The wedding of two South Sudanese youths, Buomkuoth Wiyual and Nyabuay Thiol Biel, drew mixed emotions.
On December 18, 2021, Wiyual, 16, and his 15-year-old companion Biel married in Gambella, Ethiopia.
Both parents and religious leaders are said to have graced and blessed the occasion. South Sudan's legal marriage age is 18, according to local media.
The wedding images of the young pair have gone viral on Facebook, with many people criticising the planned marriage. Parents and religious authorities who promoted the marriage, according to John Ndungu, are to blame. He composed:
"I hold the parents and religious leaders responsible. They're intended to be mentors and role models for future generations. "Some parents are so materialistic," he said, "and I say this because I'm sure the girl's parents were chasing the dowry, which in Sudanese tradition is a large sum of money or a herd of animals."
"Where will the teenagers begin their lives?" I'm sure you haven't finished your schooling. How will they provide for themselves in terms of essentials? I pity the girl #NyabuayThiolBiel, who will be made a mother at a very young age since she has no job, no money, and her schooling has been cut short. It's not like I've ever been a mother or anything.
"Look at the trouser Buomkuoth is wearing, it's too short on his wedding day, putting on a trouser like that surely?" And the bride only bleached her face, ignoring the rest of her body."
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