65 Couples Say ‘Yes, I Do’

The collective weddings took place at Ngwele in the Douala IV Municipality on December 6, 2014.

Some 65 couples who have been living as concubines or better put in Pidgin English “came we stay” decided to legalise their unions by signing the civil status register in the Special Secondary Centre for Civil Status in Bonaberi.

During the 8th edition of collective marriages that started in 2008, the Civil Status Registrar of the Centre, Robert Ndafeut, said it is government initiative to encourage couples who feed-dragged to legalise their marriages because of financial constrains, and time factor. To him, collective marriages suffice couples to register, while the Centre takes care of other expenses including entertainment of both guests and couples.

During the ceremony, couples were reminded that fidelity as stipulated by Article 112 of the Civil Code is marriage bedrock. Article 113 of the code describes a man as the head of the family, but added that a woman assumes the functions if the man travels or becomes invalid. In Article 114 and 115, the man has to provide the needs of the woman depending on his means and decides where they have to live respectively.

Though the base of marriage is love, Robert Ndafeut insisted that tolerance and perseverance are vital ingredients of a successful marriage. After the counselling, the registrar asked the vital question of the day “do you accept to love and cherish your partner for better and for worst till death do you part?” One after another, the 65 couples said “yes I do”.

The Special Secondary Centre for Civil Status in Ngwele started celebrating collective marriages in 2008. Since creation in 2008, the Centre has so far legalised 523 marriages. 15 couples for the 2013 session who gave birth to twins and the youngest couple for the 2014 edition received special gifts during the ceremony.

Source : Cameroon Tribune

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