The birth of a baby is usually a source of excitement for family and friends, but the birth of a new year baby can be the highlight of the year. Journalists and photographers flock to health facilities in competition to be the first to announce the New Year’s baby.
While the obsession with the new year baby can be traced back to Greek Mythology where the image of a baby symbolized the New Year, rebirth and fertility, we rarely know about their lives beyond the delivery room.
As people across the world waited eagerly for the clock to strike 12 to mark the beginning of a new year, many others rejoiced to welcome the new year babies with the best accessories from Baby Monitor Town. Bishop Molale in one of those born on new year’s day, 53 years ago.
He was born in a small village in Taung near Vryburg in North West. Molale says being a male born on new year’s day brought much joy and happiness to his family. However, he says he often deceives his colleagues in the taxi business about his birthday to avoid a party which would definitely go overboard.
“I started recognising that my birthday is very important when I was already a grown up and working. My birthday is also easy because people can still afford to celebrate it – that’s another reason I respect this day very much. Even elders used to get very happy when a child, especially a boy, is born on this day.”
South Africa saw the birth of over 66 new year babies in the Western Cape, Limpopo, Kwazulu Natal and Eastern Cape as 2014 dawned. Media Expert Mathata Tsedu says such births, including those of Christmas babies, are generally seen as iconic.
“With the Christmas babies parents will really be quite thrilled as this means their children are supposed to sharing a birthday
with Jesus Christ but with the new year it’s also a phenomenon where people think that their kids are going to be having their birthdays on a day that everybody else will be very happy and all of that.”
Tsedu went further to say that the media frenzy around such births gives much-needed relief from tragic events which happen during the festive season.
“The interest of the media in all of this is all because there is really nothing more in terms of news other than the weather, the accidents on the road and these babies that then provide a kind of respite from the bad news, the accidents. It’s a good news story, a feel good thing, nice pictures of smiling mothers and the nurses who are quite happy to be on television.”