In Lyamutundwe, a small village on the out skirts of Entebbe survives a 16 year old teenage mother, Jovia Naiga.
With a tip from a local pastor, we embarked on the journal to ascertain Jovia’s blurry story.
Jovia is among thousands of school going children who were forced to remain home in the wake of COVID-19 when the president announced a total lockdown.
The teenager narrates how she was lured and impregnated by a Boda-Boda cyclist who has since been on a run, “I didn’t want, he lied to me and it eventually happened,” said Jovia.
According to Naiga, after realizing that she was pregnant, she wanted to abort because the pregnancy was seemingly dimming her future, but with recommendations from doctors, the abortion was canceled.
The young girl braved the odds to bring forth a new life, at only 15, Jovia became amother giving birth to a bouncing baby boy, Elijah Kintu a year ago. “My brother thought of an abortion, but I was scared so they gave up on the abortion plans and that is how I eventually gave birth to Elijah,” revealed Jovia.
Nestled in her brother’s home, Naiga can be found looking after her one-year old baby boy in the rare of her house.
According to Jovia’s brother, Serugo, the incident was never expected, ” I didn’t expect it and when I heard that she was pregnant, it hit me hard. We reported a defilement case at Entebbe police station under reference number 91/21/01/2021and the suspect who is still at large is Frank Kiyingi.” Said Serugo.
Sserugo, who has accommodated Jovia since pregnancy, notes that the situation is worsening since even the place where they stay is in a poor state and cannot accommodate all.
Sserugo is brick layer only earning pea nuts that can not with stand to cater for his 4 member family and Jovia with her son as well.
To Jovia, defilement did not only rapture her sexuality but also sunk her academic dreams leaving her future in utter ruins, “I saw my entire life crumbling down, I felt bad,”
Although she stays with her brother, the young girl must fend for herself and the baby, “as you can see, my brother’s source of income is meager, so I have resorted to working as a house maid at our neighbor’s house and at the end of the month,I get 60,000 Shillings which helps me cater for personal needs as well as looking after my son.” Narrated Jovia.
“I pray that Elijah’s father starts sharing some of these responsibilities because it becomes hard for me sometimes.” She added.
Jovia’s former head teacher described the incidence as unfortunate and blamed the parents for neglecting their very bright daughter, “she was such a bright girl, the school had a lot of hope in her but we were all disappointed,”
He urged young girls to remain focused with education in order to fulfill their dreams and also tipped parents to always give guidance and counselling to their children.
As local authorities, tried to find the boda boda cyclist to at least take care of the young girl and her son, he was nowhere to be found hence calling upon the general public to trace for the him.
The vice chairperson Lyamutundwe cell, Nalongo Nakato also Secretary in charge of child welfare, confirmed that the incident happened during the covid 19 lockdown and condemned such acts in the community.
She however warned boda-boda cyclists over diverting school going children into wrong directions and appealed parents to remain vigilant and careful with their children.
Jovia’s dream of becoming a nurse could have stumbled but not completely shuttered, the young mother cites lack of school fees as the only obstacle to her dream but hopeful one day, a good Samaritan will show up and take her back to school.
Even though government came out and instructed school heads to allow all girl who had been impregnated at the time of COVID-19 go back to school, many didn’t not embrace the opportunity, citing lack of school fees and stigma, among such cases is the 16 year old teenage mother, Jovia Naiga.
Jovia is one of the girls who dropped out of school as a result of covid 19 pandemic that led to total lockdown of the country including schools leaving children in an ocean of temptations as the saying goes, an idol mind is a devil’s workshop.
According to 2021report on the impact of COVID-19, over 90,000 girls under the age of 18 got pregnant at the time of lockdown.
Story gathered and put together by Busingye Jesca, Nakigozi Peninah and Nashonji Simon Peter. All are students of Nkumba University pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Journalism and Public Relations.