BY TAFADZWA KACHIKO
The shadow of Noria Dhliwayo’s spouse Kennedy Shambare — serving two years at Murewa Prison on theft charges — continued to haunt her to the extent of not wanting to see the child she delivered on August 8 face-to-face.
Up to this day, Dhliwayo has only seen a photo of the child she delivered at Murewa General Hospital on the phone.
Dhliwayo, who resides in Zihute village, Murewa, was married to Shambare and they lived in Uzumba until January last year when she was forced to relocate after being severely beaten by Shamabre for condemning his thievery.
Apart from being stabbed with knives and beaten with sticks causing her to bleed while pregnant, Dhliwayo was also subjected to police torture as Murewa criminal investigations detectives came to seize property stolen from her.
However, separating with Shambare didn’t mean the end to her suffering.
Dhliwayo did community service from March to September at Hurungwe Primary School for a crime committed by her “loved one”.
“I suffered a lot in the name of love,” she said.
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“Despite beating me several times, I loved him and hoped that he would pay lobola to my family.
“The situation became worse when he severely beat me while I was pregnant causing me to bleed after threatening to report him to the police.
“Subsequently, he accused me of trying to abort. That incident forced me to relocate from Uzumba in January.
“My major crime was rebuking his wayward behaviour.”
Dhliwayo said she left Uzumba with nothing.
“I came with no clothes and property because he had sold them,” Dhliwayo said.
“When he started to visit me frequently I complained that I needed property for the house I rented.
“This prompted him to rob a house early in March. Two weeks later two police officers came to interrogate me and ordered the confiscation of all the stolen property.
“In the process I was beaten, arrested and stayed in prison for more than a week with my three-year-old daughter.
“I then paid US$100 and did community service at Hurungwe Primary School for six months, from March to September.”
All the traumatic experience Dhliwayo endured and Shambare’s rejection of her pregnancy caused her to hate her new baby who is believed to be at Kadenge Children’s Home in Murewa.
Dhliwayo, who is also a mother to three other children aged 15 years, 11 years and three years from her previous marriage, said many people do not understand the circumstances that made her abandon her two-month-old baby.
“Many people don’t understand what I went through,” she said.
“The ghost of an abusive relationship keeps on haunting me.
“They laugh at me calling me all sorts of bad names.
“They think that I am cruel and I sold out my baby.
“I never liked to face my child or stay with him because I felt that he would remind me of Shambare’s cruelty and resultantly we would live unhappily.”
She added: “So, on my last day from court I met a woman who was wearing a T-shirt written something about children’s rights. I shared with her my story and that I wasn’t going to take the baby after birth because of the father.”
“When I went for labour, I couldn’t get in touch with that woman’s organisation.
“I told Murewa Hospital midwives and nurses that I didn’t like the kid and I never had a glimpse at it.
“Whenever I wanted to say a word I cried. The following day a nurse took her.
“Up to this day, I never saw him. After a week nurses approached me thinking that I would change my mind.”
Following her interaction with a marriage counsellor, rehabilitation technician and actress Annie Chinamaringa and a single mother Enereta Kaundi, Dhliwayo developed the interest to meet her baby.
“I am now eager to meet and take care of my child,” Dhliwayo said.
“My mind towards the child changed after meeting a marriage counselor and actress Annie Chinamaringa.
“She and another lady Enereta Kaundi shared how they parted with their husbands and their experiences as single mothers.
“I then took a look at myself and remembered that I managed to take care of my other three children when their father (ex-husband) became mentally ill.
“I told myself that if I managed to take care of them I would also live with the new baby.”
Dhliwayo added: “Annie and Enereta encouraged me to pray because my knees had become weary, I couldn’t do that when I was doing community service.”
“The former showed me the picture of my child in her phone and I then met the district social worker Tendai Taruvinga who advised that I needed to have an improved life first to be able to take care of my child.
“He gave me time up to December to assist me to get the child from Kadenge Children’s Home.
“If I get a job I can raise what I need to take care of my kid because I long to see him.
“I was never taken to the place where he is right now to just have a glance at him.”
Taruvinga said they have no problem with Dhliwayo taking back her child.
“If she changes her mind or finds any problem with the earlier arrangement she can come and we settle down,” Taruvinga said.
Kaundi said Dhliwayo still needed counselling since some people in Murewa still mock her.
“When we met her we shared our past painful experiences and how I parted with my ex-husband,” Kaundi said.
“We realised that she was still in denial, depressed and bitter and didn’t want her child due to pain.
“We then played Greatman (Tongai Gwaze)’s song Pandakazvarwa.
“We tried to show her child’s photo. but she refused. Then the very evening she asked Annie to see the photo.
“We then visited and showed her. She now loves the child. We went further to approach the doctor and Taruvinga.”
Kaundi said Dhliwayo has requested if they can help her get a job.
“Recently she said she wanted a job and I feel that she can venture into vending given financial support to start the business,” Kaundi said.
“She still needs counselling because some people mock and treat her as an outcast.
“The community needs to support her.
“She only lacked support from us. We [Annie and Enereta] chose to help her to live like everyone else.”
Chinamaringa, who is also a rehabilitation technician at Murewa Hospital, said Dhliwayo needed financial support to start income-generating projects.
“If she embarks on a viable project she can be able to raise enough funds to take care of her child,” Chinamaringa said.
“All that she needs is financial support to take off.
“She told me that once settled she would relocate to her native land in Chipinge.”
Dhliwayo leaves her three-year-old daughter at home to do part-time jobs.
A reunion between the mother and son take long for Dhliwayo who is longing to just have a glance at her child.