Theresa Kachindamoto is making waves, in the most glorious of ways, ever since she recently became chief of a town in Malawi, Africa.
Kachindamoto is the youngest daughter of a previous chief and she ended up moving to a new town where she served as their secretary for 27 years. Because of her extreme kindness and awareness of the everyday issues in the area, people voted for her to become chief during the next election.
Kachindamoto was shocked when she learned that the people wanted her to be chief of the town, but she vowed to use her new-found power for good in the community.
Kachindamoto, who is the youngest of 12 children, is now the chief of Monkey Bay, Malawi. Her first order of business was going to change the lives of hundreds of young girls.
Kachindamoto’s first act as chief was to annul 850 child marriages.
“Child marriage was made illegal in Malawi in 2015, but many families still practice it. This is due to the fact that it is allowed with parental permission. Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world, and many families allow their child to marry older men purely because they can’t afford to keep them. They feel they have no choice and would prefer their daughter to be alive, even if it means she is married at an age as young as 12,” explains Happiest.
The UN did a study and found that, shockingly, over half of Malawi’s girls were married before the age of 18. Often times, many of these women are forced to give birth at young ages, causing complications and health issues because of their small bodies.
Thankfully, Kachindamoto has made a hard stance on the practice of child marriage.
Not only did she annul the 850 child marriages, but she sent all of the young girls to school. She’s hoping that now that they’ve been freed from these marriages, they can focus on becoming educated and live like a normal child.
Kachindamoto knows that not everyone in the town and area is thrilled about the new chief’s decision. Knowing this, she knew that the tradition shouldn’t just be changed, so she changed the actual law as well – even firing four sub-chiefs who refused to ban the practice.
Due to her decision, there are many relieved families, but there are other people who are sending the new chief death threats.
“I don’t care, I don’t mind. I’ve said whatever, we can talk, but these girls will go back to school,” she said.
Kachindamoto’s good deeds don’t stop there – the chief even pays for the tuition and fees for some of the students that are unable to afford school. What an absolutely incredible woman.
It’s clear that Kachindamoto is making incredible and positive changes in the community and, despite the resistance, we hope she continues.
Learn more about the chief and why she decided to annul these child marriages in the video below.