Balkissa Chaibou dreamed of becoming a doctor, but when she was 12 she was shocked to learn she had been promised as a bride to her cousin. She decided to fight for her rights – even if that meant taking her own family to court.
“I came from school at around 18:00, and Mum called me,” Balkissa Chaibou recalls.
“She pointed to a group of visitors and said of one of them, ‘He is the one who will marry you.’
“I thought she was joking. And she told me, ‘Go unbraid, and wash your hair.’ That is when I realised she was serious.”