Mzee Yosia Mwesigye, 83, has received his first born child, after the passing of his 79-year-old wife who left no child.
Mzee Mwesigye waited for 57 years in vain to have a child in his previous marriage. While society places high value on child bearing, Mzee Mwesigye has no regrets though about his late wife’s failure to bear him a child.
A third born among 10 children, Mzee Mwesigye was born on January 26, 1939, in Uganda.
At 23, he married the love of his life, Jane Tukamuhabwa (now deceased) on April 25, 1962.
But the couple couldn’t bear children.
“When we visited hospitals, we were told we were fertile,” Mzee Mwesigye narrates.
He remained loyal to his wife following assurance from doctors.
While there is no maximum age at which a man can sire children, menopausal transition begins at between 45 and 55 for women. Unfortunately, in 2005, Tukamuhabwa was diagnosed with cervical cancer and she died in 2018.
“We did everything together but it was so unfortunate that she passed on without giving birth,” he says.
At 79, Mzee Mwesigye found love again.
“I lived with workers and some adopted children after the death of my wife but they could sleep in boys’ quarters and I would sleep alone in the main house. That’s when life turned against me and I thought of marrying a second wife,” he says.
A few days later, Mzee Mwesigye’s sister brought him a woman at home for a visit, who later became his new wife.
“I was excited to the extent that I even cried and asked one of my workers to slaughter a goat and that’s how I got my second wife Sharon Arinaitwe,” he says.
After two years of marriage with Ms Arinaitwe, now 29, he was informed that she was pregnant.
On March 23, health workers at North-Kigezi Health IV Rugarama delivered her of a bouncing baby boy.
“I am so happy that God has blessed me with a child at my old age. I never thought of getting one but I kept on praying and finally God answered my prayers and now I am a father,” Mzee Mwesigye, who by village standards is wealthy, says.
“Dying without a child is such a painful thing. In our African culture, one is only remembered when they leave a child on earth. I used to wake up early in the morning, sit in my sitting room and ask myself how I will be remembered after my death since I had no child,” he adds.
Ms Arinaitwe said she was convinced by her sister-in-law to marry Mr Mwesigye.
“We reached his home amid rain. I saw an old man and thought that his son was the one to marry me. Later in the evening, the man told me that he wants to marry me. That is when I realised that my husband was an old man,” she says.
She adds: “He is a good man who loves his family. I promise to look after him until his death.”
Ms Feredansi Tumushabe, 57, a sister of Mzee Mwesigye, says: “He wanted to marry again and I accepted his suggestion. I started tracing for a wife. Three months later, I met Arinaitwe whom I convinced to marry my brother”.
What expert says
Dr Benon Bainomugisha from Nyakibale hospital says such cases of failing to produce among couples who are medically normal are common. “There is a very big difference between being normal and giving birth. Such a situation is genetically inherited from one generation to another. People should always seek assistance from qualified health workers but problems can persist since it is inherited,” he says.