KITOTO: Why won't she agree to our way of doing things?

Sunday January 20 2019

We went our separate ways and when I called after nine months, she said she had given birth to a baby boy. PHOTO| FOTOSEARCH


Hello Kitoto,

I got into a relationship with a lady in 2013. She disclosed that she was a single mother of one daughter, and I disclosed to her that I too, was a father to one daughter, but we were separated with her mother.

I had all intentions to marry this lady, but one day a man called me asking me to keep off his wife. When I asked her who the man was, she told me it was the father to her daughter, but they were no longer living together.

He wanted them to reconcile, but she was not interested. We continued seeing each other but the trust was already broken from my side. I kept on wondering where he had got my number from.

With time, I told her that we needed to end our relationship so that I could concentrate on raising my daughter and developing my career. It was at that point that she disclosed to me that she was pregnant with twins, and said the children were mine.

We went our separate ways and when I called after nine months, she said she had given birth to a baby boy. I asked her to take the boy to our rural home for the shaving and naming ceremony according to our traditions, but she told me her mother had already shaved and named him. I was shocked because according to our culture, a mother in law is not allowed to carry out those rituals.


She has refused to take the baby home and now she says that her parents want me to repay the expenses they spent on her while giving birth. Why didn’t they call to alert me that my wife is in labour so that I could take care of the so called expenses? By the way, my aunt who has met the child says that indeed he resembles our clan.

My main issue is that she has to take the boy to our rural home for the traditional ceremony, because that is the only way that will prove that I am the real father of the boy. She does not want to go, but instead, she is suggesting we go for a DNA test, which I understand can be doctored to give desired results.

I am not against DNA anyway, but she wants me to meet the costs of it, which I will not. She has to meet the cost because I have doubts that the boy is really my blood. And since she reported me to Children Department claiming that I do not support her, yet I have been supporting her, I will not and I am not going to give her a single cent for that. I have no plans to abandon my son but I just want transparency. I fear the mother could have been double dealing me with the other man.
Kindly, help me out.


Thank for expressing yourself and discussing openly you feeling on this issues. First, if you have doubts on who the father of the boy could be, there is one sure way to do that.

Seek the doctors’ help through DNA testing. Since you have no problem with the process, I suggest that you do it depending on how important these findings are to you. What I do know is that requesting her and the baby to make a visit to your people; and shaving the boy’s head is a cultural way of determining such matters.

Looking further into your mail, your relationship as currently constituted still has many un-clarified and unresolved issues. The best thing you can do is to have a sitting with her and get to the bottom of these issues and have them clarified.

For example, you have not really clarified if she is a single mother or a married woman. This is the genesis of your differences and frustration.

In addition, you have to resolve whether your key issue is having her as a wife or just supporting the child. It appears that these two directions are not what she wants. Therefore, your priorities should be seen in what you are going to give time to, and seek to resolve it. You must interrogate on these issues, so that you can make the best decision moving forward.


Should I give my daughter her father’s name?

Dear Kitoto,

Thanks for your never ending wisdom. I met a man whom I fell hopelessly in love with. Only after I got pregnant did he admit that he was married. He promised to support me during and after pregnancy but never kept his word.

God blessed me with a beautiful baby girl, now one and half years. Sometime back I asked him if he would want the baby to be registered by his name but completely ignored me (which I assumed meant no).

It's been a long journey; it still pains me but I have put all the bitterness behind me. I support my baby fully. He sometimes calls just to ask how she's doing but has never made any attempt to see her. In fact, he's only seen her once when she was only a day old. My friends have been advising me to use my father’s name but it does not feel right.

The way things are, it's unlikely that he will ever be part of her life. But does this negate the fact that he is her father? Do I need his express permission to use his name in the birth certificate? Do you think it is wrong to use his name? Thanks in advance.


Thank you for the compliments. I am also delighted to hear what this column means to you. Regarding your lovely baby, it goes without say that he is the biological father. However, it makes no difference whether you put him in the birth certificate or not. A name is just a name and it won’t make him a responsible father.

What you need to decide for yourself is what kind of support you need. Otherwise, you can choose any name that you think will reflect good memories for you and your daughter.

First, the memory I hear from you at the mention of this man’s name is regret, uncertainty, lack of responsibility, and a level of elusiveness. I feel he has not shown himself to be caring and responsible towards you or your daughter. If your father has no issue, I agree that you use his name.


After doing my time in jail, my wife has rejected me. Please help

Hallo Kitoto,
After five years in marriage, I was involved in a crime that landed me in prison for four years. Now that I have done my term, my wife has refused to reconcile with me. What is your advice?


I doubt if everything in life is as straight forward as you have explained. There is so much more to relationships. It is said that relationships are both dynamic and fragile.

The connection between a couple is the work of time, experiences, and daily chemistry. From where I see things, there seem to be more here than meets the eye. First, what took you to jail? How did this affect your circle of friends? What was their view of the cause that made the judge commit you to prison? Could this have brought pain to your union?

In addition, how did your incarceration affect your wife? Her initial understanding of what took you to prison including the reaction of her extended family could have had a toll on your relationship. It could also be that, your time away must have caused a lot of mental toil. Remember that absence can cause distance in a couple’s connection.


The long term impact of neglectful parents

If you were emotionally or physically neglected as a child, it can be a difficult journey to heal. Neglect can be a hard thing to put your finger on, especially emotional neglect.

Neglected children often don’t realise they are being neglected at the time, and can internalise the pain and loneliness and think it is their fault. They are often told they are “too sensitive” or “selfish” if they try to get their needs met.

Parents with little empathy often neglect their children and don’t even realise it, while there are also parents who don’t care. Either way, the child grows up wondering about their own self-worth and value.

Traumatic experiences like abuse and neglect have an adverse effect on children’s brain development. As the child matures, the developing brain changes in response to the child’s environment.

Bruce Perry, an authority on brain development and children in crisis, has done pioneering research in this arena. His research shows that a child’s brain develops in sequence, just like other aspects of physical development.

Perry says that the sensitive brain of an infant or young child is malleable. Powerful experiences alter the functioning of an adult brain, but for children, especially young children, traumatic events may change its very framework.

Studies and clinical experience also show that childhood abuse and neglect can impact a child’s emotional development. Young children naturally have a playful and curious spirit about them. Sometimes it is fun to just watch them innocently explore the world around them. But if children are not properly attended to, validated, treasured, and loved, this spirit can be squashed and damaged.

Many times, parents who are neglectful also use shame and humiliation when the child attempts to get their love and approval. The child may eventually stop trying, and the loneliness that follows may actually be easier to deal with than shame, humiliation, or neglect.

The late Swiss psychologist Alice Miller made this important point when she said, “We don’t yet know, above all, what the world might be like if children were to grow up without being subjected to humiliation, if parents would respect them and take them seriously as people.”