Thursday, April 05, 2007

Can I get a witness


Joe got a call from Bill the other evening, went something like this:

Bill: Hey Joe, got a strange request.
Joe: Sounds interesting.
Bill: Basically there is this Dutch girl and Cameroon guy, they live in Germany and want to get married in Cameroon, they need a European witness to make it legal, you free Thursday?
Joe: Well sure I guess so.

So today we went up to the Buea Rural Council for the big event, Bill met us there also. We arrived about 9am as asked and the event kicked off after 11, meaning Joe would be late for his class so a quick call was made to the office to inform them.

All marriages in Cameroon have to be done at the Rural Council to make them legal. The Mayor does the business and he had been at some meeting hence we started late, but we expect these things.

There were 6 couples to be married, and ours went first. So up goes Joe to do his bit and sign the register. Each marriage was short and sweet, which was good as there were six to get through. The Mayor was very funny and kept telling people off for not speaking loud enough, if the woman answer louder than the man he would say things like 'we all know how will be in charge in that household'. He made each person give loud booming answers. He also encouraged people to look around the room to be sure this was the one they wanted to marry. Each person also had to state weather it was a monogamous or polygamous marriage. I really wanted one to say polygamous but none did. Even the marriage certificates has a box to fill in stating weather the marriage is monogamous or polygamous.

The final couple were refused to be married, they were young and there were no parents or older relatives present. So the Mayor has the right to refuse to wed them and he did.


2 comments:

Mum said...

I am so amused at all the things you tell us about Cameroon. We will be able to talk about it for hours when you return.

Anonymous said...

Note: They need a European witness to make it legal IN GERMANY upon their return. I wish someone could explain this aspect of German law which seems to apply primarily to folks from the developing world...