The “childfree lifestyle” is gaining increasing attention. However, a very specific narrative is being voiced: That of the Western, (usually) white, middle-class, educated woman who has chosen not to have children because she wants to focus on her high-powered career and travel.
While there are many childfree people for whom this narrative resonates, it’s not the whole story. Childfree Africans are are men and women, lower class, middle class or filthy rich, from a village in Uganda or from a bustling metropolis like Nairobi, or living in the diaspora, who don’t have children.
Although Africa is a huge continent with 54 countries, over a billion people, and countless languages, ethnicities, and traditions, one thing that African cultures have in common is that they place great importance on family, and by extension, having children. For those that don’t want, or can’t have children, the consequences of being childfree can be devastating.
My goal is to give a voice to those of us for whom parenting doesn’t factor into our plans. What does it mean to be without children and African today? What are the consequences of not having children? Are attitudes in Africa and in the diaspora changing? Let’s talk about what you think.
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