A 37-year-old Ugandan woman, living in Kabimbiri village, Mukono District, outside Kampala, Mariam Nabatanzi has given birth to 38 children. The children include six sets of twins, four sets of triplets and three sets of quadruples, all born naturally. By her sixth delivery, she had 18 children, although she had planned to have six children when she got married at 12 years.
Nabatanzi claims she got married off at the age of 12 in 1993 to a much older 40 year-old-man almost the age of her father, to whom now they have 38 children with, reports Uganda’s Daily Monitor.
The minimum age of marriage in Uganda is 18 for both girls and boys, but a girl can marry at 16 with parental consent. This is often as a result of poverty, limited access to education for girls and traditional and social norms which dictate that girls are married at a young age in order to fulfill their role as a wife and mother.
Nabatanzi, is one of the many women forced into marriage at an early age to parental pressure in Uganda, which has one of the world’s highest rates of pre-teen, teenage pregnancies and child marriages.
“I did not know I was being married off. People came home and bought things for my father. When time came for them to leave, I thought I was escorting my aunt but when I got there, she gave me away to the man” she told the Daily Monitor.
At the age of 13, just one year into her marriage, she gave birth to twins, two years down, she gave birth to triplets and one year and seven months later she added a bouncing set of quadruplets.
Now she’s a popular woman well known in the village as Nabongo Muzaala Bana (the twin mother that produces quadruples). The eldest of her children is 23 years old and the youngest just four months was born through caesarean.
Contrary to widespread belief, twins, triplets, quadruplets don’t skip a generation. Nabatanzi seem to have borrowed the gene from her family since her father had so many children, and giving birth to many children has never bothered her.
“My father gave birth to 45 children and with different women and these all came in quintuplets, twins and triplets,” she told the publication.
Kenyan renowned gynecologist Dr. Aggrey Akula explains that Nabatanzi type of birth is a genetic predisposition to hyper-ovulate (releasing multiple eggs in one cycle), which significantly increases the chance of having multiples babies.
25 years in abusive marriage
Nabatanzi recounted the humiliation she’s gone through in the abusive marriage.
“My husband was polygamous with many children from his past relationships who I had to take care of because their mothers were scattered all over. He was also violent and would beat me at any opportunity he got even when I suggested an idea that he didn’t like,”
According to the Daily Monitor, she recounted how she has been tortured countless times by the abusive and alcoholic husband.
Despite all the challenges she has suffered in her marriage life, the mother of 38 is optimistic about seeing her children through school and making sure they are all educated to meet their career dreams. She has struggled to educate the eldest ones whom have acquired certificate courses in nursing.