Teen Mom's Emotional Story Goes Viral, Elicits Debate on Single Motherhood

  • Photo Collage of Shirleen Mukami With Her Son on Wednesday November 10
    Photo Collage of Shirleen Mukami With Her Son on Wednesday, November 10, 2021
    Shirleen Mukami Twitter Page
  • A teenage mother, Shirleen Mukami, has gone viral after sharing her emotional journey of raising her son alone after facing rejection, sparking a whole debate on single motherhood in the country and teen pregnancies.

    Through a series of social media posts on Wednesday, November 10, the 20-year-old single mum narrated how she was dumped by her boyfriend after learning of the pregnancy. She narrated that she was forced to go through the pregnancy and parenting journey alone.

    The rejection escalated as she also lost her friends and some family members. 

     Shirleen Mukami With Her Son Photo Shared on Wednesday November 10
    Shirleen Mukami With Her Son Photo Shared on Wednesday, November 10.
    Shirleen Mukami Twitter Page

    She disclosed that the struggle with her unplanned pregnancy compelled her to drop out of college. The situation worsened as she had no source of income.

    "I thought of all the young moms like me, in their early twenties. With no jobs, absent baby daddies, unsupportive families, little friends, and no cash. I couldn't imagine how many we are. And wished our salaried 'men' knew what it meant to run away from their young pregnant lover, part of her statement read.

    "My entire pregnancy was a journey of unforgettable pain, sorrow and regrets. I had thought otherwise about keeping this baby but eventually, I decided to keep it and raise him. I shared the news of my pregnancy to the man I was in love with. The man I knew was responsible."

    Mukami stated the father refused to accept responsibility forcing her to just raise the kid alone.

    "I had already anticipated his reaction and had told my girls that he would deny responsibility. And he did. I was not surprised. But what hurt me most is that I didn't even tell him about it to try and 'trap' him into raising the baby with me. I had decided I would still keep it."

    "After endless days of trying to reason with him, I gave up and decided to focus on me and the human being growing in me. It hurt that he would deny something so obvious. And then when he now decided that we terminate it, I felt even stupider. Still, I soldiered on with my pregnancy Suddenly, my whole world collapsed around me. I dropped out of college, strained my relationship with my parents, lost friends, lost my social life, lost the man I loved, lost it all. I wasn't prepared 4 the emotional strain a pregnancy can impact on a woman. My life went black."

    The pain and experience she went through throughout her pregnancy compelled her to launch an initiative helping single mothers. she launched the Baby Shower Sisters initiative.

    The initiative which depends on well-wishers right now visits other mums who went through the same experience with the aim of empowering them.

    "This is basically a support group where myself and three more young mothers visit other young mothers like us. Mothers whose baby daddies disappeared. Mothers who didn't experience the love of pregnancy. Mothers who didn't experience a baby shower. Broken mothers just like us," she stated.

    Her post has become a topic of discussion. NARC Kenya Party leader, Martha Karua, has also been forced to comment on the same, telling off those who were trolling Mukami for sharing her stories.

    Her story has reignited the discussion on single motherhood. Such cases have been on the rise together with teen pregnancies.

    According to a report by Health Care for Women International, single motherhood is prevalent in urban areas, older age, and people with poor economic status.

    The report further recommended that single mothers need strategic support to mitigate associated risks.

    Young Kenyan girls advocate for the end of teenage pregnancy in 2018
    Young Kenyan girls advocate for the end of teenage pregnancy in 2018
    File