After 24 years of virginity testing, the day I found out I was pregnant I was shocked. Everything in me said this was wrong. How could I fall pregnant out of wedlock? What about all the years I waited for marriage and saved myself?
For more than two decades I was taught how chastity and keeping myself for marriage were so important. Don’t get me wrong; I was very proud to undergo virginity testing. It was part of my upbringing and culture. It was never forced on me. It was something I looked forward to every year and being told again and again that I was a virgin made me feel proud.
We were also taught about how important marriage was and not to become pregnant if we were not married.
So when I became pregnant four years ago I just could not believe it. I was somewhat fearful of what people would say and how they would look at me.
But the moment I saw my son, and held him in my arms, everything changed. I saw Lethabo’s little feet and I was in love. Everything about how I had disappointed my culture and family evaporated. I just saw the most perfect little boy.
The feeling I felt that day in March of 2014 … I can’t really describe it.
I was outside of my body. I was floating. I no longer felt I was chained to thinking I was only allowed to have a child in marriage and thinking some man will come and save me and legitimise my life.
Lethabo gave me a new lease on life. He reminds me of myself when I was younger. He is full of energy and inquisitive. I would never give that up for anything, even a few more years of being a virgin.— Zama Luthuli (31) as told to Athandiwe Saba