19 Year Old Mother of Three

I had never in my life heard or met a 19 year old mother of three. And in my wildest dream, I would never have imagined that one would exist anywhere in the world until I met Itungu Zonnet at the ISIS-WICCE Expo in Kasese, 350 kilometres (220 miles) West of Kampala.

I had a lot of questions for her and so did the world. So I ventured to the social media (Facebook and Twitter) to politely ask them to front Questions for Zonnet. Below, she answers those questions.

Please tell me a brief about yourself – @echwalu

I am called Itungu Zonnet, 19 years old and a mother of three. My first born is 5 years (Mumbere Robert), second born is 3 years (Fiona Muhindo) and the third born is 5 months old (Bombale Richard).

How does it feel being a mother at your age- Paul Menya

I feel proud as a mother. Its problems that have pushed me into being a mum at this age. I wanted to go to school, I wanted to stay in school but the money was not there that’s why I had to opt for marriage.

What was your first reaction when you go to know you were pregnant? @echwalu

I was somehow scared and decided to stay indoors. It was the first time I had slept with a man. It was until after 6 months that’s when I started going for antenatal. But I had just dropped out of school because of school fees and did not have that many options available for me. So I was able to accept my condition.

“Did anyone ever tell you it’s your right to say NO to a man wanting to have sex with you?” Susanne Possing

Its not like i had many options then?

Tell us about your deliveries. @omuteso 

My birth was very normal. I pushed my first, second and third without any complications. So yes, I was lucky to have normal deliveries. I think because I never missed my antenatal visits at Kagando Hospital.

How do you economically handle such a family at your tender age? @pkahill and @maureenagena

I work and dig in different peoples’ gardens and that’s the only way I get money to feed my kids. It from that little that I buy clothes, medicine and food for my children. Accommodation is a problem as I don’t own land and so I live in different homes given to me for free. But right now am living in my in laws rentals.

Do you get support from your Husband? @omuteso

My husband tries to give me help but he too does not have a job. So we do the same all try looking for work in peoples gardens and get paid.

Are you proud of your children? @MeRy71

Yes, of course. I love my children very much even if I am struggling to take care of them.

If you were given a second chance, what would you do with your life @RosebellK

I want to go back to school. I think my life stopped when I started having children. And in five years time, I hope I would be back to school on track to being a nurse so that I would take care of my children.

Do you plan to have more children? @echwalu

Right now, I don’t plan to add another child but I hope to give it a break for 6 years before I can maybe get another child. Hopefully that’s when I would have got a job, earning a salary where I can take care of my kids.

16 thoughts on “19 Year Old Mother of Three

  1. Pingback: 19 Year Old Mother of Three « Echwalu Photography « africanperspectivesblog

    • Thanks Melanie. Those are a few of thousands i took in the days i was there..Sad story indeed. But it seems to be normal to marry at such a tender age

    • i met another one of just 13years old and is 6 months pregnant. Lots of painful stories i tell you! These stories need to be told. Its like a whole subcounty has hundreds of mothers that young!

  2. she is practically not to blame, for her path in life,actually shes to be thanked for raisin 3healthy ugandans.
    however the concept of high population growth has now become amajor issue in devt as sustainability has to be considered. there4 its acourse of all capable ugandans to fight and uplift others stuck in this state of misery and dis epowerment.

  3. i think being a mother at that does not necessarily mean pain. If she is fine with it them it ok. No human being is supposed to suffer, no matter the age. Note this, many old people are living painful lives in marriages, their old age does not save them a bit of trouble. So, i think if the victim does not complain or is happy with the marriage affair. I would not fill sorry then.

  4. Being around these child mothers was traumatizing. i cant imagine how they live everyday. i can imagine it is such a miserable life. the pics a tooooo good. thanks for the gr8t job u a doing.

  5. Dear concerned citizens of Uganda, this testimony by Itungu Zonnet is an indication for policy makers to take action. As we talk of poverty, who is exactly poor in this case, Zonnet!~ what about her children will they excape generational poverty?. Well, what we need to do is stop lamenting and act now by ensuring that such family take their children to school. Kuddos to ISIS and Zonnet who broke the silence.

  6. One thing i wonder for sure is whether there are no leaders and what their roles are in these communities where these girls stay and what their parents’ are up to anyway

  7. Heartbreaking, but I am looking at this with spoilt Western eyes.She has such dignity in her acceptance of her lot in life for which I admire her greatly. It fills me with sadness that this is her lot in life.
    Your photographs are truly powerful.

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