Now I am the Father!

Wilbert was one of the very first deaf children I met when I moved to Mutare in 1986. 

His parents are rural farmers and tried very hard to help him.  We started to work with him and his mother when he was little and then he got a school place.  Wilbert struggled at school.  He joined the youth project at Nzeve when he was 20 because they could no longer keep him at primary school.  When Wilbert first came to the youth project his signing was very hard to understand, but as he gets good models of signing everyday and he mixes with other deaf people his signing has improved, and we can understand him more now.  Wilbert, who now works as our gardener at Nzeve Deaf Children’s Centre, was very excited this morning.  Last year in August he got married.  His wife is a young lady with learning and hearing problems who has been attending the youth project for 2 years.  We had noticed that Wilbert and Memo were becoming good friends, so we spoke to their families.  The families got together and counselled the young people, and soon began to plan for the wedding.  Everything was done in the traditional way and eventually they went to court and then to Wilbert’s church to get married.  The wedding was attended by other deaf people, interpreters and Nzeve staff.  It was very exciting, and lovely to see the couple as the centre of attention.


The reason for Wilbert’s excitement today was because Memo gave birth to a baby boy this morning!  They will need some help and support but they are fortunate that their families are both willing to do this.  This all goes to show that people with disabilities deserve to be treated with respect!  They can have families and they can lead productive lives.

He works hard and is very proud this morning.

“Now I am the father!” he signed to me.

Libby Foster