In Uganda, large families are common. The World Bank reported that the country has one of the highest birth rates in the continent, with women giving birth to 5.6 children on average. But the family of Mariam Nabatanzi, 39, is particularly huge.
|Mariam Nabatanzi / Photo by: PA via Unilad|
Nabatanzi’s mother had left her and her five siblings three days after she was born. However, the five older children died when her stepmother poisoned them with crushed glass mixed in their food. She managed to escape because she was visiting a relative. This tragedy sparked her desire for a huge family. Mirror, a British national daily tabloid newspaper, reported that Nabatanzi married at age 12 to a then 40-year-old husband. After a year, she gave birth to her first twins which were followed by five more sets of twins, four sets of triplets, and five sets of quadruplets.
|Nabatanzi's children / Photo by: Reuters via The Mirror|
According to Unilad, a British Internet media company and website owned by LADbible Group, she was advised by a doctor that she had unusually large ovaries and that birth control pills may cause health problems. By 23, Nabatanzi went back to the doctor for advice but was told once again her ovarian reserve count was high. That’s why the children kept on coming. More than two years ago, she gave birth to her sixth set of twins. However, one of them died during labor.
Nabatanzi’s husband left her three years ago, leaving her to take care of their children. They are forced to live in four cramped homes built from cement bricks. She is working hard to provide for her family by selling herbal medicine, brewing local gin, and collecting and selling scrap metal. She also works as a hairdresser and event decorator. Ivan Kibuka, Nabatanzi’s eldest child, had to drop out of school early to help raise the family. “Mum is overwhelmed, the work is crushing her, we help where we can, like in cooking and washing, but she still carries the whole burden for the family. I feel for her,” he said.
|One of the eldest and youngest children of Nabatanzi / Photo by: Alamy Stock Photo via The Mirror|