DEAR SON: Here are the 'statistics' on parenthood

Friday January 12 2018

42.3 per cent of all the firstborns in the world are the reason their parents signed up for a wedding at their church. ILLUSTRATION| IGAH

42.3 per cent of all the firstborns in the world are the reason their parents signed up for a wedding at their church. ILLUSTRATION| IGAH 


Dear Jijee,

Today I will be a professor of childbirth and give you hard figures. Haters will say my figures are made up. Well, I may have concocted them but as sure as this tiny beard of mine is a hotspot of wisdom, they will help you if you take them.

One, 68.9 per cent of all firstborns you see around are the reason their parents got married. Don’t ask me how I arrived at the figure, son. All I know is that there are so many cases that end with a sentence, “Because he impregnated her, let him marry her.” And with that, a family starts, “come we stay” or not.

Also, 42.3 per cent of all the firstborns in the world are the reason their parents signed up for a wedding at their church. Son, I don’t know how I arrived at the 42.3 but I know that most wedding plans start with, “Honey, I’m pregnant” that is followed by, “What will the church members say if they realise we did it before marriage?”


Dear son, 64.3 per cent of second and third and nth-borns were “oops” babies; those who show up as a result of failed contraception or just germinate out from nowhere. I have heard of cases where a mother with a six-month-old child discovered she was pregnant with another. I will not tell you how I arrived at that 64.3 per cent figure, but I will also put it that of those nth-borns who were oops “babies”, 100 per cent of them are alive because their parents decided to rise above societal ridicule and opted to keep the child.

Otherwise, 76.0 per cent of all “oops” conceptions end up in that famous clinic where they are aborted and forgotten like nothing ever happened. How damnable is it for a married person to terminate a pregnancy!

I will also tell you that for every mixed race child you see in Kenya, there is a 45.6 per cent chance the mother had heard a friend say, “Oh, pointies are cute.” And there will be a 36.7 chance that it is the mother who visited joints that are frequented by men from the race she desired and choreographed her way into getting a mixed race child. The woman is also 39.2 per cent likely to have logged on to one dating site or another in search of a Caucasian who is caring, stable and drugs and disease free — whatever that means.

Women are that good at strategising, son. And in such an arrangement, there is a 51.1 per cent chance that the father will abdicate his duty, leading to the mother filing for child support. In 20.2 per cent of those cases, the mother will succeed and she will have 18-or-so years of earning money from a hapless man who did not see the die being cast when he approached a very single lady at a pub.

Jijee, you can also take it from me that for every pair of legs that you see treading the streets of any city, there is a 43.4 per cent likelihood that those legs belong to a parent who is moving up and down looking for a way to pay fees for their child, not bothering whether this child will grow into someone who will not appreciate their parent’s efforts in future. Perhaps those legs belong to a father of six children who is now finally regretting why he didn’t stop at two or three and perhaps the load would have been lighter.

Or the legs will belong to a mother bogged down by some birth control method, and there is an 89.4 likelihood that she is bearing with side effects of whatever method she is using. Swayed moods, perhaps. Unwanted weight, maybe. But she will be trudging on with the pain, keen not to carry a fifth child because the four she already has are taxing every fibre of her being.

Finally, son, every dad you see carrying a child on the streets, there is a 50.5 per cent chance he is only coming to terms with the expense of having a child — forcing his shopping list to extend by numerous thousands. There is a 23.5 per cent chance that the father has a longer list of people he owes as he tries to make his child comfortable.

And, before I forget, there is a 0.01 likelihood that you will be the president of Kenya in future, to retain and fail to retain cabinet secretaries, remove from the roads those who make drunkards blow into some gadgets and end speeches with: “Kwa hayo machache na mengi.

Yours in a professor gown,



This series brings you writings by Peter Mogambi, a Nairobi residentwho became a father in January 2017. By the time his son is old enough to read and comprehend, which is at least 11 years from today, a lot of water will have passed under the bridge. So, he has decided to preserve happenings in black and white so that when the boy can finally comprehend, he will get to follow his father’s feelings.