A strange incident shocked residents in my neck of the woods recently. It revolved around a woman called Munira, whose husband, Shebe, had been scolding and treating her with contempt, thinking she was barren.
So, just when everyone had believed the story, she surprised the whole village. She made it known to all and sundry that finally – and may the naysayers go jump into the sea – she was pregnant. She even walked around holding her belly in her large arms,just in case anyone was in doubt.
It had been six years since the two married, and Shebe’s family had given up on the couple ever getting a baby. And all the time, Shebe and his family blamed the woman for being barren. Munira remained a good wife as all sorts of accusations were levelled against her.
But when Shebe became too much and blamed everything on his wife, calling her “stupid and barren” and she could not take it anymore.
Munira did what she had to do; strayed with a Chinese man, and voila, she got pregnant!
Just when Shebe was rebuking and calling her names, one day she dropped the bombshell: “Shebe, you are being unreasonable. You should be ashamed of yourself for calling me that, yet I’m pregnant,” she said to him rather calmly.
The man’s abuses stopped in mid-sentence as he asked her: “What was that again?” She took his hand and placed it on her belly for him to feel the bump forming beneath it.
Henceforth Shebe was a changed man. He went right over the moon. He even came to Kahawa Tungu and bought everybody coffee as he boasted how he was soon going to be a father.
His mother was, however, skeptical, and tried to reason with her son.
“Are you sure that woman is not trying one of her dirty tricks on you?” she cautioned, rhetorically.
“Relax, Mom. You always called her barren, and now she is pregnant. I almost hear the baby calling me “daddy” when I put my ear next to her stomach,” Shebe defended her.
Munira for once was treated like a queen, and her husband even enlisted the services of a housegirl to help his wife do household chores. He became more polite, kind and generally became a good husband. Several months later, Munira was ready to give birth.
She announced the pains of childbirth were unbearable at the stroke of midnight, and her husband hired a taxi to take her to the hospital.
She gave birth to a bouncing baby girl who was okay in all aspects but one; she was Chinese!
Everything about her was Chinese, the small slitted eyes, her lack of ‘tint’, her hair and all that jazz. Shebe initially did not notice there was a problem.
“My family from the genepool of my father are quite light skinned. She must have taken after them,” he announced, as he kissed his baby all over.
But his mother and sisters were not amused. “This woman cheated,” Shebe’s sister said, point-blank.
“This baby is not even African, see how pointed her ears are,” she went on.
Munira simply told them that her womb is not a photocopy machine therefore she was not to blame if her baby did not bear any resemblance to her daddy. After his mother and sister ponting out all the Chinese features and convincing Shebe that indeed ‘his’ child was Chinese, the poor man collapsed!
However, after he recovered, perhaps in the spirit of ‘accepting and moving on’, Shebe did the unimaginable.
Seeing as he had desperately wanted a baby, he simply shrugged his shoulders and said: “A baby is a baby, haidhuru. After all, me and this baby bonded long before she was born.” Neighbours are still in shock.