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Paying child support is not a favour to a woman

Saturday September 14 2019

child support

Paying child support is not a favour to the woman; it's the bare minimum. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

MARIGA THOITHI
By MARIGA THOITHI
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"Five seconds of fun and a lifetime of regret." That's how my high school teacher, who I will refer to as Mr Mabonga, described getting a girl pregnant.

Thinking back to it now, it's kind of odd that society thought that's how long the act would last and that's what we would think of our offspring.

That in no way stopped the rampant romping but it did make sure that we were terrified afterward. This was just slightly more effective than the scary anti-STDs videos that included a Raphael Tuju commentary.

Over a random discussion with a group of friends I've known for the last five years, one of them, Kevin, got a call and walked away to pick up, but we could still hear the conversation pretty clearly.

"I'm not an ATM. Didn't you think about the consequences of what we were doing then? Don't call me again. Si you already took me to court? What else do you want?" a livid Kevin screamed.

CHILD SUPPORT

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He walked back, took a few shots then started to rant. He wasn't one to open up a lot, so we listened keenly.

It was his baby mama and she was asking him for money. He felt that she was trying to make him miserable.

After he cooled off, he smiled slyly and told us that he's glad he didn't have to pay her much anyway.

We were a bit confused because the call made it seem as if he owed her hundreds of thousands.

He narrated how he had two baby mamas and he had avoided paying them anything for years. He didn't have an office and they had no idea where he lived.

They eventually managed to take him to court though and when the law caught up, he hatched the perfect plan.

He told the court that he was a manual labourer who earned Sh500 a day, which translated to Sh15,000 per month.

So if the court wanted to get child maintenance that was the available money.

RESPONSIBILITY

The court awarded them half of his "earnings", and so each month he sends each of them just over Sh3,500.

We high-fived him because he had managed to outwit both women! I joined in too but cringed inside. This wasn't baby mama drama.

This wasn't men being men. This was men behaving irresponsibly and men helping each other to get away with it.

It reminded me of the first pregnancy scare that I faced. The girl had missed her periods and she confronted me with the news.

I first prayed for God's forgiveness and promised that I would remain a secondary virgin for life and that I would dedicate my firstborn son to serve in the army of the Lord.

I was about to google iron underpants to ensure that I was always under lock and key when the girl announced that her moons had visited.

Through the ordeal, there was one thing I was certain of: I was going to take care of my baby somehow, whatever it took, no excuses.

CONSEQUENCES

Of all the few things I'm firm on, as a son of Gikuyu and Mumbi, crown prince-in-waiting of Karatina, is that your child is your responsibility.

It doesn't matter whether the child was made in a bush or a car. Choices have consequences.

At one of my first jobs, there was drama when a woman came with the police and FIDA to enforce a court order for child support from an accountant.

The boss threatened to fire him if it ever happened again and his salary was attached to the order from that month on.

The super virile accountant also had another baby mama that we knew of but he brushed it off. The deductions from his salary weren't smiling at him though.

There was no better birth control for me than seeing the pain on his face every end of the month.

But he was no victim. He was the one getting the women pregnant and then complaining that they wanted to use him for his money.

How many of your boys are avoiding child support and then come crying about baby mama drama? If he isn't paying the child support, I'm all for the spectacle.

Make a banner and a billboard if necessary. Make him the face of Durex countrywide. Wacha apambane na hali yake. It's not a favour to his child. It's the bare minimum.

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