Today’s topic is “Children born out of wedlock” and I have the pleasure of having @_6_Legend as my Guest Blogger. He shared his story with me and I hope as many people can get to read this and realise that; after all is said and done children whether born in or out of wedlock have the same rights and feel the same way as any other child.
We live in a society that can sometimes be harsh and harmful on the very people that make it up. A lot of people suffer due to societal standards that affect them regardless of the fact that they cannot change their position nor is it of their own making. Children born out of wedlock are some of the people affected by these societal standards and I want to talk about some of the things that they (read we) face due to their “status”.
Society is an integral part of who we are. From the people we call family or relatives, depending on the nature of the relationship, to the 3 year old girl who lives down our road, all are integral to our being. Human beings are designed to associate with and interact with the people around them. This interaction takes many different forms and has different levels of impact. They all, however, have an impact and no matter how small this impact is, it contributes to who we are as a whole. The nature of these interactions, positive or negative, also will contribute towards shaping who we become as people. As a child born out of wedlock, I had a lot of interactions which I know, now, contributed to the person I am today. I say now because when these things happened I had no idea what they meant and I sure as hell didn’t know what they were doing to me psychologically.
My mother and biological father were never together. She married another man and I only discovered he wasn’t my actual father when I was an adult. When I did discover it though, it made sense. He treated me differently. His family treated me different. Whenever we visited the rural areas, I could feel that I was an outcast. I think I knew right from the start that I wasn’t a part of that family but I didn’t know the alternatives and that’s why I just didn’t have that truth fall naturally to me. I told myself that my “father’s” family didn’t like me because of my mischief. I wish they had just told me I wasn’t one of them.
Then I learnt the truth…
I met my biological father when I was 20. I had mixed feelings but eventually I thought I should make an effort to form a relationship with him. I shouldn’t have. On our first encounter, he spoke about how he only lost touch because my mother got married and my step dad didn’t want him talking to her. He went on to tell me that his whole family knows about me and he would take me to meet them. No one knew about me. Five years later and I have met none of my sperm donor’s family (that’s all he is really). The moment I realized it was never going to happen, I stopped trying and I became happier. I am a fatherless person and I have embraced it. When I left my step father’s, I remember one of his sisters saying “ndakambokuudzai kuti vana vemusango vanonetsa”. Loosely translated, “I told you these fatherless children are a problem”.
The term “vana vemusango” (bastard children) has been used to describe children born out of wedlock for a long time. The term came as a description of men who wander out of their matrimonial homes and go “kusango” where they bear children. I feel that the term carries heavy negative connotations, the brunt of which is bore by the children. It is a term that shames children for being born out of wedlock as if it was their choice. It is a term designed to discriminate and sideline these children. As a society, we forget that we are all equal. Once we begin to label other people as illegitimate, we have taken a whole lot from those people. Their dignity. Their pride. Their association. Their being. We strip it all. And yet it is not this person’s fault that they came into this world in that way.
I don’t even know what I wanted the point of this to be. I just had things to say and I hope I have at least articulated myself well. We all came from somewhere. Hakuna mwana wemusago…