The Youngest Grandmother in the World is a 17-Year-old Nigerian

Mum Zi - Youngest Grandmother in the World
Mum-Zi was a member of Chief Akkiri’s harem in Akwa Akpa (now Calabar), who would later be the father of her daughter. Pic credit: Twitter

Who Was Mum-Zi – The Youngest Grandmother in the World?

Mum-Zi was just eight years and four months old when she gave birth to a baby girl in 1884.

From Nigeria, on an island called Akwa Akpa, now known as the city of Calabar, Mum-Zi’s daughter followed her mother’s footsteps, becoming a mother at the age of eight years and eight months thus making Mum-zi the youngest Grandmother in the world.


Over the years, it has not been uncommon to find young parents out there but what is perhaps unusual is to find young teens – as young as 17 – as grandparents.

In recent times, most people at that age are looking to complete their education or to graduate from high school. The thought of even becoming a parent is rare, thus, having grandchildren is often out of place.

But this was not the situation for Mum-Zi and her daughter, as well as, other young girls in the 19th Century.

According to Lyall Archibald’s 1936 book, The Future of Taboo in These Islands, Mum-Zi was a member of Chief Akkiri’s harem in Akwa Akpa (now Calabar), who would later be the father of her daughter.

Since the 16th Century, Calabar had been a busy international seaport, shipping out goods such as palm oil.

Historical accounts state that during the Atlantic slave trade, it became a major port in the transportation of African slaves, with most slave ships being owned by Bristol and Liverpool.

Some missionaries would later record the challenges of poor water supplies, malaria, and the presence of some tribes who were sometimes not too welcoming to evangelists and other slave traders.

What was common, however, was the fact that chiefs kept a harem of wives and slaves.

The harem is basically a female backyard or household largely reserved for princes and lords of this world.

This private space has traditionally served the purposes of maintaining the modesty, privilege, and protection of women.

In most parts of Africa and elsewhere, a harem, in terms of royal harems of the past, may house a man’s wives and concubines, as well as, their children, unmarried daughters, female domestic workers, and other unmarried female relatives.

Mum-Zi was one of the many women and girls who lived in a harem belonging to Chief Akkiri. After giving birth at 8 years and four months, with the chief being the father, her daughter would also become a mother exactly eight years later. She was reportedly impregnated by the same chief who happens to be her father.

She gave birth at an age slightly older than that of her mother’s, as she was 8 years plus 8 months. Nevertheless, this remains one of the shocking moments in history.

Ever since the 1700s, a number of cases have been highlighted to show how girls and women across the world suffer just because of their gender.

Among these forms of gender-based violence is child marriage, which denies children the right to be children and take away from them the opportunities for education and a better life. It also exposes them to risk of violence at the hands of their usually older and powerful husbands.

A recent report by Girls Not Brides revealed that globally, more than 700 million women alive today were married as children and 17 per cent of them, or 125 million, live in Africa.

It added that about 39 per cent of girls in sub-Saharan Africa are married before the age of 18 and all African countries face the challenge of child marriage.

According to the report, Niger has the highest number of child brides, with three out of four girls married before they are 18.

The Central African Republic follows. There, the legal minimum age for marriage is 18, however, girls can get married at 13 years if it is approved by a court and/or if the girl is pregnant.

In some cases, earlier marriage is allowed if a parent consents to it. At third place is Chad, which has a rate of 67 per cent.

Some of the drivers for child marriage in these countries are poverty, upholding social and religious traditions, as well as, conflict, which forces many parents to consent to child marriage as a way of protecting their girls from violence and sexual assault.

Thanks for reading,

Culled from Face2Face Africa

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How Prophet Daniel Abodunrin Was Torn Apart By Lions at UI Zoo in 1991

Prophet Daniel Abodunrin's corpse
Prophet Daniel Abodunrin’s corpse

Ibadan, the capital of Oyo state, is the third-largest city in Nigeria after Lagos and Kano. The city is popularly known for its rich and fascinating history, culture and amazing tourist destinations. One of the most visited tourist destinations in Ibadan is the University of Ibadan Zoological Garden which was established in 1948. It is home to a wide array of animals comprising mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians.


On a fateful day in 1991, visitors stormed the University of Ibadan zoo, as usual, to see the animals and enjoy the serene environment it provides. Of all the animals in the zoo, lions attract the highest number of visitors. It is said that a visit to the UI zoo without seeing the lions is incomplete.

As aforementioned, on that day, everybody was at the zoo to have a nice time seeing the animals except a man, a bold and daring prophet named Daniel Abodunrin who was on a different mission. The prophet wanted to show people the “work of God of Daniel” by walking right into the lions’ cage to pet them like Daniel did in the bible without getting mauled.

Prophet Daniel Abodunrin’s intention was to recreate the biblical story of Daniel who out of envy was thrown to lions that have been mysteriously tamed by God. The biblical story has it that God sent down angels to shut the mouths of the lions.

A determined Prophet Daniel Abodunrin walked up to some staff members of the zoo and requested to gain entry into the lions’ cage. No one in his/her right senses will grant such a request, so the prophet was turned down, but after much disturbance and persuasion, the prophet’s insane wish was granted. Another account has it that he sneaked into the lions’ cage without the staff’s consent. Whether he sneaked in or not, one thing is certain, the prophet found his way into the cage.

Those at the scene could not believe their eyes. Realizing it was not a dream, they prepared their mind for the worst. Prophet Daniel Abodunrin was clothed in a red robe and had a big Bible under his armpit. As he entered the lions’ cage, he began to recite Bible verses and speak in tongues.

Illustration showing Biblical Daniel in Lions' den
Illustration showing biblical Daniel in Lions’ den

We gathered that he called unto the “God of Daniel” to perform wonders. He was shouting “Jah, Jah, Jah”, a shortened form of Jehovah. At first, the lions retreated to a corner of their cage. Unknown to the prophet, Lions are likely to retreat at first when they see something unusual in their territory and later, they get rid of it.

Prophet Daniel Abodunrin thought his faith was really working; that the God of Daniel was performing wonders. He then moved nearer to the lions as he kept chanting bible verses. Then in a flash, the lions pounced on the bemused, confused and horrified prophet. A cold stream of shock ran down the spines of the terrified onlookers.

Prophet Daniel Abodunrin battled for his dear life but his strength was no match for the hefty lions and in a moment, he was torn apart and eaten. His bloody red robe laid in shreds and his bible which he had flung away at the beginning of the attack was covered in dust.


People took to their heels after seeing such a horrible sight they will never forget for the rest of their lives. The prophet’s remains were collected and later buried. That was how Prophet Daniel Abodunrin met his bitter and horrible end.

Many people condemned the prophet for his silly action while others believed the lions were possessed by demons stronger than the prophet and demanded that they should be killed. What do you think?

Thanks for reading.