own father before she could even get the chance to decide what her dream was. Simply because according to him, she had already attained the age of marriage according to the Samburu community’s tradition.
Her story in her own words:
“During the December holiday in 2019, I visited my parents who were living in Suguta Marmar in Samburu County. During the holiday, my father planned to marry me off to an elderly man. I tried to refuse but my father kept insisting and my mother was not in a position to protect me because of my community’s patriarchal structures. At the time, I had a plaster on my hand and when the schools reopened, my father stopped me from going back to school. Turns out I was supposed to be married off the following Monday.
When I came to know of this plan, it was almost too late, so I decided to run away and slept in a bush for 3 days, with all the dangers of wild animals, but I managed to survive by the grace of God. On Monday morning, I walked back to school and I have never looked back since then. At the moment, I live with my mother in Maralal town. Aside from my school work, I also do menial work on weekends to help my mother support my siblings since I am the first born in our family.”
Though she was in class eight in 2021, she became the Wezesha Vijana Program school based club chairperson in her school, and helped facilitate the delivery of the Wezesha Vijana Program curriculum. Nasieku sat for her KCPE in March 2022, and scored 368 out of 500 marks.
In the Samburu community, women are not given the chance to speak up against cases such as early marriages, and, since her mother did not have the voice to do that, Nasieku’s dream is that one day she would be empowered enough and be in a position to also speak up and save other young women in similar situations.