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Kanze Dena discloses unknown details of her past

 Kanze Dena [Facebook]

Former government spokesperson Kanze Dena recently shared a deeply personal story about her experience with motherhood in an interview with Parents Magazine. Dena revealed a hidden aspect of her past, disclosing that she had a child out of wedlock after completing high school.

Fearing her mother's strict reaction, Dena recounted, "The very first time I found out, the first thought was I going to die. I had a harsh mother and here I was pregnant out of wedlock. I never got pregnant when I was in school... I got pregnant a year or two after clearing high school. But I was not married and my mum was very strict. Those days getting pregnant out of marriage was you know… you get stigmatized for it."

Dena's fear drove her to take drastic measures. "So as soon as I found out I was pregnant I was like, 'ngai, woi' I'm going to die. I will be killed," she said. Determined to hide the pregnancy, she went on to explain, "It got me thinking about so many things in the process, it got me thinking about my mother and knowing I'm pregnant, and I was going to college. I was signed up for Secretariat and IT College. So I ensured I booked myself into a hostel instead of commuting from home so that I can be able to hide my pregnancy."

Sadly, this decision meant giving up the baby for adoption. Dena confided, "I made up my mind that I was not going to keep the baby." She reached out to Teen Crisis counsellors who would arrange the adoption after the birth. "That was my option to have the child and give the baby away for adoption," she explained.

Further complicating the situation, Dena was supposed to spend the weekend with her relatives unaware of the pregnancy. "So as God would have it, it didn't happen (the visit). The day I found myself in labour, I didn't know I was in labour, I just burst my waters and I called a friend of mine that we were in a hostel together and she said 'I think you are pregnant.' I was supposed to spend the weekend with my aunt and grandmother and now I had to come up with a reason to go back to the hostel. And so I told my auntie, water has come so I need to go wash clothes. I took myself to Pumwani hospital. They never knew I was pregnant because I never spent that much time with them," Dena narrated.

Dena was assigned a midwife familiar with the adoption process at the hospital. "During adoption, they don't like to give you the baby, coz it creates a bond," she explained. However, due to a misunderstanding, things took an unexpected turn. "I normally have very short labours. So I gave birth fast I think the lady who was assigned to help me give birth was called to attend to something. So someone else helped me have the baby, and they didn't have the information that my baby was to be adopted. So, they gave me my baby," Dena said with a laugh, highlighting the irony of the situation.

Holding her newborn daughter, Dena faced a new dilemma. "And when I went back to the ward, I was thinking, ' now what's happening’? Creating a bond with this child? I don't want this child, I've not done any shopping, I was already set in my mind on how I was going to give away this baby," she revealed.

Meanwhile, Dena's friend, unaware of the adoption plan, informed her relatives. "So my mother arrived the next morning, but I had no idea. I had no clothes, no plans and about to sit for my final year exams and the guys from Teen Crisis were not showing up," Dena said. The arrival of her mother, alerted by her friend's call, was a complete surprise. Dena described it as a manifestation of "maternal instincts."

Despite the initial plan, Dena decided to keep the baby for a while. She spent the next few months trying to establish a life for herself and her child. Tragically, this newfound hope was short-lived. She explained, "I stayed for like 2, 3 months trying to tarmac, to look for a job and asked my mum if you can just bring the baby so that I can bond with her, but unfortunately, the night before they were supposed to come, my daughter passed away."

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