Filomena Antonio

Filomena Antonio is 19. Her 27-year-old husband Momade Churute offered her  father MT 2,000 to marry her when she was 15. She has 10 brothers and two sisters. She and have two sons, Amadinho, 2, and Azamad, aged two months. They live in the  town of Moma in Nampula Province on the east coast of Mozambique

“My name is Filomena Antonio and I am 19 years old. I married Chiurute when I was 15 years old.

“We met here in the neighbourhood and he asked me to be with him. He didn’t want us to be lovers, he wanted to marry me.  I told him he had to come and talk to my father.

“My father accepted because he had poor conditions, so he believed that my husband could support me to go to school.

“I accepted because my father allowed me to. Since my father is poor, I thought I would get married so that my husband would help me.

“I liked him. I thought he was a beautiful man.

“I remember that before, my father used to fish a lot. But suddenly there were less and less fish and the poverty just increased.

“When he used to fish well, he used to buy a 50kg bag of maize. But with this struggling it was just one kilo here, one kilo there.

“I remember that when the production started to decrease, I asked my father for money to go to school, but he couldn’t give me any.

“I believe that if my father had kept doing well with the fishing, he wouldn’t have accepted the proposal because then he could afford my education, the school fees, my books.

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“There was no ceremony. My husband paid 2,000 meticais in order to marry me. With that money, my parents bought a bed and some food.

“I was expecting that life would become better, and that I would suffer less. But even after I got married, we are still struggling.

“My husband used to be a fisherman, but these days it is more difficult.

“We have to walk one hour to go to the place where we fish. When we go there and we launch the net, there are no fish.

“I hear people talking about this, the fact that they are catching less and that the poverty is increasing. They say something about the weather.

“I’ve been seeing that the rainy season doesn’t come well and that it comes at different times now. And it is hotter.

“My dream is to become a nurse. My husband stays with the kids when I go to school. I study during the evening.

“I expect that when I finish school, I will get a certificate and if I can find the money, I will go to Nampula city to go to college.

“I believe that my husband will let me go to college and I will leave him here with the children. I want to go there to study and then come back here to my husband and my parents.”

Antonio Momade Jamal, fisherman
Read the father’s story

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