Watch Video: 63-year-old Gborbu Wulomo takes 12-year-old Girl as New Customary Wife

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In a traditional marriage ceremony in Nungua located in the Greater Accra region of Ghana, a 63-year-old man has married a 12-year-old girl.

The groom, Nuumo Borketey Laweh Tsuru XXXIII, the Gborbu Wulomo-Shitse (High Priest or Spiritual Head) of the Nungua Traditional Area and Overlord of the Ga-Dangme State, took his new bride in the traditional ceremony, identified as the minor Naa Okromo.

According to a Facebook post by Ablade TV online, the customary marriage ceremony has sparked controversy and outrage online.

According to the post, the marriage between Gborbu Wulomo and Naa Okromo followed traditional customs, with Naa Okromo taking the traditional name Naa Ayemoede. Additional rites, including a purification ceremony, are said to be required for Naa Ayemoede to fulfil her duties as the wife of Gborbu Wulomo.

“In Nungua, the air is thick with tradition as the customary marriage between Gborbu Wulomo, Nuumo Borketey Laweh Tsuru XXXIII, and a young girl named ‘Naa Okromo’ unfolds. The age difference is striking: the venerable Gborbu Wulomo is ‘63 years old, while Naa Okromo is ‘12 years old.”

“By the customs of their community, Naa Okromo now assumes the traditional name Naa Ayemoede. But this union is not complete without further rites. Naa Ayemoede is to undergo a second customary ceremony centred on purification. This rite will empower her to fulfil all the duties expected of her as the wife of the Gborbu Wulomo, including the crucial role of procreation.”

“According to tradition, the Gborbu Wulomo, having assumed his authority, must also take a ‘Boi ekpaa yoo’, his customary wife, also known as ‘sɛiheyoo’. This solemn rite occurs only once in the lifetime of the Gborbu Wulomo-Shitse,” the post read.

Traditionally, the Gborbu Wulomo is expected to take a ‘Boi ekpaa yoo,’ or customary wife, known as ‘sɛiheyoo,’ after assuming authority. This rite, termed as crucial and occurring only once in the lifetime of the Gborbu Wulomo-Shitse, signifies the assumption of authority.

However, the announcement drew strong criticism online, with many expressing concern about child marriage and the violation of the girl’s rights. Some commentators called for action from the Gender Ministry and law enforcement agencies to address the situation, labelling the practice as paedophilia disguised as tradition.

During the customary marriage ceremony, marked by pomp and pageantry, elders of Nungua explained why the Gborbu Wulomo, who is 63 years old, could have Naa Okromo, the 12-year-old young girl as his customary wife.

Click here to watch a video of the customary marriage which happened in Nungua over the weekend:

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