Zama Ndlovu

Having a baby because the President tells me to

2012-08-22 09:32

Zama Ndlovu

In Sunday’s episode of People of the South my president, in his red underpants, shared the type of precious wisdom I haven’t come across since an unfortunate episode my family had with a Jehovah's Witness who drove a green Beetle.

Extra training

Asked about his feelings on his daughter Dudu's marriage, my president started off with the politically and presidentially correct rhetoric about kids making their own decisions and this and that. But being the realest president out there, he then spit some truths about womanhood saying that he was also happy about the marriage "because I wouldn’t want to stay with daughters that are not getting married. Because that in itself is a problem in society. I know that people today think being single is nice. It’s actually not right. That’s a distortion. You’ve got to have kids. Kids are important to a woman because they actually give an extra training to a woman, to be a mother."

As a single, childless woman who is tired of being “distorted” and being a problem to society, I have been looking for ways to impress my family, the Department of Women and Things of that Nature and my president with my extra training. After years of committing myself first to getting a quality education, then to a career and more recently, civic participation; I still found myself feeling a deep anxiety about my personal choices. Initially I thought it was because the very society I have decided to dedicate much of my efforts to did not accept my version of being - as promised by its progressive Constitution - but now I realise it’s actually because I don’t have a baby.

What's a childless woman to do?

But then we all know that our Constitution is for investors and minority groups. For the rest us (black people), it’s either traditions or the Bible, preferably both.

My fancy education neglected to inform me that there’s nothing revolutionary about a childless woman. Childless women clearly don’t have the necessary skills required to do something, which unfortunately the president did not elaborate on, but which I’m sure is very important.

While my poor dormant uterus that’s covered in cobwebs was dancing at the possibility of a new policy position that would put it to good use, I began to wonder whether patriarchy does indeed have a point. Maybe the problem is not with groups and communities that want to dictate how the rest of us should live, but maybe the problem is actually with me and my inability to differentiate between what my leaders need to say as opposed to what actually needs to happen.

Well, here I come!

Now before you start accusing my president of sexism, he did have a wise word or two for young men as well. While describing his experiences while growing up, he said "You could not afford to be a coward or they would tell you that you have to cook like a girl, instead of eating the food that is cooked by the girls". This profound advice will be very handy on my next date. The only thing worse than a girl is a boy who cooks like a girl, after losing a fight or getting hit at the back of his head with a stick. The person (presumably a man) who hits people at the back of their heads with a stick exemplifies the best attributes of our society. 

Now that I’m ready to take up my rightful role in society by having a baby, I pray that I have a functioning uterus. I would hate it if there were to be a proven medical reason for my inadequacy; it’s bad enough that my boobs are so small.

Hopefully nine months from now, I’ll finally be able to get that government job and put my extra training to good use.

- Zama Ndlovu is a management consultant, managing director of Youth Lab, writer, activist, and anything else you'd like her to be. Follow her on Twitter: @JoziGoddess

Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent  the views of News24.


SHARE: publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.