Anne Ngugi, former KTN Swahili news anchor and now BBC presenter became a mother in 2004, but her experience was complicated by the fact her daughter Angel had a birth defect called congenital hydrocephalus.
Angel is now a teenager. Besides being a pupil, she is a talented singer and recently released a song called Tuko Sawa, meaning we are all the same before the eyes of God.
It is a collaboration with a girl who became blind while growing up.
“They teamed up to tell the world what they go through and remind them that ‘wako sawa’. It is a song I am sure every youth is gonna embrace and love,” Anne said
The mother of four, currently working at BBC, said it has been amazing raising her teenage daughter.
“Raising a teenager is amazing, especially because my daughter can now make her decisions. We have always been friends apart from the mother-daughter relationship, so she understands me even when I am quiet and I, too, understand her so well,” Anne said.
She is working with her daughter to ensure she becomes independent.
“I have learnt to respect her space and the kind of girl she is growing to be, and I have allowed her to talk and express herself. I don’t want to be this kind of a mother who always assigns. It has been great because she understands she is different from other kids. When we go out to mentor people, she is able to express herself very well. As a mother, my dream is to see her stand strong on her own, even when I am not there, and never allow anyone to point fingers at her, telling her she is different.Raising a child with special needs has not been easy for Anne, but she does not complain about it.
Sometimes you go to places with her and that is when I feel the weight that she is different from others but for her, Angel has developed a thick skin and, therefore, she copes. I have always accepted because I know there is always a reason. It fell on me so I decided instead of complaining and weeping about it, I’d rather start mentoring people with her story because people outside here have children with special needs and do not know what to do. So we stand in that gap and remind them that we are making it, despite her condition.
Anne’s message to parents with special kids is,
“You have to accept the fact that your child is special and start looking for solutions, as well as try so hard to love that child because no one will love your child more than you.”