By Michael Liswaniso
A 21-year-old school dropout, Himba mother Vetumbua Zatjinda, finds herself in a tricky financial position. She is struggling to make ends meet after she gave birth to triplets last month amid a backdrop of rising food prices.
Zatjinda whose first name could roughly be translated to mean, “people can be helped” is appealing for assistance to feed her babies.
The woman, believed to be the first from this community to have triplets, managed to only make it to Grade 9 and finds life difficult despite receiving infant-feeding formula from the State hospital.
“I need help and even a small job to help my kids. The daily needs of my children need daily resources,” she told New Era two days ago.
Zatjinda narrated that when she fell pregnant, she never expected to give birth to triplets.
She said it was a big surprise for her and her boyfriend, Black Siyemo, who is employed as a police officer in Okangwati, some 120 kilometres north of Opuwo where they reside. The lovebirds have another two-year-old daughter.
“I never expected that my daughter would give birth to triplets. At first I was surprised but I started to pray to God because this is a wonder and a wonder is wonderful,” said Zatjinda’s mother, Aluvira Ngarijanu, who is employed as a hostel matron at Okangwati.
According to Zatjinda’s mother, it has been a month now trying to make ends meet but to no good. She added that their family is big, with most of its members unemployed.
Narrating the situation, the mother said she has approached the Kunene Regional Council to seek help. Kunene Regional Council promised to help with some daily needs for her children whose needs are many, she said.
She said the regional council awaits a letter from Epupa Constituency office based in Okangwati before it can deliver on its promise.
Ngarijanu noted that the letter outlines the difficult situation the family finds itself in as well as its day-to-day living standard.
Jeremiah Kava, the Deputy Director of Rural Water Services, who also doubles as the Acting Chief Regional Officer for Kunene Regional Council, confirmed the regional council’s standing on the matter. He said the regional council is fully aware of the matter and is planning to take it up with the Ministry of Gender Equality, Prime Minister’s Office and the Office of the First Lady and other stakeholders.
Meanwhile, the family is not new to twins but triplets were a great “wonder” according to Ngarijanu. In August last year, Ngarijanu’s brother was blessed with twins.