She is a proud mother of three other children she gave birth to without any complications and was looking forward to the fourth one. However, something horrifying happened. She delivered a bouncing baby boy weighing 2.9 kg but to her surprise, the baby had 28 natal teeth with only molars missing! And as if that was not puzzling enough, the boy started laughing loudly a day later.
This attracted villagers to her home after report spread like bushfire. Perplexed but not alarmed, Martha Wanjiru nurtured the baby with all the love he deserved. However, more surprises awaited when her husband rejected the baby and took off with assorted gifts worth Sh50,000 which the couple had received from well wishers.
Awed friends and neighbours asked the mother to either abandon the baby or kill it, alleging it was a sign of evil spirits and that she was to act immediately to avoid bad omen befalling her. Appreciating the magnitude of the panic, the management of Ndundori Hospital reffered Wanjiru to the Rift Valley Provincial General Hospital.
“At the referral hospital, I was told to come after a week. I was scared of the baby and neighbours hostility,” she says. When she returned, doctors were not of much help as they told her they would research on the weird condition and get back to her. “At home, I saw stars around the baby at night. There were several other unique experiences such as lights running in circular motions.
They had rainbow colours,” Wanjiru says, adding, “It was a terrifying experience.” Wanjiru, 30, says Mwangi, now three years, has grown without any health complications and fed on githeri when he was eight months. “I don’t know where these children’s father disappeared to. I have never heard or seen him for three years,” said a tearful Wanjiru.
The husband Simon Wanderi was working in Nakuru town and frequently visited his family on weekends. “When he visited immediately after the baby was born, I was eager to break the good news about the new member of the family. But it all ended in tears,” she remembers, adding: “He was harsh and denounced the baby, saying I got him out of wedlock.”
But worse was to come. “ When my husband heard the day-old-baby laughing loudly, he went beserk saying a devil was in his house. He was violent and furious,” she says. “ I was also surprised that the baby was born with 28 teeth but being flesh from my flesh, there is no way I would denounce a gift from God. I soldiered on, comforting myself that it was a small matter,” Wanjiru says.
“He said he was leaving because I had given birth to a Jini and in their family such a baby was an abomination. He made his threats real, and has never sent even a coin towards his baby’s upkeep,” Wanjiru says. Mwangi plays joyfully with other kids oblivious of his birth abnormality. “I love this boy dearly. He is my future because he is a unique son of God,” says the mum. “Although his father abandoned me, my parents have been supportive and neighbours who talked ill of us have shut up after realising Mwangi is a normal child,” says Wanjiru.