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Urban Café with Miriam Angila


Kanze Dena opens up about a baby she did not want to keep and the pain of losing her


Behind the beautiful face that graces our evening TV screens during the weekend Swahili news bulletins on Citizen TV lies a past that bring painful memories to the revered Swahili news anchor who by the way landed her on-screen job because someone at KBC did not show up for their shift.

Speaking to a popular breakfast radio show, Kanze laid bare some of the secrets from her past that she had previously kept to herself. From her gig peeling potatoes at a restaurant on Mombasa Road to being a pump attendant at a fuel station owned by a relative to being a waitress in town.

It's while she was a waitress at a restaurant in Nairobi that she got pregnant with a baby she wanted to give away for adoption out of fear of her mother and stigma from family.

"When I went to have my baby it was a shock for everyone including my classmates. There is only one girl from my class who knew I was pregnant because she would accompany me to Crisis Pregnancies for counseling sessions because I wanted to give my baby away for adoption."

"I was so afraid because I knew I would not take the baby home. My mother would kill me."

By this time Kanze was at a College in Nairobi studying secretarial courses. She had moved from a relative's house to a hostel in town because it was easier to conceal the pregnancy that way.

One day while visiting her grandmother her water broke and she came up with a quick excuse of leaving home to get back to the hostel where the only friend who knew she was pregnant helped her get to Pumwani Maternity Hospital.

As fate would have it the nurse who was attending to her had to go help with an emergency and left without properly handing her over. The male nurse who took over had no idea that she wanted to give her baby for adoption and allowed her to hold the baby after delivery.

As that was happening her friend decided to contact her aunt who also ended up contacting her mum.

"I was coming from the bathroom and my bed was by the door, when I got to the ward I found my mum and aunt waiting. I was so shocked because they were the last people I expected to see. My mum's eye were red, she had cried not because I got pregnant but because she wondered what sort of a woman I thought she was that I would hide a pregnancy from her."

Kanze's mum got her discharged and they left for home together. She says her mother had to stay with the baby for some time in shags as she sorted herself out in town. But a day before she was due to travel home to see her baby her aunt told her that they had to travel home urgently.

"When we got home I found so many people in the compound and I thought something had happened to my mother. Then I saw my mother come out of the house. I went in and into the bedroom and there I came face to face with the lifeless body of my Natasha."

The baby died while asleep and the family did not do a post-moterm to find out what killed her. 

"We've never known exactly what happened, she was three months when she died.

Kanze says she struggled wrapping her head around those events for so many years. She at some point thought God was punishing her for some of her actions. She was also conflicted because at the first she did not want the baby but then fate gave it back to her and now she was dead. 

Natasha or "Tasha" as she called her would have been sixteen today.

Kanze eventually found comfort in church and even got to media school. A foundation that would later propel her to be one of the country's most revered news anchors and TV director. 

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