By Barnabus Iga Matovu
This is no fairytale! This is perhaps Uganda’s most fertile woman alive having produced a record 20 children.
This is Margaret Budooba Nabunnya, 72, who hails from Kakoola village, Ssekamuli parish, of Bamunaanika Sub County, Luweero district.
Nabunnya's current husband Nalumenya
Nabunnya however is five children shy of the late Asha Nampewo, a sister to Haji Abdul Nadduli, the Luweero district chairman who hailed from Bubuubi village, Kikyusa in Luweero district.
Nampewo, who died in the NRM bush war, is reported to have produced 25 children, 16 of them twins.
Tracing Nabunnya’s home in Kakoola, one branches off at Wobulenzi towards Tweyanze. The road is beautifully lined with mango trees.
Steven Ssali, one of Nabuunya's children
After about 8km one gets to Kakoola trading centre. Nabunnya is a household name here and locating her is not difficult.
Nabunnya is a welcoming woman, joyous and so strong you wouldn’t believe her if she told you she gave birth to kids!
I was born in 1942 at Kirwanyi near Kakoola. My father is Koseya Kabwama who is alive and clocking 100.
My father produced 13 children but I am an only child of my departed mother, Nakamatte who died in labour.
I was breastfed by my auntie, Christine Nambobbe who is also departed. I got married on July 17, 1962 at 14 to Livingstone Ssekanjakko, who departed in 2011 and was laid to rest at Kalannamu.
Rebecca Namuli, Nabuunya's daughter
I dropped out of school in primary three and got married at a very tender age.
I produced 17 children with Ssekanjakko. I produced my first born, Rebecca Namuli who stays in Kawempe, in 1963.
The second born, Nathanael Lule was born on January 5, 1965. He stays in Kalannamu, Kalagala in Bamunanika Sub County.
Gladys Nansamba, another of Nabunnya's children
I then gave birth to many more kids some of whom converted to Islam like my son Sulaiman Kiggundu who is in the UPDF serving in Somalia.
He converted to Islam after marrying a Muslim woman. Another is Aisha Nantaba who got married to a Muslim and Ahmed Batte.
Isaac Kulwawo, another of Nabunnya's children
Other children I produced with Ssenkanjakko include; Isaac Kulwawo, Joshua Mugerwa, Gladys Nansamba, Rosemary Nalukwago and Steven Ssali.
Others are Lawrence Kamya, Margaret Nantongo, Miriamu Nazziwa and Bernard Ssenkaayi.
Nabunnya's daughter Regina Nnabateregga has twins
Nassali and Nakawungu died in infancy while Margaret Nannyunja died of malaria at 12. I gave birth to a lot of kids because my breasts were not fully mature and so would not breastfeed them well and also had a peace of mind.
However the last birth was complicated as my spine was pushed forward into the womb and had to be operated at Nakaseke at Nakaseke hospital.
I gave birth to all my kids in hospitals. The first born was at Bombo hospital; the other in Arua, another in Koboko, and other in different centers in Mengo. My husband was a policeman that’s why I produced in different places because of changing duty stations.
We lived in Pakwach, Ntinda, Nsambya, Kamwokya, Kawanda and ended up in Kawempe, before he was transferred to Jinja.
Separating with my husband
The couple at their home in Kakoola
I left my first husband because of problems during the war that ousted Idi Amin. When we were in Kawempe, he got other women and put them in the same house as ours.
But in 1982, my second co-wife passed away and her family accused me and my third co-wife that we had bewitched her.
When I was overwhelmed I left and went back to my father; pleas from my husband asking me to go back fell on deaf ears.
The proud grandfather of 20 grandchildren born of one daughter, Koseya Kabwama
I spent a year at my father’s then went to nephew’s, Enock Ssebakiggye. That is when I met my second husband, Emmanuel Nalumenya.
I introduced him in 1983 and stayed in Kalirokatono before then moved to Kakoola later. Here I found a co-wife who left. I have three children with Nalumenya namely Godfrey Kiribatta, Nnaalongo Regina Nabateregga and Margaret Nampeera whom I produced in 1991.
Secret to long living
When you do not do any farm work and just lounge you simply fall sick. Even though I stopped producing at 49, I am still strong.
I walk a lot and eat a lot of fruits. Apart from a sick eye I do not have any ailment and take long to fall sick.
I am a believer and trust in God. My father is a devout Christian; Ssekanjakko was a catholic so I also converted.
Is it bad to produce a lot of children?
Nabunnya who has over 70 grandchildren, says people have refused to heed Nadduli’s advice of producing many children because of poor lifestyles.
“I would love my children to produce like I did but instead they take contraceptives yet I am available to look after my grandchildren.
How can someone produce just two kids! She wonders.
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