Marriage Laws in Nigeria

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Nigeria is a country that is very pluralistic, both ethnically and legally. Essentially, three legal systems exist: the Islamic law, customary law, and English law. And, at times, these laws are conflicting, as someone like Nenadi Esther Usman is well aware of. This is because Nenadi Esther Usman was born Esther Nenadi, a Christian, but married Mr. Usman, a Muslim man. That said, Nigeria, and even the traditional places like the state of Southern Kaduna, accept marriages under each of those law systems as being legal. Sometimes, however, people do choose to have multiple marriage ceremonies, under each of those laws.

English Laws

There are a number of conditions that must be met in order for a marriage to be recognized under English law. As Esther Usan was then the economic and financial minister for Kaduna, and the overarching law is that of English law, she married her husband under these laws. This meant she met the following conditions:

  1. Senator Nenadi Esther and her husband both agreed to be married.
  2. Usman filed his intention to be married to Nenadi Esther, and said notice was entered by the registrar, remaining open for 21 days, after which the marriage certificate was issued. During this 21 day period, anyone is able to object to the marriage. As the former finance minister, Esther Nenadi Usman though some protest may have been made due to the interfaith nature of their wedding and her being from Kaduna, but none were made.

There are a number of issues, or caveats, that may be raised in objection to a marriage. If these caveats are raised, the registrar refers them to the High Court, who hold the ultimate decision.

The celebration of marriage, meanwhile, also has to meet certain rules and regulations, including:

  1. That it is held at an approved location between 8am and 6pm on the presence of at least two witnesses.
  2. That a recognized minister conducts the ceremony.

Customary Law

This is the easiest of all marriage ceremonies in Nigeria. It is one that follows the traditions and customs of a tribe in the country, which means that the rules can vary. However, it usually requires:

  1. The man and woman to agree to be married.
  2. That the woman’s parents have consented.
  3. That the man has paid a dowry.
  4. That the woman is handed over to the man.

If these conditions are met, the marriage is classed as legally valid.

Islamic Law

Finally, there is Islamic law. Under Sharia law, a man is allowed up to four wives, so long as he treats them justly, equally, and fairly. In order for the marriage to be valid:

  1. Both man and woman must agree to be married.
  2. A male member of the woman’s family must consent to the marriage.
  3. The man must provide a dowry worth at least N5000.
  4. At least two witnesses must be present during the ceremony.

In terms of interfaith marriages, this is only permissible if the man is a Muslim and the woman is a “people of the book” (Christian or Jew), which Esther is.

World’s Best Festivals One Shouldn’t Miss

Part of the fun of travel is the chance to participate in another way of life. There’s no better means of doing this than to get involved with one of the many colorful festivals taking place each year around the globe. Whichever continent you’re heading to, there’s sure to be something fantastic. Here, we look at five of the best.

Rio de Janeiro Carnival, Brazil
This needs no introduction. Attracting more than two million party-goers daily onto the streets of Rio de Janeiro, it runs for six days at the beginning of Lent. Rio’s samba schools are the driving force, and their colorful floats and dancers pack the streets for the main parade. However, the carnival also includes plenty of other festivities, in which anyone can join in and show off their samba moves.

Maralal Camel Derby, Kenya
If you find yourself in Kenya in August, you might want to head north to the small desert town of Maralal for its camel derby. Attracting participants and spectators from all over the world, competition is intense, although some riders show better control over their camels than others.

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MassKara Festival, Philippines
The Philippines is not yet a regular stop on the backpacker trail but you’ll be missing out if you don’t go. So much the better if you can time your visit around the MassKara festival. Held in Bacolod City and named for the smiling masks worn by participants, it includes a street dance competition, a beauty pageant and music. Characterized by the friendliness of its participants, it’s a popular festival so accommodation requires planning ahead. Luckily, real estate in the Philippines is booming, and you can easily find the best condos on Zipmatch, whether you want to rent or to buy.

The Venice Carnival, Italy
Dating back to the fourteenth century, Venice’s annual carnival is Europe’s oldest. Beginning after Christmas and running until the day before Lent, it attracts more than three million visitors annually. Many are tempted by the bright masks worn by carnival-goers, some of whom may be hoping to carry away the prize awarded to the most beautiful mask. Originally introduced to blur the distinction between the nobility in their fine clothes and ordinary people who could never hope to afford garments of the same quality, the masks remain popular today among Venetians and tourists alike.

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Holi, India
Marking the victory of good over evil, this Hindu festival of colors is celebrated in the north of India during the full moon in March. Unwary travelers venturing onto the streets can expect to return to their hostel or hotel with their clothes covered in brightly colored powder, or soaking wet from water balloons. However, this is still one of the best and most exuberant festivals in the world. People of all ages flock into the streets to perform religious rituals in front of huge bonfires, exchange greetings, dance and, yes, throw handfuls of colored powder around.

Your Guide To ‘The Great Wildebeest Migration’ in Africa

The great wildebeest migration is one of the most outstanding natural phenomena that you are ever likely to see with the naked eye. Over one million wildebeest moving as one solid unit across the planes of Africa in search of food and grazing land on a journey that is perilous as it is arduous. Throughout the journey the wildebeest must survive threats from come of the World’s most dangerous predators and cross death-defying rivers as they travel form the southern Serengeti to the Masai Mara national reserve in Kenya. If you want to catch a glimpse of the biggest mass movement of any animal in the World, then here is a guide on where the wildebeest travel and what may be your best chance of catching a glimpse.

The Beginning

Around November-December time, the wildebeest arrive on the planes of the Serengeti during the short rains feeding on the nutrient-packed fresh grasses. The wildebeest remain in the regions of southern Seronera throughout January, February and March as they birth and care for their young calves. There is some gradual movement north in early April and then towards the end of the month, the migration north commences.

The Long Journey North

The beginning of north is the first tim that you will see the striking image of the wildebeest collective, all heading north to seek fresh grazing and fresh water. The regions of north Seronera and Moru Kopjes are, by this time, filled with hundreds of thousands of wildebeest and often you will see some zebras and gazelles with the group.

June sees the one of the biggest challenges on the journey for the wildebeest as they hit the Grumeti River. The wildebeest generally gather on the south side of the river and wait for the rest of the group to catch up. Crossing on mass provides more protection against predators such as lions and crocodiles and it also allows more assistance for the young. This will be the first of two tough rivers that the group will need to cross during their journey.

Grumeti Reserve

Throughout July and August the wildebeest will move throughout the Grummet reserve, a great opportunity for tourists to spot the impressive migration. The Serengeti park is also a great place where tourists can see the group and many gather in the national park each August to witness it.

September

One of the most perilous months for the wildebeest as they face the great Mara River, a wide river with dangers on either side. The gushing river leaves the wildebeest with frantically dashing as their only option which can be quite a spectacle. Those who can make it across the river will have achieved 90% of their journey and from here they will start to gradually flow south through the Lobo area of the Serengeti National Park. Finally the wildebeest will find their way back to the start around October where they will once again feed on the fresh grass of the southern Serengeti, before starting the journey all over again.

Your Guide To ‘Chale Wote Street Art Festival’ in Ghana

Africa rarely seems to get much of a mention when it comes to Worldwide festivals which is strange considering the range of attractive, strange and lively festivals which are held across the continent. Today we are going to take a look at one of the coolest festivals across Africa, the Chale Wote street art festival which is held in Ghana each year.

If you fancy heading to an altogether different kind of street art festival then you don’t need to go to New York or London, this year you should be heading to Ghana.

Where it is Held

This brilliant modern festival is held each year in Accra, the capital city of Ghana. Previously held in September, the festival is now hosted on the last weekend of August. The festival can be seen throughout the city streets and many community centers and public forums are opened up to celebrate the festival.

What is it All About?

The festival was put in place in order to create an exchange between local and international artists where they could all gather in one place to hold a festival of music, dance and of course, street art. The festival attracts street artists from all over the World who look to exchange ideas and concepts with local African artists.

The festival is a blending of international styles which seek to promote art in Africa and to promote African art and culture worldwide. The festival is still in its youth after having just five festivals but already the event is gaining mass popularity and each year has seen more artists join the movement and more visitors arriving to enjoy the show.

What to Expect?

If you plan on heading to the 2017 event then you can expect to say bright, colorful and conceptual street art, music, dance, spoken word, interactive installations, fashion shows and street parties. Each year has a theme, this year’s has not yet been chosen but the past themes have been as follows:

2012 – Outer-space exploration

2013 – Re-imagination of African folklore

2014 – Death: An eternal dream into limitless rebirth

2015 – African electronics

2016 – Spirit robot

The festival always seeks to push the boundaries of a wide-variety of concepts and styles and for this reason it has become so attractive to artists from around the World.

Quite honestly, you should expect a 6 day festival of all things positive colorful and well, African. There is constant music, constant partying, colors surround you wherever you go and the locals embrace all who come from afar to their city.

You should dispel any illusions that you have about Africa when you think about Accra, this is an exciting, modern and ‘happening’ corner of the World, never mind Africa and if you want to truly experience the best of this continent’s culture and style then you should be heading to Accra this year to enjoy the brilliant Chale Wote street art festival.