By Fridah Wangeci.
In most campus cases, it is the woman who is denounced by her man whenever she ignores to take those Emergency pills and another life is created. What happens when it is the woman who bails out on her man and their unborn baby?
Andy* who is a third year in a local university was scared to hell when his girlfriend, who was then in her first year, got pregnant. She said that her parents would cut off her pocket money or maybe do something worse and so she wanted to procure an abortion. He could not hear of it; he insisted that the baby had to be born and he would take care of it himself.
The desertion and betrayal
He was hoping that she would develop what most people call ‘maternal instincts’ within those nine months. On the contrary, their bond was severed and she grew to loathe the baby in her womb. Time embittered her and she found refuge in denial. The last time Andy* saw her was a day after the baby was born, her parting words being,”Ndiye huyo Mtoto mchukue umnyonyeshe.”
How can anyone have such an impenetrable heart? He says he only survived that desertion because of his mother, who now takes care of his son, and a loyal support system of friends.
The single father in campus is often seen as a joke; an object of constant mockery and abuse.
“Atalea aje msichana pekee yake? Kumbe Campo hufanya vijana wakuwe wajinga…” Martin* once heard a man from his rural home say. Her daughter used to live with her mother but when he visited them, he always found her drunk and in bed with different men. “I did not want my child to grow up in such an environment,” he says. He gave her a chance to change or else he would take the baby away and four months later, he had no option. She had neglected the baby and sometimes he had to change her diapers.
Martin* who is now in his last year in campus has to go home every two weeks to check on her daughter, Angela*, who has been living with his eldest sister since then. He says that people don’t understand why he had to carry that cross even when he had the option of running away from his responsibilities.
Most single fathers in campus have to keep it a secret or live a lonely single life. Most girls don’t want a man with baggage.
“It’s not easy to sell a man who has a kid, for women it’s a bit easier. Girls on campus think that we are sissies. Why then did our women leave us?” says Martin.
A man who decides to raise his child, even without the help of the mother for one reason or another, while still in school is my definition of a hero.
Fridah Wangeci is a writer and a Moi University student.