By: Moreblessing Vushe
My name is Moreblessing Vushe. I am 24 years old and my story is as follows:
Child marriage is real and it cripples the girls’ progress towards her goals.
At the age of 14, soon after I completed my grade 7, I was forced to marry my sister’s husband so that I can help her to raise her children and do other jobs at her home since she is crippled. I was devastated but had no choice. I had to drop out of school and no one considered the fact that I had the right to education. The dream of finishing school never came true.
I got married and stayed with my sister. I did every household chore including fetching firewood, water, and the gardening. This was the hardest time of my life. Food was a problem as we would sometimes go to a nearby boarding school to get leftovers from the school children. I got pregnant and gave birth to a dead child. I wanted to go to school but the husband shut the idea.
My father died two months after I gave birth to my child and I went back to my father’s house since he was the one who had forced me to get married. I walked out of that marriage although I knew that my sister wanted my help so much.
My brother took me from the rural areas to come to Harare so that I will go back to school. I went straight into form 3 although I had dropped out of school when I completed my grade 7 in 2007. It was hard during the first times since I had skipped form one and three and had spent 5 years out of school. However, I did not lose hope. I worked very hard, read day and night. I wrote my O-Level the following year and scooped 6As and 3Bs. I only wrote 9 subjects.
I decided to proceed to A-level. My brother started to have financial problems. I only managed to do my form 5 from January to September when things got worse. We had to move back to our rural areas. Up until the year-end, I was not going to school. I used to cry day and night but unfortunately crying does not solve anything. The following year my uncle asked me to come and stay with him so that I could finish school. He wanted me to restart my A-level since I had not finished my form 5 but I refused because I wanted to proceed. I wrote my A-level that year and I obtained 14 points,( Accounting A, Mathematics B, and Business Studies A).
As soon as our results were out, I started looking for a scholarship because I knew my mom and brother could not afford university fees. Luckily, a local company offered support and I was admitted at the University of Zimbabwe. I was happy thinking that I will finish my degree easily.
The company only paid for one semester and stopped. Maybe it was because of the economic situation. The following semester they did not respond. I tried talking to the management but it was hopeless.
For a moment, I thought schooling was not meant for me. I did not know what to do.
I got a job as a maid to a local Chinese family, and I worked during the weekends. I used my small salary to start my small business of buying bales of second-hand clothes and selling them. I wanted to generate more money so that I can be able to pay my fees but unfortunately, I broke down because I could not manage the pressure; I had school and needed to be at work during the weekends. However, I managed to pay my fees for second and third semesters. I again lost the job because sometimes I could not make it during other weekends because I would have my in-class tests during weekends at school.
Now I am about to go into my fourth semester and no matter how dark the situation might seem to be, I know I will get there. Now I was promised a job at a local private college to teach during weekends and the evenings. I will be able to fund my education again.
Today, I am proud of myself. I am proud of the battles I have fought and of those, I am still fighting. I know I will get there no matter what. It is by God’s grace. I am proud to tell you that even I skip school some days because of lack of bus fare but I still manage to get those distinctions. Up until now, I have 11 distinctions and 8 2.1s from 19 modules I have done so far.
This is my story. I hope to finish school and be able to help my sister in another way. I learned one thing “never give up”.
My advice to the girl child is that you need to believe that something inside you is superior to your circumstances. No matter how hard the situation might be, put prayer first and carry on. Everything happens for a reason. In the middle of every difficult situation, there lies opportunity. You just need to drive yourself because the man that will drive himself further once the efforts get painful is the one who will win.