When she eloped from her abusive stepmother, Nomatter Munyukwi thought her life was changing for good only to find out later that she was in a more abusive life.
Growing up in the remote Manyame rural area, Nomatter Munyukwi who was 14 when she eloped to her boyfriend’s home remains confident that she was destined for a prodigious future had it not been that she was forced into marriage at a tender age.
Due to lack of proper counselling and parental care, she finds herself in the most abusive relationship.
At the age of 14, she decided to marry, Alex Madzokere 25 (not his real name) whom she thought was the love of her life. After one kid, she says Madzokere become abusive and started bringing his lovers home and they would indulge in sexual activities while she was starring.
She narrated to this reporter how domestic violence hindered her from progressing in life.
“My previous husband used to be abusive and would beat me for no apparent reason. I was still young back then and I thought marriage would save as an escape route from my obnoxious step mother,” she said.
She regretted getting married to Madzokere who is now late.
She said Madzokere stalled her from realizing her full potential.
“I was told to get married as compensation to my education, a move in itself that violated my right to education,” she said.
“I was bright in school and had I not married him, I think I would have been someone else in life.He would take away money that I used to get from toiling in other people’s fields. I managed to buy my own goats and he sold all of them,” narrated Munyukwi.
Munyukwi, who is now a mother of two, was subjected to abuse, torture and was made to drop out of school, this because she was a girl.
The experience was just hell as she narrates.
On Decemmber 10, Manyame joined the rest of the world in celebrations to observe the 16 days of Activism , at a function hosted by Women and Land in Zimbabwe where issues to do with the right to education in situations of violent conflict were discussed.
Women and Land Lobby and Advocacy officer, Sharon Chipunza echoed the above sentiments when she said that gender based violence is the number one enemy to development.
“Gender Based Vilence (GBV) is the chief enemy of development that should be eradicated to make the world a better place,it is in this light that i say a very big no to GBV.
Chipunza, further explained how GBV can negatively impact day to day life of rural people.
“If a rural couple is involved in a fight for instance,much of the time will be spent seeking medication while others will be working in the fields,” she said.
Sergeant Portia Musasa,of Victim Friendly Unity (Manyame District) concurred with Chipunza when she said that if not halted gender based violence has effects on the economy of the country.
“It is true that the effects of gender-based violence (GBV)—if not halted—can go as far as affecting the economy of the country.
“A victim of psychological or physical violence may not be in position to perform effectively or even contribute to the economy of the country. The same effects are likely to happen to a child who is abused and tortured.
“With this thorough understanding. It is impressive that the Government of Zimbabwe has made a decision to end all forms of GBV and child abuse.
“GBV can also have effects on the well-being of children, and their education is likely to be affected. If a couple is grossly engaged in verbal or physical fights, this will even affect the finances of the family. Time that should be usually spent on doing income generating projects will be spent otherwise,” said Sargent Musasa.
Some of the pictures from celebrations to observe the 16 days of Activism
Watch some of the lighter moments from celebrations to observe the 16 days of Activism in Manyame