…conceived in love, born out of wedlock
“We knew she would amount to nothing and now she’s carrying a bastard!” They whispered among themselves as Owusua made her way through the market square in Asankragua. She couldn’t actually hear them speak but their piercing gazes were enough to enable her read their minds.
She knew she had made a mistake with Kwame; a mistake she may never recover from, a mistake so huge that it was evidently visible from her protruding belly. Yes she was beautiful and modest but her crime was in giving in helplessly to a night of passion with the man of her dreams which only ended up in a full blown pregnancy. She never saw the end result coming and neither did she believe in abortion. Some self made societal counselors tagged her as a burden to the society; a name she very much grew accustomed to throughout the nine (9) month pregnancy period. She suffered shame and typical humiliation from an African society and shed so much tears on her unborn child. If not for God and her ever supportive baby-daddy, she would have probably succumbed to the societal pressures to abort the pregnancy. She lived in a society where it was “okay” to abort “unwanted” babies but a hideous crime to deliver those “unwanted” children after the ninth month. She knew her child (a daughter) wouldn’t suffer any less than she had and therefore had to prepare her for the criticisms of the hypocritical and judgmental society she belonged.
She became a topic for debate; a counseling point for younger ladies, a deterrent to younger individuals engaging in pre-marital sexual intercourse and the face of promiscuity in her society. After the birth of her child, Owusua became a bride to her “partner in sin” which they said “was a cheap means of controlling the already made damage,” aaahba!! Will we ever mind our business and focus on our very own dirty and under-washed linens? Asantewaa, her pretty daughter, had already become an object of ridicule. She grew up listening to the ridiculous stories people had to say about her mother and issues surrounding her conception. She now had younger siblings who to her were conceived the “right way” but there she was a low life societal outcast! … Depression had already set in and that made her despise her very own existence.
She pushed herself to strive for academic excellence, graduated from the university with distinction and landed a well paying job. She eventually became a writer and used her life to encourage and uplift others going through similar predicaments.
Just like Owusua, many people especially those in the limelight tend to be bashed and stigmatized for conceiving out of wedlock. What we tend to forget as humans is, pregnancy is an emotional journey characterized by series of depressions so lashing out at people because their secret sins had yielded results (another human) makes us insensitive hypocrites. Yes they made a “mistake” so what? Tearing them down emotionally doesn’t make us better people. What happened to showing unconditional love to others? What happened to not casting the first stone? No one is to be made to pay for the mistakes of their past or that of their parents. I bet the loud mouths in such circumstances are the ones with the most hideous skeletons in their cupboard.
It sucks to be tagged as an outcast in the society and regardless of the story surrounding anyone’s means of conception, let’s note that these children can equally grow to become useful members of the society. The future of a child conceived out of wedlock isn’t defined by the situation surrounding his/her conception… I know this because I am one.
By: Nana Yaa Asabea