How Jeff Koinange & Wife Struggled for 9 Years to Have Baby

  • A photo of Jeff Koinange with wife Shaila and son Jamal File
  • Award-winning Citizen TV anchor, Jeff Koinange, revealed that as a family man, he has had his share of highs and lows. Jeff leads a fairly private life, rarely sharing photos of his wife or his son.

    However, in his book Through My African Eyes, Jeff narrated how he and his wife, Shaila Koinange, struggled for 9 years before she conceived their only son, Jamal Mbiyu Koinange. Shaila is a Kenyan lady of Asian origin.

    Jeff revealed that he and Shaila had been married for nine years and like most childless couples, they had been through countless methods trying to conceive.

    We had practically given up until Jimmy Monclus Maleketa, a half-Spanish, half Congolese friend we met in Lagos suggested we try invitro-fertilization (IVF) at a renowned fertility clinic in Barcelona, Spain,” Jeff wrote.

    The late South African President, Nelson Mandela, with young Jamal Koinange and Jeff's wife, Shaila

    IVF is a complex series of procedures used to help with fertility or prevent genetic problems and assist with the conception of a child. During IVF, mature eggs are collected (retrieved) from ovaries and fertilized by sperm in a lab.

    The celebrated journalist and his wife Shaila had been through several unsuccessful IVF treatments from Johannesburg to Lagos and had practically given up on the idea of ever having children.

    We were in our forties and even though modern medicine enabled women in their fifties and sixties to conceive, we felt that the fertility god’s had ‘passed-us’ over. Jimmy persisted and we agreed to go to Barcelona if anything just to get him off our backs.

    Deep down we felt it would lead to another dead-end and those who have gone through IVF can relate. It involves weeks of mixed emotions and unreasonable hope and if unsuccessful, can lead to depression and anger at everything from the doctors to the ‘gods’,” Jeff emotionally recalled.

    The disappointment waded off a few weeks later as Shaila conceived as they were still in Barcelona.

    But something amazing happened in Barcelona. Two weeks after inserting Shaila’s fertilized eggs back into her womb, the pregnancy test results came back positive. Shaila was pregnant,” Jeff enthusiastically stated.

    The relief of finally being a father was written all over his face as the two were engulfed with hope and relief.

    The next nine months were the most challenging in our lives but the culmination was this morning, in this theatre room, with doctors and nurses surrounding my wife and about to usher in the miracle of miracles,” an uplifted Jeff narrated.

    Jamal was born in South Africa and went on to meet iconic African leaders like Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki.

    Jeff Koinange poses for a photo with his wife Shaila, son Jama (in green) and former South African President, Thabo Mbeki
    Jeff Koinange with wife Shaila, son Jamal and the late Nelson Mandela