Day 21: The Disgrace Of Infertility In Africa

Infertility is a very hushed subject in our society.  From my observations when the woman stays in marriage that is childless it’s usually the man who is probably facing infertility.  Us women are programmed to take it all in, the good, the bad the ugly so it’s highly likely that even when we are in very unfulfilling relationships we will stay on for the sake of love and to save face.  If the tables are turned and it’s the woman who is unable to conceive it’s a completely different ball game!

7019cc6ab8c2b967e53ec9bee83c0203.jpg

Image from Pinterest

Today I’m going to share details of a highly controversial practice that used to be a part of our Zimbabwean culture a very long time ago.  It might still be happening now but I unfortunately don’t have those details so for now let me take you back in time…

Infertile Man 

After a couple had been married for close to a year and didn’t manage to conceive eyebrows started to be raised by family members.  Aunts would have been all up in the wife’s business by then and tried to find out what was going on.  Please note that this was a private matter and the husband was not aware of what was going on behind his back.  The aunt behind the crafty plan would ask the women to her to wipe off some sperm from their bed linen after they had sex so that elders could “examine” the strength it held.  It was after this examination that plans to find someone who could help with conceiving were made.  The aunt would approach the man in question’s younger brother and tell him about the pressing matter.  If there was no younger brother they would sit down with a trusted neighbour or relative and state their case.  The older brother was not to be a part of this as he is viewed as baba(father) and could not enter his siblings home to carry this out. If the parties agreed the woman would only meet up with the man during her ovulation days and try to conceive.  Most times it worked and a few months down the line the wife was pregnant and expecting a little bundle of joy.  Problem solved, happy woman, happy man!  There was never any mention of what transpired to finally get pregnant, it was a very private matter.  (Well now it isn’t!)

Think about it…The little brother steps in and people hi 5 the man!

0177db041e1116f42b47032cd9c74506.jpg

Image from Google

Infertile Woman

Her “condition” was an open discussion. (I have so much to say about this!)   The aunts and uncles would sit down with the couple and address the infertility subject.  They would approach the little sister to the wife in question.  If she agreed to stand in for her sister and try and give her uncle an heir a token of appreciation would be paid to the family and she would move in with the couple.  However, not all sisters agreed to this and in such cases the husband would get some of his lobola (stage 8- danga) back.  When this happened the husband was asked to marry a new wife so that he would be able to conceive and have his family name grow.  Back then most women stayed and took the role of first wife while a second wife was brought into the family and everyone lived happily ever after.

Think about this: The little sister steps in and people still look at the woman!!!

5 Facts About Infertility – extracted from www.owletcare.com

  1. Infertility is generally defined as not being able to conceive after one year (or more) of unprotected sex.
  2. Around one in eight couples struggle to become pregnant.
  3. Both men and women can contribute to infertility.
  4. There are various ways the infertility can be treated, including medicinesurgeryintrauterine insemination (IUI) or assisted reproductive technology such as in vitro fertilization (IVF). These methods aren’t always successful, and can be quite painful.
  5. Secondary infertility is real; you can still experience infertility in subsequent pregnancies even after previously successful, easy-to-conceive pregnancies.

Back to my rant on Female Infertility!  Why are men’s issues kept under lock and key, why must women’s flaws be laid out to bare for all and sundry to see?  This is NOT RIGHT AT AT ALL!  What makes men so special?  Why must we be the ones to be shamed???  Imagine how a woman felt.  She was already dealing with emotional issues, feeling like a failure and now she had to face a whole group of people blaming her for being infertile?  Do you have any idea what people especially relatives say about infertile women? From accusing them of having gone through several abortions to being called a witch!  Next thing she’s depressed and no one acknowledges depression; it’s too much for me to take in.  No man, this is not how things were supposed to be handled, women have feelings too!

That said, children are a gift and unfortunately not everyone gets to receive that gift.  That should not in any way bring tension into your marriage, when the time is right it will happen and if it doesn’t happen I believe there will always be something positive to bring fulfillment in both your lives.

What are your thoughts on the subject of infertility?  How is this topic handled in your society?  If I took you back in time would you agree to the practice that I just shared with you?

Today is day 21 of the #30DayAfriBlogger Challenge and our topic is My Thoughts On Infertility.  Feel free to join the conversation.

MaKupsy 2017

Advertisements

Day 18: Sex Education

Sex posts are one of my favourite things to blog about but today I won’t take you on an erotica journey, sadly for you.  Today’s challenge requires us to write about sex on the first date but I’m taking this opportunity to reshare a post I wrote 2 years ago.  Let’s talk sex education.  Are you taking steps in educating your children about sex or you are hoping they will remain virgins till the world comes to an end?  Remember you are responsible for how they perceive a lot of things, sex included, don’t wait for someone else to feed them with false information.  Today’s read will take you less than 10 minutes to enjoy, grab some popcorn it’s about to get real!

main-qimg-3633df53ada364d511056819919e0ac1-c.jpg

Image from Google

You know that talk a child gets just before they enter their adolescent stage?  Well, I got that talk, the only difference was that mine was a very scary version.  You see, in our culture back then most parents were not very comfortable talking about sex with their children.  That job was left to the aunt but with people moving far and wide in the end your mother was left to do all the work and boy did she do a shoddy job of it.  In order to stop me from indulging in any sex her plan was to tell me stories that would stop me from even dreaming about having sex. (they worked for a while though)  I remember the day my mother sat me down to tell me how I should not have sex before I was married.  Mind you she didn’t even use the word sex; I am still to remember what term she used but I just concluded she meant sex.  She told me that if I got too close to a boy or even let him touch any part of my body her back would break.  THE HORROR!!  I didn’t even date anyone during my teen years because I was obviously scared shitless.  Why would I want a boy anywhere near me?  So that my mother’s back breaks??  That was definitely going to happen on my watch, I love my mother too much to cause her any harm!

And so I sailed through my teen years until one day a boy I fancied started writing me letters.  I was obviously excited and kept this my little secret.  I remember going for a walk with him one afternoon and then before we said goodbye he kissed me!  OH MY FREAKING GOSH!!  I was terrified!  I ran all the way home, locked myself in the bathroom and kept looking in the mirror to check if my parents would be able to tell if I had been kissed.  I was miserable for the rest of the day and when they came back from work I acted normal but my heart was pounding so hard I felt like it was going to jump right out of my throat.  The next morning and the weeks to come I woke up worried thinking my mother’s back would surely break after that kiss!  But of course nothing happened and years later I started dating, I even had sex (protected of course) and no one’s back ever broke, like ever!

I had to learn about sex through school mates and talks the women who would occasionally come to school and talk about not allowing anyone to touch your body.  They didn’t actually say anything about safe sex or contraceptives and the whole shebang.  And so I had to read about most of the things in books and or overhear my sisters talk about condoms then I figured that’s what you were supposed to use.  To be honest that was the only form of contraceptive I knew of; that and abstaining.  I still feel that my mother could have done a better job of informing me about sex and not have me wonder and seek answers from outside sources.  She did a very good job of letting me think that sex was a very bad thing not to be talked about, had or enjoyed because something terrible would happen to you.  At the same time I don’t blame her because she grew up in a time where such talks were unheard of.

Love-Bird-Colorful-Parrot-Kissing-Images.jpg

Image from Google

I asked a few friends around me to tell me how their “birds and the bees” talk when they were younger and this is the feedback I got:

“Ahh, I don’t remember being told anything by my mum.  She just told me no boys before finishing school.”

“She gave me the finer details about sex when I was around 16.  Even told me how people have sex so that little boys wouldn’t trick me with the don’t worry it isn’t sex line.”

“She never said anything.”

“I had sex figured out from my teacher.”

“We never had the talk she just said if you get pregnant don’t ever come back home.”

“Stay away from sex because you will get pregnant!  If a boy tells you he loves you run for your life!”

I am happy and sad at the same time with this kind of feedback.  Happy because it shows that I wasn’t alone in being told ridiculous things in the name of no sex before your time.  Sad because we were not given enough information about what sex really was even though we were still too young to understand it.  At least one person out of all my friends actually got to know what sex was the rest of us have to figure it out by ourselves!

When my daughter gets to adolescent stage I will sit down with her and we will have an honest and open talk about sex and not hide anything from her so that she knows how to protect herself and be aware of the on goings of her body.  I won’t scare her or tell her any lies because I want her to know she can come to me and talk about anything at anytime.

A fellow Blogger www.conscious2conscience.wordpress.com taking part in the #30DayAfriBlogger Challenge shared these sentiments;

Media will have us telling our kids too much too soon but I’m a firm believer in things being age appropriate and in parenting instincts.  When your child asks you what sex is ask them what they already know, ask why they want to know, and then take it from there.

What was your first sex talk like?  Who told you about the ins and outs of sex?

©MaKupsy 2017

Day 14: Depression In Pregnancy

I was miserable from the very day I found out I was pregnant.  I was at my oldest sister’s place for the weekend and after telling her I had missed my period we decided to do the next best thing.  I think I took the pregnancy test close to 10 times before accepting that I was pregnant.  I remember the day like it was yesterday.  I later went to see the general doctor and I was nearly a month pregnant.  The water works that followed continued till months after I gave birth, it was a disaster.

86710ba129100a3c2a7f624d8d924c05.jpg

Image from Pinterest

Imagine going through pregnancy with someone who keeps telling you that he doesn’t want you but the child you are carrying.  That’s what I had to endure for a whole 9 months.  I never got any special treatment, we were together yes but if I am very honest I with myself I went through everything on my own.  I went for doctors appointments on my own, I didn’t have any maternity wear, I didn’t get any back or foot rubs, I didn’t even get any pregnancy photo shoots like the ones I see when I go through photos of people that are expecting and I spent most of my days alone because the father of my child worked out of town and I only saw him on weekends when he came home.  I wasn’t going to work at the time and didn’t have any money to indulge on my cravings but thankfully food wise I loved traditional food so my mother would send through different fruits and vegetables as often as she could.  I was a moving body of hormones and I cried almost every single day.  This is round about the time I asked my Doctor friend if slitting my wrists would lead to instant death…  I didn’t realise it then but I was depressed and what was happening inside me was only magnified by what was going on in a relationship where I was clearly unloved.

My little girl was born on the 17th of September.  You would think it would be the happiest day of my life right? I cried for hours after I found out that I had given birth to a baby girl.  I thought to myself, she is going to experience what life as a black woman is like, go through all the sorts of unimaginable mental issues because to be honest being a woman and a black woman for that is not easy.

Back home with a new born baby life was difficult.  I was trying to figure out what was wrong and boy did she cry.  She cried all the time and so did I.  I didn’t leave the house for nearly 2 weeks.  I never used to cook for myself and lived on juice and water.  The only time I got up was to go and wash my daughter’s clothes, give her a bath and take care of her every need.  I remember I never used to sleep much the first few days because I was scared I would fall asleep and roll over her and suffocate her in her sleep.  It was all too much to take in.  My cousin came to visit a few weeks later and found me in bed with my daughter, curtains closed the house an absolute mess and she couldn’t believe how much weight I had lost.  For someone who had recently given birth I had lost close to 15kgs.  She took over and only then did I finally give myself a proper bath, change into decent clothes and took a walk outside for the first time after giving birth.  She was heaven sent!  She stayed with me for nearly a month until I was back on my feet again and functioning normally.

I didn’t go through depression only.  I went through pre and post natal depression!  Those who have gone through pregnancy know that pregnancy alone is already overwhelming now couple that with depression.

7533e543762475dacf113d149967c7c6.jpg

Image from Pinterest

It was a rough journey for me and this is the major reason why I don’t want to get pregnant again.  I don’t want to go through it with someone who doesn’t want to be completely involved in the process.  I want to be with someone who will pamper and baby me throughout the entire time.  Pregnancy is a miracle on it’s own and should be celebrated with love not sadness.  The image above shows what I want if ever I get to decide on having another baby.  It has to be all or nothing at all.  A man who will adore both me and the child I will be carrying will make pregnancy feel like a dream.

In our culture depression is not recognised and unfortunately for me I only got to find out that’s what I was going through then years after the incident.  Perhaps if I had known earlier I could have taken steps to better my situation?  I will never know…

Researchers say that some of the triggers of depression during pregnancy include:

  • Relationship problems
  • Family or personal history of depression
  • Stressful life events
  • History of abuse or trauma
  • Previous pregnancy loss

Mental health is something that our culture needs to start acknowledging because it affects men, women, children alike and the more we ignore it the more people go through difficult situations without having anyone to turn to.  My advice to women in unhealthy relationships is first talk things through to find a compromise but if all else fails it’s perfectly fine to leave.  Your emotional well being is one of the most important aspects in your life that needs to be handled with tender loving care.

Set Fire To The Rain by Adele played throughout the time I was in labour, a whole 17 hours of it!

Thankfully my experience with pre and post natal depression is all in the past now and I’m healthy, happy and living my best life!

Have you experienced depression before, if yes how did you deal with it?

©MaKupsy 2017

Day 9: Beauty Has No Skin Tone

I didn’t know the term for it was colourism.  I just remember my mother giving my older sister a very strong lecture after she came home to visit and we could barely recognise her.  She hadn’t been home for over a month and it looked like she had gone from a brown skinned girl straight to “yellow bone”.  That wasn’t the term used back then but you get what I mean right?  Whatever product she was using only worked for her face so the rest of her body was dark and her face as bright as the morning sun.  She tried to defend herself and claim that she wasn’t using anything but my mother knew better.  Thankfully my sister listened and stopped using the product and was back to being chocolate skinned like the rest of the family.

I took this extract from my friend Tina’s blog; www.lifewithdimples.wordpress.com

I went to a lovely wedding a few months ago. I was sitting there enjoying myself when I overheard two ladies talking to each other. “Iiiiii ende akazviwanira kamukadzi kake kakanaka wena, katsvuku tsvuku futi, kaFanta chaiko!” Translation: “Ooo, he has really found himself a beautiful wife! She is light skinned too, just like Fanta!” They went on to discuss how her being light skinned was a relief as the groom was dark and so her genes would make sure the children wouldn’t be as dark as their father. I chuckled to myself and found it quite amusing that black people still actually thought like that. The more I thought about it though, the more I realised that colourism is a real cancer in our society which does not seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, it seems to be getting worse.

Methinks colourism affects almost every black person.  From young to old, men and women; somehow, somewhere the effects of colourism are there.  We have not yet embraced our magic.  There is a message that was drilled into our heads that being black is a sin, being black is dirty, being black is ugly, being black is of no value.  The stereotype message is that white is beautiful.  Think all things black people term as “the best”, believe me there is some whiteness associated with it.  It can be the school you decide your child to attend(so that they can get an accent), the area you decide to stay(because black neighbourhoods have too much noise), the hairstyle you choose to wear(so that your hair is straighter and close to the ideal “good hair”); the list is endless…

I took some time to watch this video and you should too.  You will be amazed at what children have to say about colourism.

I believe we still have a very long way to go where colourism is concerned.  Children are exposed to different messages that come in the form of toys, music, cartoons and other different forms of media that leave them believing that light skin is beauty.  However, as a parent I believe it is mostly my duty to raise a daughter who loves herself just the way she is.  Her complexion should not be used as a measure of her beauty.  I will continue to teach her to love herself loud and proud.  It took me a whole 30 years to finally realise that I didn’t need to conform to most of the standards set out by society and I have been the happiest person ever since! The advantage that my daughter has is that I’m on a mission to promote the magic of being black and she is very much a part of the movement and she doesn’t even know it!

111178a8-e8c8-49d0-8f5e-b6f90fcc34bb (1).jpg

Photo Credit: @AmmaraBrown (Twitter)

“Beauty has no skin tone.”

78730c81-be0c-4670-baef-efdb0ad98b2e.jpg

Photo Credit: @NyashaChidavaenziChoga (Facebook)

“Colour is the skin of the world.”

92f31839-5f00-4ac6-a4ea-a77f1e662835.jpg

Photo Credit: @_the_dimpled_one (Twitter)

“The best foundation you can ever wear is healthy glowing skin.”

img_7212.jpg

MaKupsy

“Black women are made of brown sugar, honey, cocoa and gold.”

What have been your experiences with colourism?  I know this is a very intrusive topic but I know there are a lot of stories to share on this.  I would love to hear from you.

©MaKupsy 2017

 

The Single Independent Mother

I have some saving tips from a single mother who is in her 40’s.  I think everyone will benefit from this post and I took this pretty seriously because she clearly has more years experience on raising a child single-handedly.  Take out your pen and paper…

  1. Cut your hair, imagine the amount of money you are spending on hairdos that you could be saving for better use for you and your child.
  2. Live within your means.
  3. Do not compare yourself with people who are married, they have a double income you only have one, stay in your lane.
  4. Save some money each month, it doesn’t matter how little, trust me it will go a long way.
  5. Do not buy on credit, especially clothes, save to pay everything with cash.
  6. Take a lunchbox to work with healthy home made meals or sandwiches.
  7. Make friends with women in a similar situation who understand your struggles better.
  8. Do what works for you, do not try to please anyone.
  9. Set targets for yourself and make sure you reach them, it might take time but eventually you will get there.
  10. Learn how to sew, simple things like replacing a button and hemming your pants will go a long way for your pocket.

If you live by most of these rules you might actually get round to going for that holiday you have been dying for!

81f03636-37d4-4f61-88d4-54a7a0b707e3.jpg

Photo Credit : @summer_rose_ (Instagram)

©MaKupsy 2017

Children Need Outdoor Play Too!

I realised last weekend that the only activity I manage to do with Miss Kupsy when I go home for the weekend in Marondera is go and grab a bite.  We usually settle for pizza and icecream because that is the ONLY take out place in the whole town.  When I bring her to Harare that is a completely different case because the options of things to do are countless.

70c4e11d06ff0e8efc09c552305c261f.jpg

Image from Google

However, today my main concern is the lack of outdoor play areas for children in my hometown.  When I was growing up there was a functional swimming pool, a video game centre, a movie house, a tennis court, a basketball court and a park which actually had swings, slides the works!  Ask me what has happened to these play areas?  Well, the swimming pool since stopped working years ago, the video game centre is not used for that anymore, I am still to find out what is going on there, the movie house was turned into a bar, the tennis court now has people setting up stalls to sell second hand clothes, the basketball court is being used as an area to line laundry and the park… oh well; just another dump in town with no swings at all and a lot of litter.

It annoys me that whoever is responsible for town planning does not take the children in the community into consideration.  Where in the world are they supposed to play?  I mean, they can’t possibly stay indoors all day long, or play on the streets or around their house till kingdom come.  They obviously get tired just like everyone else and need a break and need to socialise with children their age.  And if you ask me this should be something that can be done without having to fork out a lot of money if any at all.  Imagine if all they are going to be exposed to is eating unhealthy take out?  I can just picture a whole bunch of adults suffering for weight issues in the near future…

The following points are (based on Wardle, 1996-2003) describe the main reasons why outdoor play is critical for the healthy development of young children.  I took a few points from the article.

Physical Exercise Children need to develop large motor and small motor skills and cardiovascular endurance.

Enjoyment of the Outdoors Outdoor play is one of the things that characterize childhood. And as Lord Nuffield once said, the best preparation for adulthood is to have a full and enjoyable childhood.

Learning about the World Outdoor play enables young children to learn lots and lots and lots of things about the world. How does ice feel and sound? Can sticks stand up in sand? How do plants grow? How does mud feel?

Learning about Self and the Environment To learn about their own physical and emotional capabilities, children must push their limits. Health Everyone who works with young children in early childhood programs and schools knows how quickly bacteria and viruses spread in these environments. One way to reduce the spread of infection is through lots and lots of fresh air.

20160326_165211.jpg

Definitely NOT in Marondera

Then you wonder why I am thoroughly upset with Marondera Town Council?  Do you see all those benefits of outdoor fun for children? It seems those in the powers that be do not have children as a part of their programme because if they did surely there would be at least ONE play area where children can just have a grand time.

Miss Kupsy loves the outdoors and I feel bad that the only open space she has to play is at home.  I hope someone addresses this  issue and something is done about it.  When I think back to my own childhood, some of their fondest memories are of outdoor places and activities I got up to (I will never forget the first time I fell off a tree trying to climb to the top) I hope Miss Kupsy and all the other children in the community do not get deprived of that opportunity. All children have the right to basic childhood needs…jumping, running, climbing, swinging, racing, yelling, rolling, hiding, and making a big mess,it is what childhood is all about!

©MaKupsy 2017

I Am NOT Broody

Miss Kupsy has been on my case for a baby sister since last year in January.  I blame her friends.  No actually, I blame the mothers.  They are busy manufacturing little people and putting my little girl under unnecessary pressure.  She now feels lonely because her friends have playmates and she is all alone.

 

I have a million reasons why I don’t want to have another baby yet though and some of the reasons may sound petty but are a really big deal for me.  For one, I don’t have a car and trust me moving about with a child with public transport is a real nightmare and I would not want to go through that with two children!  Until I buy myself a car having another baby is out of the question.  I once wrote about not wanting to have another baby but I guess time does change your mind right; you can read more of my reasons from here.

However; I never thought about procreating until recently when I realised I am all she has.  If I was to drop dead today who would be there for her.  Yes, my family is there but what about a sibling she can call on when life happens?  I am not getting any younger and it would be ideal to have her and her sibling with a reasonable age gap so that at least that would keep them close.  (I can only hope)  

After typing this out I realised that maybe just maybe I don’t want to have another baby after all.  I relived my labour experience and it’s a done deal. It’s not happening.  I really am not broody for real and I was just enjoying the idea of Miss Kupsy having a playmate but I am not willing to do it, no thank you.  Somehow I thought if I wrote it down I would convince myself to try for another one but it didn’t work. She will be fine, I am going to make a lot of money and make sure she has a fulfilling life she will never want for a sibling.  Labour is not a fun place to be!  What was I even smoking??

©MaKupsy 2017

 

 

A Man’s View On The Single Mother

In a thousand words, I will touch a potentially sensitive subject in modern day Zimbabwe. This subject is about, single mothers whom we as Zimbabwean society have called M1’s or M2’s. The 1 or 2 suffix being the number of children they have. M1 is basically mother of one, but in Zimbabwe it generally points only to single mothers. However, a married mother of one is not referred to by that label.

single-mom11.jpg

Image from Google

Once again our plastic republic has put these women in a category, so that they can treat them differently or judge them. Automatically if I were to have a relationship with an “M1’, my friends  and family would discourage me from so doing and speak so much evils about the group. Family may dis-own me. Yes, we have seen this happen. The question is; are they really less worthy than single girls with no children? Do childless girls necessarily make better wives than single mothers? I ask because a lot of girls in modern Zimbabwe are already indulging in sex outside marriage, they just haven’t got pregnant yet. They might escape it before marriage too but many are also doing it. So, society is going to condemn the ones that made a mistake one-day and got pregnant?

pregnant.jpg

Image from Google

In modern Zimbabwe, a girl not having a child is not consistent with her being decent and Holy. Having a child does not make her evil either.  Have you ever thought that  an “M1” you condemn so much has done less damage than the “K1”. What do I mean by “K1”? “K1”- is a term I am using to say “Killer Of One”. While society and families are dumping garbage talk on the strong queens that decided to keep their babies, despite their fathers bailing out, there are those that seem not to have children because they did abortions. So Mr. I Judge M1’s before you go around judging single mothers and feeling special about your girlfriend not having a child. I want to tell you that in modern Zimbabwe, there is a possibility of your girl having had an abortion at one time especially if you found her already sexually active. (I am not saying she had one either, but it’s possible)

So here’s scenario 1; Janet is having a sexual relationship with Jack, they conceive a baby. Jack doesn’t want in, he tells her to abort. She aborts the child, so by the time I meet Janet; she’s not an M1 to me. I have no idea what happened. Deep inside only she knows what happened. She doesn’t hope to do it again, but she could do it again.

Scenario 2: Alice is dating Jack, they conceive a baby. Jack doesn’t want in, he tells her to abort. She refuses to abort and Jack says he wants nothing to do with the baby or her. He says uncalculated cruel statements like, “Kana ariwangu murutse undipe,” (If the child is mine, vomit him/her and give me). She is hurt but keeps her baby. I meet that girl and think she has an amazing personality (you must have an amazing personality to keep your child in a judgmental society).

However society will not agree that she is amazing because she has a baby. Society will try and make me see Janet and say, “Why don’t you choose Janet instead? Do you not see that Alice is an M1?” The decision making is made harder for me now, because society is armed with daggers. There’s also a father out there whose child I have to carry the cross for. Let me say, to all those man, that have taken this load upon then, may there be increase in your daily work. To the men that refuse to sustain their own seed and further pressure our queens, if the law does not catch up with you, may you lose out on all the money you refuse to pay for the welfare of your child.

“Did you just curse them Michael?”  Oh so someone is going to see the evil in my curse to them, but they do not see the evil in society making girls that kept their children feel unworthy?

I applaud all the women that are the mothers and fathers of their children but hang on, work hard and have changed their perspective of life. Except for a few single mothers, those are some of the most hardworking women I’ve known. The family throws piles or verbal rot onto them daily behind closed doors. They silently cry and wake up knowing no one else seems to love their children and only they can go out there to get bread for the children. They have drama with the father over taking care of his own child in some instances; they still take that torture, get up and work hard.

This plastic society pressures girls that are already pregnant, to opt for “K1”. She is going to pay an unethical doctor large sums of money with the aid of the father, who is not ashamed to perform this act. They destroy that child’s life. Now all the activists that support abortion, hide behind the “what if she was raped” excuse, yet the average abortion happening in Zimbabwe is a product of sex given by consent. No matter how many daggers society will stab you with for having that child out of wedlock don’t be pressured to take your child’s life. Life is at conception. The only proven way to escape the trouble is abstinence before marriage, which most of you ridicule. It holds no regrets though in this type of society.

If there is a single mother in your immediate community whom you have been holding judgmental daggers to, may that attitude change from henceforth. In fact go an extra mile in appreciating her to compensate for the life sentence she has been given by society and her own relatives. If you’re a man and you think she’s a good woman, regardless her past, marry her.

black-couple-marriage-1.jpg

Image from Google

Let’s have this conversation on Twitter, follow me @Mcpotar

You can also check out my website www.mcpotar.com

 

©MaKupsy 2017

Life As A Single Mother In Zimbabwe

Being a woman, Being a black woman, Being a black woman in Zimbabawe – MaKupsy 2017

Good morning my darlings, this is a post from last year that I feel needs to be read by anyone who missed it.  Below, a Zimbabwean woman shared her story.

From the onset please note that this is an account of my experiences and does not in any way speak for all single mothers in Zimbabwe. I had my first baby at 16. I was still in school. I got pregnant again at 18 while I was doing my final year of High School “A level”.  Don’t ask how…It’s a story for another day.

Life at School Amazingly I never faced any judgement or shaming.  Maybe it was because I had left the school by the time I started showing.   I started showing very late during the pregnancy and by then had been moved to a school closer to home. But even in the new school everyone was amazingly okay with it and I even went on to do my A Level with no hassle. So being in school as a single mum was not so bad.

london-scout-41032.jpg

Life in Church My family church is Anglican. They were not as accommodating; and for church people, looking back, I feel they were too judgemental. Since I was no longer a virgin, I did not qualify for Saint Agnes Guild nor did I qualify for Mothers’ Union because firstly I was too young, and secondly I was unmarried. But as I grew older, I still could not be part of the Mother’s Union because I was unmarried. Even getting my kids baptised was a hassle. They told me they can’t baptise kids whose fathers are “unknown”. You see, my baby daddies have never seen their kids hence I don’t include their names on the kids’ documentation. They are not even on the birth certificates. My kids finally got baptised at age 12 and 9 after one church elder, a woman; made so much noise about it and threatened to take the issue further up to the Bishop. But over ally, the church never accepted me after my teenage pregnancies. I have since stopped going to Anglican.

Life at home From the onset let me say God blessed me with two amazing parents who took my kids in and looked after them as if they were their own. But it was a different case for my mother and me.  She never quite forgave me for the shame I brought on her by getting pregnant twice. I did the unforgivable in her eyes! Life at home was bed of nails. I became the proverbial slut. After all, according to my mother; the reason none of the guys married me was most probably because I was a slut. It had to be my fault.  It never occurred to her that maybe it was just them who failed to man up.  As a result anything that went wrong in the home was my fault. If she needed someone to lash out at, that was me.  My own sister was warned to keep her husband away from me lest I try and snatch him from her. At the worst of times I was accused of sleeping with my father. You see, he is a very forgiving man who will not continuously punch you for one transgression. He believes in moving on. My mother never understood why he never chased me away from home as is expected by society.  She never understood why he still enjoyed spending time with me watching soccer, generally spending father daughter quality time puzzled her after all the shame I had caused. She never accepted that he would continue to treat me the same way he treated my siblings despite all I had done to the family name.  As a result she felt my father was looking at me as a ‘woman’ not as his daughter and because I was loose, I was hell bent on sleeping with her man too. The day she made her feelings known was the first time I moved out of home with my children. For the record, my father never acted inappropriately towards me ever.   After moving out, she was on my case to comeback since the same society was judging her about my leaving home. I went back, I was still in Varsity. But the emotional and verbal torture would only get worse as I got older. I would always be reminded of how much of an inconvenience I was to my family.   The upside of all this you may ask?  It pushed me to work very hard and make a life for my kids and me. Though my older daughter is currently undergoing therapy to undo the damage caused by hearing and witnessing everything I suffered in my own mother’s house. The list is endless, I could write a whole book about my experience at home as a single mother. It was pure hell on earth.

london-scout-41029.jpg

Life among society in general I am grateful for my few true friends. They’ve kept me sane throughout the years.  As for dating, it was hard to find a man who would take me seriously. The moment they hear single mother, they think you are easy, just to be taken for a ride and have no feelings whatsoever.  They are mostly married men by the way.  As for the single guys; they would not touch me with a ten foot pole!  Extended family would throw a fit if their husbands came anywhere near me.  My sister didn’t like the idea of her husband and me getting close. Then there were those who would label me without even knowing me. I was accepted by only a few members of society Fast forward to today >>> I currently live in South Africa with my daughters. I feel at home because no one ever judged me on the basis of being a single mother. I am currently engaged to a single guy who has no kids. Imagine that! Who would have thought my story would have a happy ending?  I have finally found a place were no snide remarks will be made after I’m asked “So where is your husband”? And I say I don’t have one with confidence and no need to explain my circumstances. I can truly comfortably be me!

Conclusion Zimbabwe is still a long way from being a good place for single mothers. We get called all sorts of names and M1 (Mother Of One) has to be the worst term ever to come up with. I wish our society could progress beyond all that judgment and realize that just because someone is a mother, has children and not married it does not make her any less of a woman.

I would like to say a big thank you to the beautiful woman who shared this story with me. This story reminds me that us single parents should not despair, there is hope for a beautiful future ahead.

MaKupsy© 2017

Judge Not!

I got this message from my friend Tillo a few weeks ago and I thought I would share it here.  I don’t know who wrote this but I think this might help a lot of us to think before we start judging those around us.

plankeye.jpg

Image from Google

Let’s bear in mind before we judge…

Not everyone wants to get married

Not everyone wants to have children

Some people cannot have children

Some people are not married because of circumstances

Some peoples are religious some are not

We need to accept that it is okay and that

doesn’t make them less human  

We are all different with  different views, goals and aspirations

stick to what’s yours and stop trying to understand why X and O does not do such

You don’t know what heavy burden one is carrying.

©MaKupsy 2016