By Clare Namanya
You are married and living happily. However, there is one thing that you have hidden from your spouse for quite a long time; a child you got out of wedlock. How do you break the news to your spouse?
Nancy [not real name], a resident of Rubaga, Kampala was four months pregnant when her husband was going for kyeyo.
Before he left, he threw a party to celebrate the pregnancy because the couple had been married for four years without a child.
Little did Nancy’s husband know that the pregnancy was another man’s. She had an affair with a Mzungu man and so the baby turned out half-caste.
‘‘After giving birth, I wondered how I would tell my husband that the baby was not his. However, before I could call him, his relatives had already told him. A few days later, he called me and ordered me to leave his home,’’ she says.
Akello, a resident of Bukoto and a mother of three, decided to get a child out of wedlock as a way of taking revenge against her husband.
“For the 13 years we were married, he made two maids pregnant. When I protested, he showed no remorse. I also decided to give in to my brother-in-law’s sexual advances,’’ says Akello, who has lived to regret the decision.
‘‘Two years later, my brother-in-law started demanding for his child, since his wife had failed to conceive. When I refused to give him the child, he let the cat out of the bag. My husband to sent me away from our home,’’ she explains.
There are also extreme cases like that of Ahumuza, a trader in Kikubo, downtown Kampala, whose three children are not fathered by her husband. Ahumuza says she got married to him for financial gain, not to have children with him.
“I will tell him about the paternity of the children when he becomes broke, since I will be leaving him. There is no love among couples today,” she says.
Collins, a journalist in Kampala, who has three children out of wedlock, says:
“My wife decided to go and work in Sweden, yet there were other job openings in Uganda. She was not willing to have children with me. It is four years now. So, is it really my fault that I had to get children with another woman?” he asks.
Collins says even if his wife suspected that he has children with another woman, he would not open up and discuss the matter with her.
Mwesigwa, a resident of Mutungo, a city suburb, however, found it easy to tell his wife, who had failed to conceive for nine years.
“She allowed me to have children with another woman on condition that they would be from only one woman, which I did. After the birth of the first child, I told her.’’
‘‘From the look on her face, it was a tough moment for her, but she has now come to terms with it. I have two more children that she knows about,” says Mwesigwa.
When Kwizera was being blackmailed by a woman he had a child with, he confessed to his wife.
“Whenever she wanted money from me, she would threaten to tell my wife about the child. I decided to talk to my wife about it because I was having sleepless nights.’’
‘‘When I told her, she left me for about a month, but later returned,” he adds.
Having a child out of wedlock and keeping it a secret was a trying time for Lanyero, a teacher in Kampala and a mother of four.
“I was relieved when he told me that he had two children out of wedlock. I also then took that opportunity to tell him that one of the children was not his. Shockingly, he beat me up and kept asking why I betrayed his trust.