I just saw a deformed face of a woman having been battered up by the man she called her husband, and she’s still willing to stay because of the above mentioned subject: He took me in with the children. It has pained my heart.
Coming from a place where children born out of wedlock are shunned, mocked, stigmatized, some are “returned” to their paternal homes with no one to look after them apart from an old granny since their biological dad in the city has a wife who won’t embrace an illegitimate child. Some are brought back when their father has passed on and they’re paraded at the arena to mourn a dad they never knew and they’re forced to say things like “baba” or “babawa” in my mother tongue. Such nouns can be mouthful when one had never had a heart connection with the late even if they’re still alive. The same way I struggled through the marriage to mouth “our children” as normal married couples would say. It branded me a selfish woman but I was comfortable to say “my children” because of the authenticity it gave my voice and not the crowd, but I will soon learn to say “our”.
Now onto the children that their uncles, aunties or cousins refer to with a pout; like they point them with their mouth when there’s a conversation around them. If they point them towards their paternal homes to hang around for a few days wapunguze budget, even there they’re referred to as “them” or “mae to nyathi ng’a” translated “whose child is this?” because they look somehow foreign. Sometimes at a young age they’re taken through the burden of explaining their reasons for being in that particular home by a visiting uncle or auntie from the city. Then after the narration they brand it “kara mana ich simba”! yaani “Ooh it’s a child out of wedlock!”
Some go to the extent of being told, they do not recognize the children that were birthed through Kalongolongo, and some are told that it’s their mothers who played foolish, in their hearing!
Some would be spreading butter on a fresh bread from the city brought by their own mama, and an uncle would pass by muttering “only if you’d be spreading your father’s batter, getting fat in his compound!”
Then this “illegitimate” child will be running around buying identity both from his/her maternal home and paternal if they already pouted the location to them. These children will be working hard to please and behold to blend in and feel like other “normal” kids. It’s hard work. You’ll hear granny’s saying things like “Nyathini Tiyo matek saidi, akia gimomiyo wuon gi pok okawe”…. ”This child is so hardworking, I don’t know why the father has not taken him/her…..”
Like she hopes one day her home will be free of illigimacy, the villagers won’t pout towards her home.
Some even after parking their machines at their maternal grandma’s homestead, they will still be stigmatized.
By the way, even some house helps can dare ask if “watoto wako wako na baba?”
Depending on where one stays neighbours will also be pouting and murmuring “kwani huyu mtoto hananga baba” then the woman will be walking around in a limp (because in her mind she is deformed) whining “am single mother” erasing the fact that SHE IS A MOTHER.
Now this mother, unhealed woman who did not take time to forgive and affirm herself, if any Damiano smiles and says “no worries sweetheart, I’ll take you all in” Eeeeish won’t it warrant a testimony!
“He even took me with children” any other reason notwithstanding.
Damiano soon adorns a god regalia, she will worship the ground they walk on and suddenly go mute, because they definitely have nothing else to say, it is done. Their voice matters not. The burden is lifted. Her nakedness is covered – translated from my mother tongue.
Unfortunately the level of Education matters not in this scenario, there are educated unwholesome women, I was one and there are some today. The feeling of the son of his father marrying them with their bundles is like if we perish we perish kwani iko nini?. They had associated their own offspring with shame and now the lockdown has been lifted.
And voila! Circumstantial marriage has happened.
An invitation card to different kinds of domestic abuses is served.
We continue in the next article…
So why are you getting married oh yee woman with beautiful children out of wedlock or from another marriage that went with the drain?
Or rather why did you get married?
NOTE: Not every marriage with children out of wedlock is abusive.