PHOEBE ANUMELECHI

NIGERIA

I live in the most populous country in Africa and the world's seventh most populous country. Some factors which have immensely contributed to overpopulation are highlighted in an ordeal faced by my classmate and neighbor.  Her name is Rebecca. She loved journalism and wanted to become a journalist. Most weekends I overheard her eloquently reading old newspapers. That dream was resisted by her own family because she was expected to marry at "their archaic  view of a girl's ripe age," in her words, rather than to further her studies. And she did marry. It's been five years since we graduated, and she struggles to cater for her three children today.  


If Rebecca was well oriented on birth control, she won't be pregnant with her fourth child now. If underage marriage was unacceptable to Nigerian society, her family would not have persuaded Rebecca to marry.  If the society was not influenced by some outdated culture, Rebecca would be living her dreams today.  To check overpopulation, these seemingly trivial matters should not be neglected. Girls also need to be raised as independent and financially capable beings. Then  they can  successfully satisfy the needs of their progeny. Their dreams should not be denied. Certain cultures should be remade. And the importance of marriage should not be overemphasized. 

PHOEBE ANUMELECHI