There are some things that we take for granted in life like having the ability to normally defaecate, but if one hears the story of Angati Frank, a 10 years old girl from Dula village, Traditional Authority Kachenga, Balaka district will praise the Almighty God for having that ability.
Angati is a first born daughter of Mr and Mrs Frank who was born with an imperforate anus an abnormality of the anus and the rectum, in other words, born without a rectal opening. Angati’s birth was conducted by a Traditional Birth Attendant who did not realize the abnormality until a month later when the mother noticed it. Research shows that it is an abnormality that occurs 1 in every 5,000 births.
At 10 years Angati can not attend primary school which is about 7kms away from their house, “I am shy to go to school because i do not know when i want to defecate, i just see stool coming from my kumasoku (the vagina), so i am afraid my friends will be mocking me” said the smiling Angati who attends a nearby nursery school operated by the Malawi United Methodist Church.
When the grandmother of Angati realized that her granddaughter had an abnormality 10 years ago, she tried her best to take her to a near health center where they were referred to Zomba Central Hospital for an operation. But the parents could not afford transport to take Angati to the central hospital, so they decided to come back home and let Angati grow like that.
Then, comes Bakali Frank, 5 years old, born blind. He also attends the nursery school since there is no school in the area that takes take of children with special needs.
Bakali, seated away from the rest of the children. Little did he know that he was not seated in a line as the other children did.
Sauda Frank, 3 years old was born dumb. She also attends the same nursery school.
Angati, Sauda and Bakali, on top of their individual challenges, they all have severe ring worms which is a fungal scalp infection which may be caused by poor hygiene.
Angati, warmly invited us to her home, she said “now that you have only seen me and my siblings, do you mind if you could come home to see my father?”
Then, it was time to make wishes:-
“I wish i could have a normal feeling as everybody have when they want to defaecate. I want to be able to see myself being normal, so that i can go to school as my friends do. I want to be a nurse like you” said the soft spoken Angati
“I want to be able to see when our teacher is showing us alphabet” said Bakali
Sauda, just smiled since she is dumb.
“I want to see Angati normal in my life time, it pains me to see her like that, what will happen to her when she grows up? If there are people out there, may they help my children” pleaded Mr Frank
“If my children could go to school like other children, why me?” wondered Mrs Frank
By Mercy Chikhosi Nyirongo