Which woman keeps her faith in God, year after another, for 25 years, to have a child? When everything fails, most of them, as last resort seek traditional help from witch-doctors. Robinah Nyanzi stood her ground amidst humiliation. Henry Nsubuga writes.
Robinah Nyanzi, had long cursed her life. For the 25 years in marriage, she prayed, repented, fasted and visited almost every health expert she had ever heard of in the country. But she still could not give birth and it really hurt.
“I had no reason as to why I would make it to forty years and above without even one child. I thought, if God had taken me earlier, it would be the only remedy for the grief I had harboured in my heart for more than 20 years,” Robinah said.
She was born to John Masai and Eva Byabazaire of Katwe in Kampala, but they separated. Robinah only got to know her mother after her Primary Leaving Examinations.
Robinah’s mother, who was a born again and an evangelist at Victory Church Kibuye, started living with her.
MARRIED AT 16
When she was only 15 years of age, her mother proposed marriage to someone she had never known. That was Mr. Henry Nyanzi. Robinah had seen Nyanzi as a smart-looking man in church, but had never thought of getting married by then.
“It beat my mind. I was so young and at that age, I had known nothing concerning marriage. I was thinking of joining secondary school, but instead mother, asked me to get married. I asked myself whether I had annoyed my mother and she gave that proposal as a punishment,” Robinah said.
“If it had been today, when the law about defilement is serious, I would have been saved from the marriage. My father, who I could have asked to intervene in the matter, had problems of his own. So I had no alternative but to do as mother had proposed.”
They were officially married on February 28, 1988 at Victory Church by Pastor Deo Balabyekkubo.
“I never enjoyed the wedding as couples do today. I kept on imagining the unknown destination I was heading to after the wedding,” she said.
The couple proceeded to a reception where they had fun with their friends. They cut a cake and served countless bottles of soda.
It was after reaching Nyanzi’s home that Robinah got another rude shock, for what she had imagined she would find in their home was totally different. Nyanzi stocked a sack of maize flour, which he showed her saying that would be their beginning (entandiikwa).
But Robinah knew her mother must have had some hidden reasons why she sent her off, so she was determined to make the marriage work.
THE ENDLESS WAIT
“Like any newly-wed couple, we expected I would become pregnant soon but instead we waited and waited in vain. Months became a year, then three years, ten and twenty years without getting pregnant. As a born again Christian, I prayed and fasted, but still nothing worked,” she said.
She realised the people around were impatiently watching them. In only a year, people had already turned their guns at her. They baptised new names. Some referred to her as a barren woman.
“Some advised Henry to send me off. Of course, these are the things that happen in the society. If he was not committed to God, some were even willing to get him another woman who would give birth to children without giving excuses like I was doing,” Robinah said.
Her parents also got concerned. One day, her father offered her some herbal medicine which he said would help her to conceive but she refused to even touch it. The next time, her brother whispered to her that he wanted to take her to a traditional healer who would help her with medication for her long-standing problem.
“I got saved at a tender age. I knew that God was responsible for every situation, be it good or bad. I was not ready to sin,” she said. Even though she felt beaten by life, Robinah refused to turn away from God.
In 1998, Robinah went for an operation following the advice of a doctor who had said he had some complications.
“I used to wait and see whether I would miss my menstruation periods. I would get irritated to see myself in periods again,” she narrated.
Even though Henry often comforted her, sometimes he told her that his time to have children was running late. “From him, that was the most hurtful statement. But I could not show him that I was annoyed,” Robinah said.
A SURPRISE AT 40
When she clocked 40 years in 2012, everyone around her officially lost hope in her ever having a child. Surely, she was approaching menopause when the child-bearing chapter for women closes.
Then one day, she missed a period for the first time. She told nobody because she could also not believe it. When she missed them the third time, she told her husband. Because he is a man of God, he had never lost hope.
Afterall, the Bible has the story of Sarah, Abraham’s wife who gave birth at 90 years. Henry believed his wife could make it and he told her she could be pregnant. Robinah believed it too.
“He always asked me why the belly was not growing bigger. I responded asking whether it would just grow big at once,”
Robinah remembered. At five months, she did an ultrasound and the results revealed she was holding twins in her womb.
“I rang Henry and informed him. He yelled. I told him they were both girls as the scan showed. But the second time, at seven months, the scan showed that I had a girl and a boy. When I informed him of the news, Henry was the happiest man on this planet earth,” Robinah said.
Robinah’s husband, Nyanzi is the pastor of Seeta Victory Church on Kampala-Jinja highway. Nyanzi says Robinah’s news resurrected hope in him.
“I organised a trip for her to China and also stopped in Dubai where we shopped for our expected twins. I also wanted her to take a break from Uganda, where people’s words were about to ‘burst’ her head,” Nyanzi said.
Robinah delivered two babies, a girl and a boy by ceasarean section. Nyanzi says however much a husband may be rich and be in possession of houses and fancy cars, if the wife has no child, she will never enjoy all those riches. After getting married at an early age of 15 years, Robinah gave birth at 41.
Nyanzi quickly completed the unfinished storeyed building at Bajjo village near Seeta, Mukono District as a thank you to his nalongo (mother of twins). The house is worth sh700m.
“I had taken two years building this house but I had failed to finish it. The only present which would make her happy was to take her from renting to a new home,” he said. Nyanzi had four children whom he had before he got saved and are now adults.
“I lived a careless high life before getting saved. I had four children; they have separate mothers,” he confessed.
Residents had mixed reactions to the Nyanzis’ blessing of twins after 25 years without any child.
Alice Zawedde said: “If Nyanzi was my brother, I would have advised him to look for another wife. I could not wait for twenty years and more. It is not nomal for a woman to give birth after forty years when she had never had a child before.”
Milly Mukasa said: “With God all things are possible. I ask Nyanzi to love Robinah more than he has ever done.”