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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Every Child Has A Father, Present Or Absent

This article, written by Zizipho Vazia a 2nd year Walter Sisulu University journalism student, looks at the widespread hardship of children not knowing, who their father is and their mothers not allowing them any way of finding their father.

Every Child Has a Father, Present Or Absent - Image Chocolat Negro
Not knowing your father or never seeing him is one of the hardest things a child can experience. You have no idea whether he is aware of your existence and well-being and you are still being told you are better off without him. Nkcubeko Tchotyana, a 16-year old boy raised by his single mother, is faced with a challenge experienced by a lot of youngsters – the misfortune of not knowing who his father is and his mother not allowing him any way of finding his father.

This has become a serious problem for Nkcubeko as it negatively affects his school performance, social and personal life. He has episodes of irrationally lashing out at his mother and grandmother using vulgarlanguage especially when talking about parenthood.

Not knowing your father is one of the hardest things a child can experience
 He has already decided to attend initiation school in December. This he will do with or without his father and without his mother’s consent.
Dr Thulani Vazi, a clinical psychologist at the Elizabeth Donkin Psychiatric Hospital in Port Elizabeth, said: “It is very common for a child of this age and especially a male to feel this way.”

Vazi recently had to deal with a patient who set his mother alight with paraffin because she didn't want to tell him who his father is.
“These cases are serious and highly dangerous. Once these kids are deprived of the information about their fathers, they become animals. It doesn't matter whether the child will love or hate his dad, the mother just mustn't blind him from knowing if his dad is alive and make sure that the child knows about him,” said Vazi.

Nandipha Gaushe, a social worker at Khayelethemba in Mdantsane said: “Every child has a father, present or absent."

The ill-treatment of the mothers by these children is triggered by lies building up every time the father figure is questioned at home. Then the name calling, wrecking of home appliances, physical abuse and possibly drug and alcohol abuse begins.

As much as a father doesn’t have to be present when a boy is going for circumcision, every boy yearns for the day when his father gives him the blessings and ancestral guidance for the ceremony to take place.
Nkcubeko said: “I always imagined I’d have my father alongside when I’d have to go to initiation school and as much as I make it seem like something that doesn’t bother me, in actual fact it does. Because now I have developed strong feelings of hate towards someone I have no idea even exists.”
“When my mother talks about my father she refers to him as inja (dog), saying that I shouldn’t worry about him being in my life because we are doing a great job together without him.”


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