Faking pregnancies for money
Last Updated On: September 13, 2018 At: 12:30 (GMT+3) By: Mambo Mseto
From him! Have you ever given illicit lover money to procure an abortion because you were not ready to be a father, or she threatened to spill the beans to your wife? You may have been conned, warn ERIC LUNGAI and ROSE KEMUNTO
No man wants to hear the words "We need to talk..." or "My periods are late..." from a woman with whom he has a relationship, let alone one to whom he has neither emotional attachment nor the intention of marrying.
In fact, this phrase always sparks spasmodic fear in men. Much as they appear to be listening, they hear nothing because their brains are screaming, "Can't she just say she wants to have an abortion?"
Sly women with an entrepreneurial bent have quickly caught on. Feigning an abortion has become the easiest way for them to prey on men. They have realised that most men are frightened of becoming fathers - whether they are single or married.
It works perfectly because such men never want to be seen near an abortion clinic. They fear the woman could die in the process, and land them in hot soup either with her parents or the authorities, or both.
They also would not want to be branded a disgrace to the male species for showing up hand in hand with a woman at an abortion clinic. It is the sort of thing they expect women to take care of on their own, and keep the details to themselves. Some women know this only too well and are taking advantage to milk randy and gullible men dry.
It was barely a month into their relationship when Alice, a university student, got 'pregnant'. While Martin, a 37-year-old banker, was not entirely certain whether the pregnancy was his, he did not want a scandal. He was, after all, a respected man - church, family, good job.
So when she asked for Sh25,000 to procure an abortion, his relief was palpable. The alternative would have been incessant teary late night phone calls, threats to tell the wife, uneasy meetings with her angry father, long court battles for child maintenance, not to forget the problems that would arise running two parallel homes.
He was, therefore, relieved when she took the money and five hours later sent him a text message saying 'nimetoa (I have removed it)'.
But what he didn't know was that Alice had used the money to furnish the bed-sitter she had moved into near campus. The icing on the cake is that she didn't need to sleep with him for a while because of 'doctor's orders'.
Abortion in the back streets cost as little as Sh2,500, if you are a frequent client or your negotiation skills are good. But in case one wants this things done at a reputable hospital, the bill shoots up to a minimum of Sh15,000.
"I do not want to go to those funny hospitals where I could get infected, destroy my womb or even lose my life. I want to do it at a place where I will be sure I'm safe," is the bargaining chip.
Respectable men buy that line because the last thing they want is a woman they are involved with dying in a dingy clinic because that quickly becomes a police case. Women tell their girlfriends everything and there is a risk of the botched abortion being traced to them. So they pay up and heave a sigh of relief.
The few who try to be prudent by insisting on seeing pregnancy test results still get conned even whey they accompany the women to hospital for the tests. The smooth operatives merely 'borrow' urine from a pregnant friend, which they offer as a sample instead of their own.
When the 'abortion' is carried out, the women vanish for a while and ignore the man's half-hearted phone calls, which is understandable given the trauma associated with terminating pregnancies. Nothing pleases the men more because they view the abortion as a narrow escape and would rather the women stay away � till their guilt clears.
When the cash is over, such women often reappear, thank him for standing by their side and taking good care of them at her lowest moments, then requests for more money to cater for side effects.
"I really appreciate your support, but the money you gave me the other day was not enough. In fact, I had to borrow some more from a friend when I developed complications," they say.
Incredibly, some of them peddle the same fake pregnancy to more than one man, or even twice to the same man.
Alex, who is single, says he was asleep when the "we need to talk" call came. It was from a woman he had met at a club three months back and with whom he had started a sexual relationship even though he was engaged.
"When we met the next day, she bluntly told me there were only two ways: I either marry her or she aborts because she was not ready to be a single mother. I said I needed time to think about it. But when I went underground and refused to take her calls, she sent me a nasty text saying she would tell my fiancee.
"Eventually I gave her the Sh25,000 that she had demanded. I didn't see her for about two months, but when we met, we ended up getting drunk and wound up at my place. When she called me a month later and said she was pregnant, I smelled a rat because we had used a condom. But she insisted condoms aren't 100 per cent safe and 'accidents' do happen.
"I shared my suspicions with a friend who told me I could be getting conned. When I insisted on a pregnancy test at a reputable hospital, she disappeared. I still feel bitter because I have never given my own mother Sh5,000 in cash, leave alone the Sh25,000 that she conned me," recalls Alex.
Wilson's case is no different. He parted with Sh35,000 when his college squeeze told him she was pregnant. It would be even more expensive for her to carry it to full term while she was studying -- what with having to move out of the hostel and hiring a house help, he reasoned.
"I only discovered much later from one of her close friends that she had never procured an abortion, but spent the money with her buddies in Mombasa instead. It was the most disappointing moment of my life," says a Wilson.
Lydia, a business student at a university in Nairobi, says college girls have become adept at the game because married men are particularly scared of young girls whom they consider wild and unpredictable.
But one of them met their match in Mosoti, a smooth operator, who hails from Nyamira County but resides in Nairobi, while his wife takes care of the farm in the village.
"I was suspicious from the start when she brought up that pregnancy issue because she had been making attempts, which I had so far thwarted, to move into my house and because she was always asking for money. A week later, I invited her to my house and said I would only pay for the abortion if the baby was mine.
"When she swore that I was responsible, I went to the bedroom and came with 'traditional medicine', which I warned would kill her if she was lying but was harmless if she was saying the truth.
"She panicked and confessed it was a lie. Little did she know the 'traditional medicine' was just some ash I had collected from my jiko and packaged nicely in banana leaves from my mama mboga!"