Girl-Child Education & Early Marriage by Ladi Ladebo

Official finalist-FESPACO 2001 Film Festival

35mm Colour/80mins © 1998 For Release on DVD


  • Salihu Bappa
  • Tar Ukor
  • Femi Fatoba
  • Edith Ibeh
  • Ruth Sankey

Music of: Benue State Arts and Cultural Troupe
Film score by: Michael Omer
Sound By: Peter Hodges, AMPS
Producer: Irene Kehinde Ladebo
Writer/Director: Ladi Ladebo


BABA ZAK is a retired civil servant who returns to his home town, where he builds and promotes a cultural centre for the use of his people. He loses his wife of many years; and is offered a teenage house-girl to marry. The ambitious Joke, however, prefers to further her education but is brow-beaten by her old tradition-bound father, an ardent admirer and friend of BABA ZAK . However,BABA ZAK turns out to be a puppet master of a sort. In a surprising deft move, he discreetly creates ample circumstances to encourage affection between his own unsuspecting, 40 year old, consummate artiste, son, DAMAS and JOKE. Of course, JOKE is finally able to achieve her goal of a university education.

Unfortunately, the practice of giving out very young girls to old men continues in Nigeria and possibly all over Africa, unabated, as if nothing is wrong about it even today. And since both the educated elite and the rural people are involved, there has not been a concerted effort to discourage early marriage at the expense of Girl-Child education in Africa.