The feature picture tells a story that is different from other narratives in modern history. It shows Mariam Nabatanzi, a 37-year-old Ugandan woman and some of her 38 children. Mariam is now a world record holder in child bearing.
According to the Daily Monitor of Uganda, Mariam has 6 sets of twins, 4 sets of triplets, 3 sets of quadruplets and single births. Her oldest children are 23 years old while the youngest is four months. She delivered all her children smoothly at home, except the last born who was delivered through caesarian section. Mariam reportedly got married at the age of 12 to a man who was 40 years old. She started giving birth at the age of 13 by kicking off with twins. All her children belong to one man who had other children from different women before he married her.
According to reports, the man is not responsive to the needs of Mariam’s children as he only sneaks in at night and leaves very early in the morning. One would wonder why she keeps allowing him to impregnate her. But according to her, “I was advised to keep producing since putting this on hold would mean death. I tried using the Inter Uterine Device (IUD) but I got sick and vomited a lot, to the point of near death. I went into a coma for a month.”
She also explained that her aunt advised her to endure in marriage and have her children as her centre of focus. That aunt equally advised her not to produce children for different men.
Despite her husband’s attitude, she submitted that she stopped feeling sorry for herself because she considers her children as gifts from God that she is obliged to treasure and fend for.
Obviously, Mariam’s story is God’s doing and it is marvelous in our eyes and ears. We may not envy her blessings. But we should appreciate God’s marvelous ways. If we don’t envy this woman’s rare blessings, we should consider the fact that some childless men and women sometimes go to extreme lengths, just to get at least a child. Would such childless men and women gladly accept to be in this woman’s shoes if God presents them with this choice?
Also, some women have died during childbirth. Would such women have accepted to live and be in Mariam’s condition if God had given them this option? I think that God blesses us in various unique ways.
Nobody is without God’s gift. We shouldn’t always query his blessings and ways. Rather, let us always count our various blessings and thank Him for them, just as Mariam thanks Him for her children.
- Cornelius Ellah
My take? Here:
A good look will tell you that there are many children out there longing to have a mother. When you can reach out, please do.
Motherhood is not about the children who lay in your womb. Motherhood is far beyond that. If you have the grave opportunity and privilege to mold a human being in their early years, then it is a duty to handle with all sense of responsibility and regard.
Personally, I lost my biological mother when I was seven years plus old. Yet, today I can say that I have one of the best mothers in the world; a woman who have always stood by me through my personal journey of life, counselling, praying and guiding. I no less have a mother than those who biological mothers are alive. This is the sort of support I want to be to these around me who may not be my biological kids.
So, rather than maltreat a step-child, lament and weep at night over my childlessness, be unduely aggressive to your kids thereby killing their dignity, re-channel that energy.
Mother, that child is UNIQUE and can be GREAT!
Leave aside this or that issue(s); and
Be the TOOL for that greatness!
- Linda Ellah