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.

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.