By Geoffrey Muhoozi in London
WHOEVER came up with the adage, THERE IS NEVER A ROSE WITHOUT A THORN may have known much about the aspirations of many ‘nkuba kyeyos’ in the Queen’s land. Staying in the United Kingdom has lots of things tagged to it.
When I came to the Queen’s land just like any other foreigners have always thought and wanted, one of my priorities was having a child or children here so that they could automatically acquire British citizenship and get to reap Tony Blair’s government of thousands of pounds in child benefit allowances and all those other handouts that come with the baby making business by ‘nkuba kyeyos’. These days it is an un taxable business where one may instead gain.
It is then that reality struck me so hard and woke up to the fact that having children and bringing them up in the United Kingdom was not a bed of roses but a free ticket to ‘stress-land’. Being a student here and all the benefits that come along that long sought for privilege, made me think that I was heading for heaven on earth, with a preconception of linking up with someone’s daughter, who would eventually mother my child or children but when this hard hitting reality struck me, I thought twice and almost swore never to play with anyone’s daughter even if it guaranteed me British citizenship.
It is common here for ‘nkuba kyeyos’ to bear children in the hope of acquiring the long sought for ticket to heaven which is usually that red passport with the emblem bearing the Queen’s throne. I always wondered why white British people never have children or if they do, only one or two, but the answer came in handy. STRESS!
Bringing up a child in Britain is like a nightmare given the stress levels that it carries with it and the fact that that little things does not belong to you but to the state and can be taken away anytime. The two consenting adults must have known each other for quite long, are fully compatible and willing to sacrifice lots of time and money to bring up the child with out the social services authorities having to come in and take custody of the child.
Lack of all this has led to some legal and illegal ‘nkuba kyeyos’ dumping the children in hospitals or giving them up for adoption. Recently some Ugandan lady had to dump her child at London Hospital since it had been established that she didn’t satisfactorily look after this ‘state child’ and not a single health visitor had visited the child since birth. When they called in the police, she had no option but to run for dear life or face the law for child neglect and abuse.
Then there are these illegal ‘nkuba kyeyos’ who even go to the extent of getting pregnant and when the time for delivery comes they go to hospital under another person’s identity meaning the child’s birth certificate will bear not her mother’s name, but the identity owner’s name because she is entitled to free medical care. Total insanity in the name of having British children!
Now, this little one has been born to dance to the tunes of the hard and cruel ‘underground life’ of the ‘nkuba kyeyos’ and the suffering begins. The stress now rises to pitch level. As if the couple are their own employers, they have to find shifts that will make it possible for both of them to look after the child, not like back in Uganda where the mum will have to look after the little one and is a full time house wife. One has to work at night and the other during the day so that there is someone to look after this little one born to cruelty. If the couple decides that only one partner should work and the other nurtures the child, heaven knows how the family will survive given the cost of living.
If there is no family car and winter creeps in, then the little one will have to suffer for the poor family planning of its parents. You find one little one being pushed in a buggy, wrapped up but still shivering like it has been sat in a bucket of ice. A bus comes and there is no space for the buggy and the only option is to wait for another 30 minutes for another bus which might have space for the buggy. All along this little thing is suffering because of poor family planning.
The worst of it all happens now when the little one falls sick yet the mum and dad are illegal ‘nkuba kyeyos’ and cant access any free medical services. Reason: the identity owner whose name appears on the birth certificate does not approve of using her name to acquire treatment for the child and can not offer the couple her medical card. I recently visited one household where the couple are illegal ‘nkuba kyeyos’ here and the child had developed some strange ailment but could not get treatment because of a similar problem. What the parents did was to make their diagnosis and prescription as if they were trained medics. The situation just got worse as little thing cried in agony due to wrong medication.
The whole idea of having children born and raised in this foreign land is so stressing that a number of people hardly think about children given the fact that these children wield enormous rights and can even tie you up to a chair and beat you up. Unlike back home where you may threaten a child with a thrashing and denying him or her this or that, try it in the UK and this little thing who has no idea what you have gone through bringing it up to that stage will either threaten calling the police or even actually call 999 and claim you are harassing it.
Well I am not about or even thinking about having children in this foreign land but, I may think twice and have not more than one. Isn’t this stressful forced family planning and abstinence even given the fact that family planning methods like condoms are hard to come by and expensive.
- Geoffrey T. Muhoozi is a Ugandan trained Public Relations Practitioner and Journalist. He Studied at Makerere University Kampala and read Mass Communication with a bias in Public Relations. In between the course, he studied the Art of Public Speaking. He joined Uganda’s Leading Daily, The New Vision during his second year and practiced journalism till he left for The United Kingdom.In the UK, he persued an NCC International Diploma in Computing at London College of Business Studies and Computing. He went on to do a Masters Degree in Business Administration [MBA]specialsing in Marketing. In spite of being in The United Kingdom, he still contributes for The New Vision and The Sunday Vision newspapers when time allows.