It doesn’t hit you that so many young girls go through motherhood before they reach 15 years of age till you start in my case, writing articles about teenage pregnancy and you have to do research about what you are going to write about. These past couple of weeks have been eye opening for me, I am learning a lot by day. Like recently I accidentally got a story for today’s article, Lorna a very beautiful lady who I have known since my days at Akamwesi MUBs, Lorna used to vend clothes in Nakawa and was my destination for all my cheap but good apparel. I am not much of a shopper so I when I go to down town for shopping I always make sure not to buy anything but end up buying everything I see, after all its cheap.
This day I brave up and head to Owino and in my loitering, I heard someone shout my name “Evurin” (turns out that’s how some tribes in Uganda pronounce my name) anyways, I turn and see Lorna and being the one who loves lugambo I sat down to catch up.
I asked Lorna how she ended up in this business, she tells me how long a story it is, again.. I love hearing other people’s stories and Lorna was even eager to tell me.
She got raped by her uncle at 14, gave birth later and ran away from home. Everyone told her she would never amount to anything after giving birth at a tender age, that no man would love her after knowing that she lost her innocence years before normal women did. She was told that all she would ever be would be a maid or an office tea girl because she didn’t finish school. Lorna chuckled while telling me all the misgivings that everyone had when they told her that no woman could raise a child without a man, that she had to get married (at 14) and that after giving birth one is no longer a child but a full grown woman. That is why she ran away from home at 16 to prove them wrong, she didn’t know where to start but luckily she was allowed to sleep on the floor of a certain church till she got a job in Kiyembe lane delivering food and it was during that time that she met a friend who told her she can save money and buy clothes cheaply then hawk them at four times the price. We and only we can change our mentality of what people see as failure, support teenage mothers to make it in life. It starts with you and the Straight Talk Foundation under the Youth Enterprise Model.
It was never easy of course, but a decade down the road and Lorna owns a boutique in Kabalaggala, drives a car, married to a good man and her daughter goes to a prestigious school in town. Who said teenage pregnancy is the end of the road? Nothing is impossible and no one should tell you that just because you gave birth young you will never make it big.