By Bida Elly David
Marrying a person with records of broken relationships and out of pocket value, ends in single parenthood and misery. As a 27-year-old Mary Thomas and 25-year-old Gire Pitia, bear the pain of the vice.
“It’s not easy to be a single mother in Juba. The economic environment exerts hardship in raising a family after suffering shame of abandonment by a man you called sweetheart,” laments Mary, a single mother.
In the hey days of her relationship, the 27-year-old woman was short sighted of what would befall her in future. Though well aware, she was wearing shoes of other women her husband hard chased away, under unclear reasons.
As old habits never quit, troubles started unfolding for the 27-year-old mother of two when her husband also reverted to past and threw her away, in favour of another woman, the third in the sequence.
The habitual divorcee allegedly reignited an old love flame with a University graduate, whom he claimed was a long-term heartbreaker.
The cunning event paralyzed Mary, leaving her without any options other than returning to her ancestral family which she had once deserted for what seemed a paradise where her Adam lived. Love turned sour.
“I pleaded to him, that having a co-wife was not my problem, but what I expected was to have food on my table and care for my three-month-old baby, but he could not listen to me,” Mary recounted.
Mary recalls thwarting sympathizers who warned her of impending dangers of marrying the man, on grounds that he changes women upon landing on new catches.
“I was warned that the man fails marriages, especially when he gets in a new relationship. I never listened to my friends, thinking that they were depriving me of my heart’s desire,” she regretted.
The 27-year-old woman got relief from her agony after her parents relaxed their frustration and accepted her back with the children. Mary now takes solace in fruits business at Gudele market to feed her children.
“I am thankful to God that I and my two children are all alive. My parents, who were once not happy with me, welcomed me home and established a business for fruits,” she added.
Mary, once burnt by brut of unscrupulous promises of everlasting love, vows never to trust any man of any kind.
Surprisingly, despite Mary’s nasty experience of broken marriage, she still maintains the will to stay with a co-wife.
A 25-year-old Gire Pita, tea seller in Rock City, is another single mother hustling under the harsh economic atmosphere of Juba.
Pitia’s story is not quite different from the of Mary but only that she fell culprit to a handsome rich man who claimed to be single, yet he had a wife in Uganda.
Pitia’s relationship was like baiting a fish out of water, as she testifies developing trust in the man following a series of recreation missions they had together and the financial support the man rendered her.
However, she ended up being dumped by her man after reporting her two-month pregnancy.
“He told me he was single. Money was not a problem for him. I was cute and a dancer. He never believed that I conceived for him until he took me for a check-up. He blocked me on every platform,” Gire said.
The 25-year-old single mother, literary landed hell when she was rejected by her uncle and thrown out of the house.
“A friend came to rescue me until I delivered,” she recounts while staring up in the sky as if some of the traumatic events are still hanging in the clouds.
But Pitia confesses that her behaviors were irritating to her uncle.
“I blame myself for having turned deaf ears to my uncle, who dumped me from his house while I was enjoying nice meals and receiving full support,” she lamented.
Currently awaiting her senior four results, Pitia promises to continue with studies, vowing to be a father and mother to her child.
Pitia and Mary are just few of several other single mothers suffering the pain of up bringing their children without the support of a husband.
Though some have fallen victims due to untimely death of their beloved ones, others are outcomes of deceit, cheating hubbies and those who deliberately decide to change games.
National Minister of Gender, Child, and Social Welfare, Aya Benjamin Warille/Courtesy Photo
However, National Minister of Gender, Child, and Social Welfare, Aya Benjamin Warille blames polygamy, cultural, and lack of laws as factors contributing to high marriage breakups.
“In South Sudan, what men do after paying their so-called dowry tends to be irresponsible. They don’t care if their wives go with their children to their house and have new wives,” Aya lamented.
According to Aya, most young married ladies in South Sudan remain single mothers because their rights have been denied in their marriages. She says communities that value polygamous marriages leave many young girls frustrated.
Aya suggests the need to revise oppressive cultural norms that are bias towards women.
“Cultural norms that dictate the rights of a woman in society need to be revised and corrected to give women freedom in their marriages,” she says.
The minister further notes fear among men to take family responsibility as one of the devastating factors that make most women quit marriages and remain in a dilemma.
She cautions women against intruding into polygamous marriages due to financial gain, saying that they needed to take time to scrutinize men before falling into trouble.
The minister warns ethnic groups or communities against using their norms to oppress women.
She calls for quick reforms to grant women the rights to support their husbands in raising children together.
“Women are not only housewives or tools of production but also a great force for change in the community,” she says.
Aya discloses that the ministry is formulating family laws that will guide all families, particularly men, who tend to be dominant over everything in society.
She called on the government and partners to support single mothers, particularly in the areas of education.