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“He lied and didn’t use a condom”: I got pregnant at 17!

After getting pregnant at 17 and being rejected by her family, Bosenibo Honorine warns adolescent girls to be wary of the intentions of men who can potentially ruin their promising future.

Bosenibo Honorie left her village in the rural area to work as a housekeeper in Kicukiro. That is when she met a young man who also worked near her neighborhood. The man at the time was 7 years older than her. He lured her into believing he had feelings for her.

One day, he asked the young naive girl who was told by the man to meet up near the residences where they worked at. When she passed near his house going to the meeting spot she found the man was waiting for her at the gate.

Bosenibo Honorine warns young women against pregnancy

Recounting the story, Bosenibo said, “He told me to meet up with him. When I arrived there, he grabbed my arm. I remember there was a dog there. After locking the door, he led me inside the residence. Despite promising to use a condom, he didn’t.”

The act which is usually called ‘stealthing’ is a form of rape. It happens when people agree to have sex with a condom and then someone either lies about putting a condom on or removes it without the other person’s permission.

Bosenibo got pregnant after that. The father denied the child, she was fired from her job and rejected by her family when she returned. The shame and social stigma associated with adolescent pregnancies prevent girls from getting the help that they need, whether medical, physical, or legal.

She become unemployed without a stable home

The then 17-year-old became homeless since she had nowhere to go until the father of the child took her in.

She said, “I wandered around for days, sleeping wherever I could. I then went looking for a phone, and dialed the father, even though he denied it, when he realized I was homeless, he invited me to live with him after realizing that he had no other option.”

Her life has not been the same ever since. She has not been able to find another form of employment or even attend any form of education. She did learn tailoring through Technical and Vocational Education and Training but has yet to find a job regardless.

Despite living with the father of her child, he does not provide support for her and their child. She admits having a child early on has changed her life completely.

She says, “Because I wasn’t all that old, I could have had a better future. But now I’ve rushed into responsibilities that were not appropriate for my age. I was too young to have a husband.”

She is now trying to build her life

Despite the challenges, she remains hopeful her life and her daughter’s life will soon change. She remains with hope for the future.

“Sometimes I tell myself that I’ll find something to do soon. Or perhaps, in time, I’ll be able to find work and care for my child without difficulty. Maybe the father will feel ashamed and realize that even though he did not assist me, I am capable of doing it on my own.”

She advises young women to be cautious of the temptations some men might use to take advantage of them.

She says, “I can advise young girls growing up now not to succumb to male temptations. There will be no good that comes from it. They tempt and deceive you, but once they impregnate you, it’s all over. You could never see them again.”

In Rwanda, despite the considerable fight against teenage pregnancy, it has been on the rise for years, with 17,337 underage women conceiving in 2017, 19,832 in 2018, 23,544 in 2019, 19,701 in 2020, and 23,000 in 2021.

Let’s all raise awareness against it. Empower your future. Prevent teen pregnancy. Choose wisely today for a brighter tomorrow.

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