Sad, sorry tale of desperate moms

It's very easy to condemn Nomvuyo Williams, the mother of a six-month-old toddler who hit the headlines this week by dumping the child with her maid and disappearing for 11 days.

It's very easy to condemn Nomvuyo Williams, the mother of a six-month-old toddler who hit the headlines this week by dumping the child with her maid and disappearing for 11 days.

Her family was understandably worried about her whereabouts and the welfare of her child, who has since been taken in by social workers.

Williams reappeared after Sowetan published her story. Her sorry tale is one that has become all too familiar in our country. Many women in distress react to their situations in ways that are less than ideal.

She might be condemned as a negligent compulsive gambler. But, we would be making a terrible mistake if we judge her. She needs our pity and, even better, our help.

Come to think of it, Williams has been failed in more ways than one.

Firstly, as a qualified teacher, she cannot find work in a country with a serious shortage of teachers. So she has been forced to find other means of fending for herself and her children. She has two other children.

Secondly, the father of her baby walked out on her, shirking his responsibility towards the child. She is a single mother in a country without a social net for the unemployed.

For all her mistakes, it behoves us as a nation to pull her life together.

If we do not save her, and others who are just as desperate, we will have an even bigger disaster on our hands in the future.

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