VIDEO: Nungua Traditional council defense the marriage ceremony between a 12 year old girl and 63-year-old man.

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In a recent traditional marriage ceremony that has sparked intense debates throughout Ghana, the Nungua Mantse, King Odaifio Welentsi, has publicly endorsed the union between 63-year-old Gborbu Wulomo, Nuumo Borketey Laweh XXXIII, and a 12-year-old girl, now known as Naa Ayemoede, Boi-Ekpaa-Yoo. The ceremony, which took place on Saturday, March 30, 2024, in Nungua, elicited a mixture of jubilation and condemnation, fueling discussions on the clash between cultural traditions, contemporary values, and legal principles.

Mantse Odaifio Welentsi, a central figure in Nungua’s traditional leadership alongside Wulomo, defended the marriage by invoking a long-standing custom requiring the priest to marry a virgin. He highlighted the cultural significance of this tradition within Nungua’s heritage, emphasizing the importance of preserving customary practices and rituals that have been passed down through generations.

In a startling revelation, the Mantse disclosed that there are presently no virgin girls above the age of 9 years in Nungua, prompting further reflection on the evolution of cultural norms and societal attitudes. Despite recognizing the bride’s status as a minor, the Mantse deemed the marriage as exceptional, stressing the necessity of following the prescribed rites and procedures to honor tradition.

Nevertheless, Mantse Odaifio Welentsi also acknowledged the shifting landscape of societal values, advocating for a critical reassessment and potential modification of customary practices that are deemed outdated or contentious. This nuanced stance underscores the complexity of navigating cultural norms within a contemporary context, underscoring the importance of enlightenment and self-reflection to ensure alignment with modern values and legal standards.

The controversy surrounding the marriage ceremony has reignited debates on several fronts. Supporters of the union argue for the preservation of cultural heritage and the autonomy of traditional communities to uphold their customs. They assert that outsiders should respect indigenous practices, even if they diverge from Western norms.

On the other hand, critics condemn the marriage as a violation of human rights and child welfare. They contend that such unions perpetuate harmful practices, particularly concerning the rights and well-being of minors. Advocates for legal reform call for stricter enforcement of laws safeguarding children from early or forced marriages, advocating for interventions to protect vulnerable individuals from exploitation.

Amidst these divergent perspectives, there is a growing recognition of the need for dialogue and engagement between traditional authorities, civil society organizations, and governmental institutions. Collaborative efforts are essential to navigate the tensions between cultural preservation and the promotion of human rights, ensuring that communities can evolve in ways that respect both tradition and progress.

The contentious marriage ceremony in Nungua serves as a microcosm of broader societal debates on cultural authenticity, ethical standards, and legal frameworks. While tradition holds profound meaning and significance for many communities, it must be balanced with a commitment to universal principles of human dignity and justice. Moving forward, constructive dialogue and collective action are imperative to address the complex intersections of tradition, modernity, and human rights in a rapidly changing world.

Watch video below- credit GHONETV

 

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