A blessing in disguise

Teen pregnancy in South Africa is all too common. Even though Ntemogisang Motsewabone is no longer a teenager by definition, she is still a child to her family. To them she is yet another statistic of young motherhood and unplanned pregnancy.

In black communities unplanned pregnancy out of wedlock is taboo, more so when a young woman is still studying. “To my family it seemed like I had just come to university to waste away with my future and I was here doing things that they never sent me here for,” says Ntemo, as she prefers to be called.

Firstly, after seeing a number of young pregnant women around campus, I was interested in telling a story from their side; about their experiences. We walk around campus when we see them, and whisper about their fast growing stomachs and how ‘reckless’ they were.

This is the story of Ntemogisang Motsewabone during the last few weeks of her pregnancy:

1) Gifts galore: Ntemo's friends throw her a surprise baby shower in res.    Image: Olwethu Boso

Gifts galore: Ntemo’s friends throw her a surprise baby shower in res.                                                                                                                   Image: Olwethu Boso

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Surrounded by friends, she opens gifts. “My friends have been supportive of me throughout this pregnancy. I’m grateful.”        Image: Olwethu Boso

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Her friends feel for baby’s movements. “I have fallen in love more with the baby everyday. Every time he/she kicks I know I made the right decision not aborting.”                                                                                                                 Image: Olwethu Boso

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Ntemo sits down to study for her one exam before she has to leave for home. She has a month before she gives birth.                                                                       Image: Olwethu Boso

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“My academics have gotten better since I became pregnant. I’ve become more disciplined because I know I’m not just doing this [getting education] for myself anymore, there’s a child’s future to think about.”                          Image: Olwethu Boso

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“At the beginning of the year I would have laughed if someone had told me my life would change in this way, but I’ve embraced it and I’m ready to be a mother now.”              Image: Olwethu Boso

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