At the age of 14, Angeline came fact to face with the cultural realities of child marriage in Zimbabwe. She found out that she was going to become a second wife to her sister’s husband. Her brother-in-law/husband-to-be showered the girl with gifts and encouraged her to attend church with him. A church that encouraged men to take many wives. She refused to go down this path. Angeline stopped seeing her brother-in-law and narrowly avoided her own marriage. Child marriage is an experience which 1 in 3 Zimbabwe girls are involved in.
This experience inspired Angeline to campaign against child marriage. As a young girl she volunteered with many girls organisations. Whilst studying Psychology at university, Angeline founded her own charitable organisation Spark READ (Speak Resilience Empowerment Activism Development).
Angeline realised that girls need to be empowered and educated so they can advocate for themselves. She noticed how her marriage was very much encouraged by her family and community. Her charity encourages girls to attend community girls clubs. at these clubs girls are taught about child marriage and its implication on girls health, education and professional prospects. Girls can advocate for their own rights. One of the aims is for girls to be proactive in changing their parents and communities attitudes on these practices. Angeline uses an educational entertainment approach to her activism. She teaches girls how to express themselves and advocate for themselves through poems, dance, art and music. She also runs a mentorship program.
Angeline believes that community involvement is essential to protect girls. She recognises that often girls are taken out of school and married and that these practices go unchallenged by the community. To combat this she runs workshops for parents, families and community members to educate them on the dangers of child marriage.
In addition to fighting child marriage, Angeline has also campaigned against period poverty. She has worked to provide sanitary products for girls across the country. She has also used her psychology training to help provide support for victims of child marriage and sexual abuse.
Today, Angeline is considered one of the top 5 female activists on the African continent.
-Megan Clout, Junior Girl