Sunday, February 18, 2018
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" Nature knows no pause in progress and development, and attaches her curse on all inaction. "

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Raising a child is no child's play

teen_mumBy Batandwa Malingo

More than nine million children in South Africa are raised in the absence of their fathers and the ever-increasing teenage pregnancy rate is a major contributor to these millions.


Buseka Sinxoto from Mthatha is one of many South Africans who had a child as a teenager. She was 19 and she is raising her child with her mother who is also a single parent.

 

When she found out she was pregnant she told the father of the child who then dumped her.  The child was born and he changed his mind. “He supports us sometimes,” said Buseka.

 

Raising a child alone has not been easy for her. Now 22, she had to sacrifice school to raise the kid. “Raising a child is no child’s play and I urge young girls to wait until they have done studying and have decent jobs, then they can have children,” she advised.

As much as she suffered she never imagined raising her child with the father of the child.  According to tradition she would have to marry and that she said would deprive her of fulfilling her dreams.

She said it is probably for the best that she is raising her child alone as the father can be “violent”.

As some would want to include a father figure in raising their children, Buseka thinks otherwise of her three-year-old: “I will never include him in raising this child because my child is in good hands here at home.”

But Ms Brenda Zondi from the Family and Marriage Association of South Africa (Famsa) had different views on children raised without fathers. “When they are older it becomes difficult for them to handle family issues,” said Ms Zondi.

She also said that these kids may not be able to give fatherly love to their children as they were not exposed to it during their early years in life.

Ms Zondi said for teenagers to be safe and not fall pregnant they should engage in life skills programmes at school and develop the confidence to stand against peer pressure. “They should really wait until they reach 21 so that they can make sound decisions,” said Ms Brenda Zondi. – WSU-SNA

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