Saturday, March 6, 2021

Father’s Day: Honouring the bond that binds

We are now a little less than a week away from Father’s Day, the annual worldwide celebration which celebrates and recognises the contribution that fathers and male role models make to the lives of children and the world. On Sunday, June 21, we pay tribute to all the fathers around the globe and the men who serve important maternal roles.

As the day draws near, it is also important to take this opportunity to reflect on fatherhood and the parental issues that are troubling our society. The role of a father is very important in the society. Without a doubt, one of the most challenging and yet most rewarding experiences in life is to be a father. A good father must ensure that he imparts good values to his children so that they grow and become accountable adults. Despite the role of a father still being very essential, it is also important to note that fatherhood has gone through considerable transformation in the last decade.

Long back, the position of father was held in high regard since he was the head of the family. Sadly, one of the greatest challenges and social epidemics of our time now troubling our African continent is that of fatherlessness. Its upsetting effects can be seen throughout the continent, especially in lower-income communities. Many fatherless children have become trapped in an unending cycle of poverty and academic failure.

The rapid decay in morals we see happening on our continent is in many ways linked to the absence of engaged and committed fathers. Statistics demonstrate that growing up without an involved father figure, is associated with a host of negative effects. Fatherlessness is a principal cause of the fading child well-being on our continent and the greatest problem driving our worst social problems, from crime and teen pregnancy to child poverty and domestic violence.

The question, then, is no longer whether we have a fatherhood problem on our continent. The question today is what, if anything, are we prepared to do about the problem?” It is now time for men to restore fatherhood and embrace real manhood. Today’s mass separation of fathers from their children is historically unparalleled and is a legitimate cause for alarm. Men must now, as a matter of urgency, strive to restore the institution of fatherhood as the birthright of every child and as an obligation of every man who helps to bring a baby into this world.

Everyone has a stake in fighting and turning the tide on fatherlessness because strong families mean stronger communities. All fathers must now carry the mantle of leadership in their homes and communities because when the father relinquishes his command, which is becoming the norm, the family suffers. If the father is the head of the family it means that any time the ordained order of anything is altered the results are always negative.

Being a father includes more than just those who have children born to them. Rather, because of the influence that men have on many young people ÔÇô whether we have children or not ÔÇô each and every one of us becomes a parent too. The ancient adage, “It┬átakes a village to raise a child” makes clear that raising a child is a partnership required during the maturation of our youth. The traditional two-parent households still remain the best environment for raising children.┬áI would like to┬átake this time to wish┬áall fathers a wonderful Father’s day.

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