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GROWING “BABY-MAMAS” SYNDROME: The celebration, stigma and uncharted future

The expression on Temilade’s face was that of disapproval.

In a fit of anger, Bimpe Anjorin, Temilade’s mother, had called her father an irresponsible man. Captured by the feeling of guilt, Bimpe drew Temilade closer, patted her on the back, “You caused it,” she whispered, wiping her face with her left hand.

Bimpe, who became a baby mama shortly after she left high school, plays both fatherly  and motherly roles to ensure that her 7-year-old daughter does not lack all that she needs.

The trained nurse tells her story: “I would say whatever happened before now was just destined to happen. I’m lucky to have a family that has always been there for me. I admit I made a mistake, but I’m wiser now to face life.’’

On her daughter’s father, she said, “He’s now married with children. I don’t have a problem with that. But what I’m worried about is the fact that he has left me to take care of our child alone. All efforts to make him be a responsible father have failed. I’ve since learnt to carry my cross myself.’’ For a teenage mother, one would say she has a big heart.

Another baby mama, Wunmi Adesola, said she had her daughter when she was in her first year at the Ekiti State University while she was studying Economics. Prior to when she put to bed, she had revelations that she must not abort her pregnancy, else it would have dire consequences. A member of a white garment church, Wunmi said she was in church on a Sunday morning when a prophet prophesied that she must not even contemplate aborting her pregnancy, else the consequences will be fatal.

“I was shocked because I had never met or seen him, he didn’t know me from Adam.  Though the father of my
baby and I didn’t plan to have the baby then, I had to keep the pregnancy.’’
On her single parent status, she had this to say: “That I have a baby outside wedlock is not a disease. I
can’t feel inferior to anyone because I’m not married to the father of my baby. I can go with my girl anywhere and hold my head high. I believe whoever loves me will accept me the way I am and love my child as well. My life won’t stop because of the mistake I made in my youth.’’

According to Wikipedia, the term “baby mama”, which the Oxford dictionary  defines as the mother of one or more of a man’s children, especially  one who is not his wife or current partner,    originated in Jamaican  Creole language as “baby-mother”, with the first  printed usage appearing in the Kingston newspaper.

Investigations have shown that the baby mama syndrome is worldwide and has also taking root in Nigeria, especially
among youths. From movie stars to music stars and the well-known to the not-very-known, having baby mamas, observers say, is now commonplace.

Commenting on the issue, sociologist, Abiodun Teriba echoed that change is the only constant thing in life, “But certain changes could spark worry and threats to the society. The things that the society frowned at many years ago have become fashionable, unfortunately. Having  a baby mama or  daddy is not  something  new anymore, but  I think the difference between then and now is the fact that, before now, people were shy  about having children outside wedlock; but these days, it is celebrated among  our celebrities; and youths that look up to them think it is  the vogue,” he said

Marrying a baby mama, the sociologist pointed out, could shatter trust between couples in a marriage.

A marriage counselor, Bimpe Atobatele, says baby mamas are mortals and, like every human, they are not infallible. “A man and a woman can live their normal lives regardless of their ugly past.

What is important is how they manage the situation they find themselves.”

Throwing societal propriety to the wind, the counselor declared that, marrying a baby mama or a baby daddy is no longer a big deal. “If a man has a baby mama when he was 18, are we saying he shouldn’t marry again because he has a baby? What if a woman discovers her husband had a baby mama some 15 years into her marriage that already has procreated many children?

“While I’m not in any way encouraging moral impropriety, it’s also important to state that baby mamas are also
humans. Having a baby outside marriage should not stop anyone from marrying properly thereafter.”

Atobatele argued that if a woman is married to a man with a baby mama, for instance, and he says nothing is going on between his  baby mama and himself, the woman just has to trust him, until he proves otherwise.’’

Hell awaits baby mamas, if…

But Islamic Cleric, Abdul Rasak Umoru will not have any of that “nicety”; “Having sex outside marriage is forbidden in Islam,” he stressed and gave a strong reason:

“It’s a great sin that if one does not seek repentance, it can lead that person to hell.” He read a quote from the Quran: “And come not near unlawful sex. Verily, it is a Faahishah (anything that transgresses its
limits: a great sin), and an evil way that leads one to hell unless Allaah forgives him).”

In the same vein, Pastor Uzo Okoli of God’s Power Church of Christ says numerous scriptures declare sex before marriage a sin.

“God abhors sex before marriage. It’s established in Acts 15:20 and Galatians 5:19. The Bible teaches complete abstinence before marriage so, whether it’s baby mama or baby daddy, God frowns at it,” he declared.

Ladesope Ladelokun

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One Comment

  1. FEMI A USA FEMI A USA August 12, 2017

    How can they be resourceful but a resource for others. Why are they in hurry to have baby? This be going on for decades and world wide Nigeria is not exception. How can they have equality with boys or when they already saddle themselves with children. I will consider myself being fortunate that my daughter is not part of low esteem kids. It takes a lot of hard work for two parents to raise a child talk less of one parent. Pathetic.

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