Theresa Kachindamoto wasn’t expecting to become a female chief in Malawi, Africa but the youngest daughter of the previous chief is now in that position. She had even moved to another town and spent her time as a secretary for 27 years but people knew about her kindness and voted her into office. She is now using her position in the best way.
Kachindamoto is the youngest of 12 children, but now she is the chief of Monkey Bay, Malawi. As her first act, she annulled 850 child marriages. Even though child marriage was outlawed in 2015, many families still take part in it. It is still permissible with parental permission. Many families have their daughters marry older men because Malawi is a very poor country and they can’t afford to take care of the child. They would rather have their daughter alive, even if she has to be married at the age of 12.
Half of the girls in the country were married before they turned 18. Many of those young girls are forced to give birth in those marriages and complications can occur.
Chief Kachindamoto decided she would not stand for the practice. Not only did she annul those 850 marriages, she sent the girls back to school. It would allow them to be educated and to live a normal life. She knew that she would face opposition so she decided to take a firm stand by changing the law and firing 4 sub-chiefs who would not go along with her decision.
She has received death threats but she says “I don’t care, I don’t mind. I’ve said whatever, we can talk, but these girls will go back to school.” She even helps some of the students through school financially when the parents can’t afford it.
This woman is making a change in her community. You can see more in this video: