Natanael Kalumbu from Endola has urged university students to focus on their studies and prevent unwanted pregnancies because they compromise their academic progression and can create a burden for parents.
He said this after he sent one of his daughters to study economics at the University of Namibia (Unam) last year, only for her to return home with a six-month pregnancy in December.
The situation forced her to dump her six-day-old baby in her parents’ care, while she returned to Windhoek to continue with her studies in April.
Frieda Kalumbu and her boyfriend Salom Shityeni, both aged 22, enrolled at Unam last year to study economics and education, respectively.
However, the duo conceived a child in their first year at university.
Frieda then gave birth to the baby girl on 6March at the Engela hospital, and left the baby with her parents and her older sister while she continued with her studies.
Kalumbu said the baby was well-cared for by the elder daughter, but later fell sick and died.
However, Shityeni told New Era that he is suspecting that the child died due to malnutrition, based on his observation when he visited the mortuary recently to see his daughter for the first time in person.
Kalumbu disputed Shityeni’s allegation, saying that they fed the baby well. He also said he told his daughter not to continue with her studies this year to breastfeed the baby.
“I am very much disappointed in my own daughter. I sent her to Unam to study and become useful in society, just to bring me a pregnancy in December,” he lamented.
“After she informed me about her pregnancy, I told her to stay and give birth. I also told her that I will go to the Ongwediva and Oshakati campuses to see if her course is offered there for her to go to school while feeding the baby close to home.”
“She insisted to go to school, and decided to leave the baby behind so that the sister will assist the mother (my wife) to look after the baby as she is experienced with babies.
I told her that since she left a baby behind, I will reduce her monthly allowance from N$1 000 to N$500 so that she will share that with her daughter, which I eventually did. Now, it has created a commotion that we did not take care of the baby and that she died of malnutrition? Students must stop giving birth while they are schooling as it is now creating problems,” he said while sobbing profusely.
Kalumbu explained that the baby started getting weak on Friday, 22 April, and was taken to the Ongha clinic on the Saturday by the wife. On Sunday, the baby’s situation deteriorated and she died while being carried by her aunt, Laina Kalumbu.
Shityeni told New Era that he was disappointed that the parents of his girlfriend did not communicate the sickness of their baby, and feel that they did it intentionally because Kalumbu rejected the name Ethan he gave to the daughter.
However, Kalumbu confirmed that the name reminded him of the gun that was used by the South African soldiers during the colonial era. “That name is the name of the gun that was used by South African soldiers, and I cannot allow my granddaughter to be given such a name,” he said.
Shityeni further urged other students to learn the lesson from the incidentº, stressing that they must only make babies when they are capable of taking care of them.
Frieda also urged other students to concentrate on their studies, saying the situation of balancing studies and parenting does not work for students.