I don't want to be part of the norm!
Women in South African townships make it a normality to raise children on their own. I Noxolo Ngene being raised in Soweto by a single parent disapprove. Now I am also part of the numbers and I have to say it’s not by choice.
Being a black South African woman I have been thought about the shame that goes with being unmarried and having children, so I ask myself if married men never fail to take responsibility of raising their own children. I still ask myself whether overcoming this is totally up to me. As a single mother myself I am worried of whether I will really survive.
On Sunday evening my friend and I were walking home from the park and suddenly approached this guy and his friend asking to walk with us. I knew they wanted more than just to walk with us but we just let them come with.
One of the guys who happens to be my baby’s father asked for my number making it clear that he wanted to get to know me better. I gave him my number because I was in actual fact interested.
We started dating from the year 2008 and I must say he made me happy judging by our age group. It took him a while to start enquiring about how I felt about taking our relationship to the next level which also included engaging into sexual relations.
Soon after we got intimate I than discovered that he was involved with another girl and I decided to let him go. He wouldn’t accept so he kept begging and told me he had broken up with the other girl a long time ago so I than decided to let him back in and all the time in our intimate life I thought we were safe but little did I know that he had a motive, he wanted to impregnate me and he didn’t even care about what I wanted not even minding my safety.
In his head this was the only way we would stay together forever. Should I blame myself for not being totally cautious and responsible of my sex life? Many questions have been brought to me and I can’t help but put the blame on nobody else but myself.
My pregnancy was unplanned and yet my supposed customs and cultural rituals practice that when a man gets you pregnant he has to marry you but what about what I want? This guy decided to leave me because I was crowd
ing his space and his direct words were “pregnant women irritate me”.
He than made it clear that he cannot be with me anymore. My customs include that when an unmarried girl falls pregnant her grandmother and aunt go and inform the boy’s family.
I like my culture but I don’t approve of all the procedures that are taken I mean you can’t force anyone to raising their own child,can you? Unwillingly I went to his house and he denied paternity to my daughter that was quite a lot to say about me in very short words. That meant he wanted nothing to do with me and my baby.
It took some time but I then got over the misery with a lot of support from close friends and family. On the ninth of January I give birth to a beautiful baby girl Relebogile and she is my world. I still wonder if this guy will ever pull up his socks.
He says he wants to do his bit. Is it too late? Can I still let him in? do I want to let him in? is he going to do the right thing? What is the right thing to do? I will not subject myself to being selfish person with a raging and angry soul. I am still wondering if other women also faced the same challenge, which lead them to single parenthood.
Even though he put me through so much pain I can’t help but I miss him sometimes I can’t say I have totally healed but I must say each day gets better. When I look at my daughter I feel happy, content and I am a very proud, grateful and curious mother. I have mixed feelings about my experience and to some point I cannot even find the correct words to tell my story. I pray to God that my daughter never has to go through what I went through but can she help it, really?
At the end of the day I’m still against men never taking responsibility for their actions but I seem helpless and children don’t do what their parents say they do what their parents do. So will my child end up raising her child alone like me?