Daughters: Good for Cattle not Education
According to District Commissioner (DC) of Tanzanian Kahama District and Tanzania Media Women’s Association (TAMWA), it is still a common practice for parents to sell their daughters for cattle, in place of a good education. Mr Mabula , a teacher in Ntobo ward since 1985, pointed an accusing finger at parents who he sees as a major problem and the biggest enemy to the education sector in the area, particularly for the girl child.
“They see girls as investments to be harvested as soon as they become ripe—sexually active,” Mr Mabula noted and protested:
“We teachers work so hard in harsh conditions in the hope that through education particularly of girls, life could one day change in this area for the better but the hurdles imposed by parents turn our hopes into frustrations.”
According to him the Kashilimu sisters of Ntobo primary school is a bitter tale of six sisters in the school’s register; three of whom passed but were forced by the parents to drop out, only to be married off for dowry of not more than five cattle each. And the remaining three, like their married sisters, are currently on top of their respective classes.
According to the investigations of The Citizen, the eldest sister Sauda fetched five cattle; the second one Rahel brought in a similar number, while the last one, Anastazia, yielded three cattle and 11 goats.
“It’s not a secret that a traditional Sukuma will choose cattle over education and girls in particular are treated like commodities, and those of light complexion are major targets, as they fetch more cattle in dowry than dark complexioned ones,” stated District Commissioner (DC), Major (Rtd) Bahati Matala for The Citizen.