Abigail Mandima with her month-old triplets - two boys and a girl.
“I am really happy and blessed with these triplets, though I am struggling to feed them,” says Abigail Mandima, a Zimbabwean woman who gave birth to triplets at the Louis Trichardt Memorial hospital last month.
The triplets were named MacMillan, MacBoy and MacVivian. MacVivian is the only girl and weighed only 1.6kg at birth.
Mandima (32) is from Tshikota, living in South Africa for the past 10 years.
“I had to come to South Africa to work for my parents, but unfortunately my husband and I are not employed now. I never expected that I was going to be blessed with triplets. My main concern is feeding them,” she says.
“My husband relies heavily on casual jobs. Once he gets paid, he has to make sure that he buys food for the kids. I love breastfeeding the kids, but it seems they are not getting enough milk from me. To make sure they get enough, I have to buy infant formula for supplementing (their diet).”
Mandima says the triplets keep her running around at night. “They usually wake up at the same time, crying to be fed. I have very little time to sleep,” she says. Her husband also assists her with the babies at the night, while her eldest child helps her during the day.
Asked how she is currently putting food on the table for the family, Mandima says that well-wishers drop off food and clothes for the babies.
"Because of the lockdown, my husband rarely finds casual jobs. At the moment, it is very difficult for us. It is only a matter of time before I pack my bags and head home to Zimbabwe, where I will get more assistance from my mother,” Mandima says.
Date:31 January 2021 - By: Bernard Chiguvare
Bernard Chiguvare is a Zimbabwean-born journalist. He writes mainly for the online publication, Groundup.