Most people have never heard of a hero quite like Theresa Kachindamoto.
She was the youngest of 12 kids who were descendants of village chiefs who presided over Monkey Bay in Malawi, Africa. When she found out that it was her turn to serve as the new senior village chief, Kachindamoto had been working at a city college for the past 27 years. Once she came into power, she immediately set about bringing an end to the practice of child marriage within her jurisdiction. At first, Kachindamoto did not expect that she would ever have a chance to become chief. After all, she resided in a different town, had many older siblings in front of her, plus she was raising five children.
But, thanks to her reputation as someone who was “good with people,” Kachindamoto came into power thanks to a surprise election. And her people told her that the job was hers “whether I like it or not,” she recalled. And although child marriage is considered culturally acceptable in her area, mainly because of the high levels of poverty, it has also been illegal in her country since 2015. However, this did not put an end to child marriages since young girls could still be married so long as they have parental consent. However, Kachindamoto made up her mind to put an end to the long-standing tradition of robbing young girls of their childhoods by forcing them to marry older men and become mothers before they turn 18.
While traveling around Monkey Bay to meet with the people she was to govern, Kachindamoto met with girls as young as 12-years-old with older husbands and children they were raising.