What you need to know:
A mother of four who has lived with a secret that is beginning to haunt her, discloses it to Henry Lubega, of course, anonymously, for obvious reasons.
Josephine (not real name) grew up knowing that being handsome or beautiful gave one more opportunities in life. She hence silently vowed not to be married to a man she was not sure would give her beautiful children.
Today, Josephine easily passes for a happy and successful woman. A nice car, good job and successful private business, happy and loving husband and family...she has got it all. But she is slowly being eaten away by the guilt of her quest for a title of “Mrs” and beautiful children.
“I started noticing discrimination based on beauty in primary school in Mityana. This continued throughout my secondary, university, and in the employment world. I can point out three times during my school days, once in primary and twice in secondary school, when it must have been my fair looks that bailed me out. And so it was that I silently vowed I would have only handsome and beautiful children at whatever cost.
I planned to start off by marrying only a handsome man to father my children. But there was no prince charming showing interest in me for the long haul, only those who did not meet my expectations, in terms of looks. In the absence of that prince, and the mounting pressure from peers and family, I settled for someone I liked in many attributes, but not looks. I inwardly vowed that he would never father my children.
Father one: Intern
Three months after our honeymoon, a young handsome man, more than 10 years younger than I was, came to work as an intern in our company directly under my supervision. He was dashing and I wished he could father my child or children. An idea came to me to invite him along a work trip to eastern Uganda. It was a three-day trip and it came at the right time of the month. At the hotel, I made sure each booked in different rooms, including the driver, but I made sure the intern shared a room with me.
Having got what I wanted, I told him there was no way I could continue with a secret affair with him. He, however, got a good report after his internship in return. I also helped him get a job somewhere in one of the law firms in Kampala.
When my husband learned I was pregnant a few weeks later, he was the happiest. He was more loving and caring during the nine months I was pregnant. The baby was a boy and he took on all my husband’s names, with Junior to differentiate them. I never gave the biological father the chance to know I was carrying his child. I had to protect my marriage.
Baby two, daddy two
Two and half years later, I bumped into this young man again, even better looking than the first time, and we exchanged contacts. I probably would not have followed that up but he invited me for coffee around the time I was scheduled to attend a regional conference, in Nairobi.
As fate would have it, he also had a trip scheduled for Nairobi around the same time, but earlier than I had planned mine. He decided to delay his so that it could coincide with mine. This time, the outcome was not planned, but the inevitable happened.
This time, I decided to tell him as we had started to meet up regularly, even after the conference. He pleaded with me to terminate the pregnancy; he was not ready to be a father. Exactly the response I had hoped for.
I changed my phone number and I blocked his email address to cut off communication with him after about three weeks. The second born came and the little angel resembled me from head to toe. The “father” loved the boy and he also took on his surname.
I think my husband is the best father ever. At one point, I was jealous of my children as it seemed like he loved them more than he loved me. When he later started a business, he registered my two children as directors in the company, which has really prospered.
Supermarket attendant, gym instructor
I could have stopped at just two children, seeing as my husband wanted me too, but there was a a young man at the supermarket on our way home who was giving me sleepless nights. It was him I always thought of whenever my husband touched me. I went ahead with my secret affair and got my third born, another boy.
With the business doing well and the third born making almost a year and half, my husband surprised me and the family with a new family home. He had built the house secretly to be a surprise gift to the family for a certain occasion. The children were excited about their new home.
One month after moving into the new house, I was pregnant and I told my husband this was the best gift I could give him in appreciation of giving us a new and spacious home. In actual sense, it was not him but the Gym instructor this time. He was furious that I had conceived. With God’s blessing, I got a baby girl and I had to call it off.
All the four children bear their “father’s” name, and are loved by their “paternal family” who have got no hint that they are not their children. None of the children knows who their biological father is, and neither of their real fathers have known about or seen them. As for the looks, I got what I wanted as my children are really beautiful. The girl is so beautiful that she was nicknamed princess.
The guilt has set in
As my first born is growing into a man, the attachment to his “father” who has given him unconditional love and secured their future makes me feel guilty. The question of whether I should tell my husband the truth or not keeps haunting me. How am I going to tell him that the children he so much loves are not his? And if I tell him, doesn’t that mean I explain the truth to the children too? Where and how do I start looking for their fathers? My last born is now seven years old and I last saw his father when I was less than a month pregnant with her. For the first two children, it’s almost been 20 years since I last saw him.
I don’t want to ruin my marriage because my husband has been so good to me, and has, to my knowledge, never cheated on me. I never intended to cheat on him either; I just wanted to have handsome and beautiful children. In fact, I have never fooled around with anyone else besides the three men I conceived by.
I have no idea how or whether to disclose the evil I have done and I hate to think of the reactions to my actions. One thing becomes clearer by the day though; this is not a secret I want to die with.”