The Zimbabwean lesbians in a cheating storm in Manchester have a boy conceived through insemination by gay Big Brother contestant, Sean O’Kane.
Chido Chalenga said in 2009: “It has been a good experience having Seany as the father. Me and Nikki thought about having children about two years ago and went on the internet to look into it and it took off from there.
“We actually contacted different guys and Nikki got pregnant with one of them but lost the baby last year after 28 weeks. I would like to have more children but Nikki is not so sure. We will see. We’ve already had a lot of criticism. But we will try our best. The child will have so much love from three people.”
Sign language Student Nikki, 28, who left Zimbabwe in 2001, added: “I used to watch Big Brother but didn’t recognise him at first. I liked his hair and then after we spoke a few times I knew who he was.
“It’s very unusual to conceive on the first attempt, it usually takes months. I guess it was meant to be. Seany is a good dad.
The three of them had met just once before but after months of email and phone conversations they decided to try for a baby which they were all desperate to have. Seany says he is determined to be a hands-on parent along with Nikki and Chido and not just a sperm donor.
The reality TV star told how he opted for the pair because he is fascinated by African culture and says the three of them hit it off immediately. Amazingly, little Kuziva-Aodhan was conceived at their second time of trying – but only because the first attempt failed when they killed off Seany’s sperm by putting it in a Styrofoam cup instead of a glass.
The proud dad, who moved to London from his home in Derry after he left Big Brother 8 two years ago, regularly travels to Manchester where his child’s two mothers live. In an exclusive interview in 2009 Seany told the Irish Sunday Mirror: “Becoming a father has changed my whole perspective on life.
“When I met up with Nikki and Chido it seemed right and perfect. So we had a mutual agreement about becoming parents – you can’t have a legal document and there was no financial agreement.
“We wanted to raise the family together. It doesn’t matter what a persons’ sexuality or gender is if you are going to be a responsible parent. “But we are still struggling between social discrimination in society.
“People used to think it was wrong for inter-racial relationships. We are trying to overcome prejudices. There’ll always be barriers but those kind of people aren’t in our lives or social circles.
“Nikki and Chido have had a lot of criticism. Some people have been saying they pity the sort of child they will bring up. But we pity the sort of child that those kind of people will bring up with that sort of attitude.
“Regardless of what sexual orientation you are you can still be a good father. We will raise a healthy, happy child. I think our son is very special. There is a reason he came into this world. “I hope he looks back and says his mums and dad did the best for him.”
Seany, who works for a young dads support group, told of his own journey to become a parent.
“I was watching a programme a few years ago about couples unable to have children for a variety of reasons – lesbian couples, heterosexuals and others. It broke my heart in many ways. It dawned on me that many children come from broken homes or homes where they are not receiving love.
“I found it heartbreaking that some people who were willing and able to devote so much time and love didn’t have the opportunity. So I registered my details with an organisation called Rainbow Families which helps gay and lesbian parents to have children.
“Within a few days I had received hundreds of responses, one of them was from Nikki and Chido. I was over-whelmed by the response after just putting up my photos and some words about what fatherhood meant to me. I went through a few of them but then I got picked to go on Big Brother so I never looked at them again until nine months later when I came out of the Big Brother house.
“After Big Brother I re-evaluated my life. I came out and told the world I was gay on Big Brother. It realised that family was the most important thing. I went back to the emails and I was again drawn to Nikki’s and Chido’s.
“We started off by sending emails and then spoke over the phone. I had also been chatting to other couples and had met up with a few but they were not meant to be. We got on very well and had a lot of things in common. We agreed on what family meant.
“We met up and got to know each other so we decided to go ahead with it because it felt right. We had only met physically once before we did it. I have an affinity for African culture and I really liked them and their outlook on life.”
Seany is also determined to play an active role in the little Kuziva-Aodhan’s upbringing “Kids who don’t grow up with a father figure can sometimes have a loss of identity and have other issues.”
He added: “When you try in the privacy of your own home with a home insemination kit it doesn’t work 80 per cent of the time so I was prepared to do it several times.
“A lot of people try for years and they give up because it is difficult to become pregnant. It is such an emotional and draining thing to do. But we had the motivation and the love. Four weeks later I got a call saying Nikki was pregnant.
I was stunned. Part of me was prepared for a long process and I couldn’t believe it when she rang, I nearly dropped the phone. I was just so happy for us all. I couldn’t believe it had worked. I felt like I had been able to help them and was so happy the child was going to be loved not just by two parents but by three.
“Then the whole journey began – there were ups and downs. I needed to assess my role. They were the mums. I had heard of stories of men helping other lesbian couples and then falling out and the mums running off with the child. It was a really difficult time. I felt isolated in some ways. I was being updated but didn’t have the experience. It was difficult.
“We really had to get to know each other and work together for the baby to be a new age family. We needed to show people it can be done against the odds. Nikki and Chido initially saw me as having a minimal involvement but they got to know me better and my family.
“I went along to the 21week scan. It was so emotional I wanted to cry. I didn’t want to know the sex of the baby, but it was obvious!”
He said: “They are a great representation of women and mothers. They have endured criticism, discrimination, racism and homophobia. It has been quite difficult for them. But they are looking at it as a benefit for our baby.”
Despite being well-prepared, he missed the birth. “I had an overnight bag ready and calculated I could be up in Manchester in three hours. Then I got the call that Nikki was having strong labour pains.
“I was told as it was her first baby she’d be in labour for hours. I got the train and while I was on it I got the call that she had given birth. Both me and Chido missed the birth because it was so fast. When I got there I picked him up straight away and started to bond with him.
“I think that is the day Nikki and Chido saw me in my role and that I would be the father and be involved. And they have been great.” NewsDzeZimbabwe
To help maintain editorial independence Nehanda Radio relies on donations from readers like you. No donation is too small or too big. Help by donating to fund our operations.