By Faith Ngabirwe
Last week, I got Sarah a deal. A very good deal for this time of the year, or so I thought. After seeing an advert making rounds on social media, I sent it to her, telling myself that this would do her great since she fitted the main requirements perfectly well.
Sarah is below 30 and she once intimated to me that she would have absolutely no problem carrying another woman’s child for money. One, it would be a great gesture to help a fellow woman have a chance at this much desired blessing, and two, well, who doesn’t want money and a good life while pregnant and yet there will even be no child to disturb your sweet sleep after you’ve bagged your millions of shillings?
Indeed, Sarah was elated when she opened the advert flier. She thanked me endlessly as I shrugged her off with various excuses along the lines of, “What are sisters for anyway?”
The following day, tired of fighting boredom, having gone through my calender, gallery and arranging of icons, I went back to examine the contents of the advert that had excited the heavens out of us, just like we do with new clothes. You buy the dress voluntarily, of course, with a strong push from the seller, then on reaching home, and after a thorough examination, dress ups and walking down the corridor, it occurs to you that this is not what you wanted. I have many dresses like that.
I digress. Sorry.
But anyways, I pulled out the advert and examined it. You people, I almost ran mad. There, on my screen, sat a very exploitative and dangerous employment opportunity. I scanned through it once again.
While it was true that they wanted someone below 30, which was okay really, the surrogate was supposed to carry twins and would have to live at a chosen location until the twins were delivered. Don’t get agitated yet, I am yet to deliver the real bomb. These guys wanted the precious job done at only sh8m! Jesus Christ! Yes, like one, two, three, four, five… eight. That’s it. I called Sarah immediately.
“Hullo Sarah,” I started.
“But ChaCha, what is this you have put me in?” she cried.
I pulled the nearest chair, to calm my nerves.
Sarah revealed to me that she had contacted the number on the flier and they added all the people interested in a WhatsApp group. In that group, a rude admin told them to stop complaining about the fee, saying surrogacy was an easy job and that some people do it for less.
She further instructed, in a rather mean tone, that those who felt this was not for them should freely exit the group before she threw them out herself. The admin wanted one final person who would later move to the next stage of meeting a gynaecologist for the necessary tests.
So, here’s a recruitment agent, who we assumed had been given more money for this deal, but wanted to take off a huge share and have some unsuspecting young girl take home a paltry sh8m. That is a year taken off your life. This is a woman callously dragging a fellow woman into a life or death activity for money that may not even be able to cater for her funeral.
This was going to be my Sarah having to live with a belly scar for the rest of her life as a reminder of the time she threw away, the pain she endured, to get small money. Plus, who knows what they would do to her after the twins were here, not with the way the recruiter was so rude?
Wow. Mujooga, for lack of a better word!