Wednesday, 20 October 2021


AT the age of 15 the life of Alice Moyo* from Mafuko Village in Gwanda has taken a grim turn as she braces for motherhood.

She is now nine months pregnant and is due any day from now. The father of her unborn child has not made the situation any better for her as he has denied responsibility of the pregnancy. Without any means to prepare for the birth of her unborn baby, she had to beg for old clothes from her neighbours.

That is the least of her worries though as she is terrified at the thought of being a mother at such a tender age and is uncertain whether she will cope.

She is not the only one in that predicament. The Chronicle news crew visited Manama Mission Hospital waiting mother’s shelter where Alice is waiting for her delivery day.

During the visit, the news crew found five other teenagers below the age of 18 who were waiting for their delivery dates.

A quick survey of all the females that were at the shelter showed that out of a total of 17, only two were above the age of 20. Nine were aged between 18 and 19-years-old. Most of the girls had to drop out of school after falling pregnant.

The news crew spoke to teenagers aged 15 and below who all felt that this new journey into motherhood will be a burden for them. Some of them have been traditionally married off by their families after falling pregnant. Being married at such a tender age has turned out to be a huge burden for them.

The duties they have to perform at their matrimonial homes are overwhelming and if given the chance they would turn back the hands of time to become “children” once again.

The teenagers feel their futures have been destroyed as they are now missing out on an opportunity to get education.

Given an opportunity they wish to go back to school. Alice said she dropped out of school this year after she fell pregnant while doing her Form Three at a local school.

She said the father of her child, who is aged 22, works in Botswana but she does not know what he does.

“I met the father of my child and he proposed love to me and I accepted. Soon after we had sexual intercourse and I fell pregnant. He works in Botswana so I hardly saw him.

When I told him that I was pregnant he denied responsibility and said he wanted nothing to do with me or the pregnancy,” she said.

Alice added: “I’m staying with my mother but she doesn’t have the money to buy clothes for my unborn child so I had to ask around for some donations.

It pains me that the father of my unborn child has ditched me and he is leaving the responsibility of fending for this child to me.

This experience is so scary for me. I’m just 15 and I don’t have the know-how of being a mother and I’m not working.” Chronicle


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