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Regional News of Friday, 25 June 2021

Source: GNA

Fathers’ Day: Silent celebration in Ghana?

Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June every year in Ghana Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June every year in Ghana

Father’s Day, an occasion to appreciate, honor and celebrate the contributions and challenges of fatherhood in society is celebrated on different dates worldwide within the year.

But in Ghana, it is normally celebrated on the third Sunday of June where many people who value the significant roles of fathers give cards and other forms of gifts such as clothes to their fathers.

There was no such celebration years past in Ghana. But there has been that realization in recent years and thus most men, particularly fathers relished such occasion just as Mothers’ Day for them to also feel loved by their children and partners.

Against this background, the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the eve of the occasion interviewed some parents about their views and perceptions in Sunyani.

According to Mr. Emmanuel Asiedu, a businessman, and father of three, “the day needs to be celebrated in the same manner by the society equally like that of women or even better.”

This is because he argued, some fathers were very much better at raising children in a very responsible way than women, citing especially single fathers who might have lost their wives in a very painful way. Actually some of such men, Mr. Asiedu continued to decide not to marry again but to mainly focus on the upbringing of the children so as to secure a bright future for them.

Public’s expectation

I could not stop laughing when I went to my Church’s WhatsApp platform on Friday with the view to getting some information by way of announcement about upcoming programmes.

But interestingly, I instead saw a man holding a bell with an inscription “Fathers’ Day is Sunday ooo”, announcing that coming event to the church Pastor not to forget by dedicating a Church service for the men as it was done for the women on Mothers' Day.

The question is why did the announcer, who was a man, post that on the platform as a reminder for the observation of the day?
In my opinion, honoring is not usually requested for but even sometimes done by surprise based on performances. So the announcer’s reminder implied the degree of importance of the day to deserving fathers.

In the international world, Father’s Day is always celebrated yearly with ease and joy but in Africa and Ghana, arguably fathers seemingly have to prompt society to be appreciated implies a sort of silence on the celebration of the Day.

Silence factor

Some people have attributed the silence factor to sometimes wickedness, uncaring and irresponsible attitude of some fathers in the society. And the case of Mrs. Grace Mensah, a responsible wife, and mother as she told the GNA in Sunyani gave credence to that.

She recalled with sadness, saying “if I’m to think of my past, the kind of trauma I went through in the hands of my own father when my mother divorced and was left in the care of my father, I will not in a minute think of ever celebrating my him”.

Mrs. Mensah said “my father insisted I must stop schooling to assist my step-mother in her trading activities and sometimes my father pulled a knife threatening to kill me if he ever saw me in school uniform and make attempt to step out to school”, she sadly added.

Mrs. Mensah said it had been a pain in her heart because her father simply wanted to destroy her life as a punishment for her mother due to the divorce.

She said worse of it, “my father gave me to his friend, a stranger to stay within a different town but thank God, that notwithstanding, I’ve made it in life even without education. And my father is still alive but I can read regret from his face anytime I visit our hometown. Though I have forgiven him I can never forget it in life”, Mrs Mensah added.

Fathers’ love/Importance of the Day

Mrs. Mensah advised men to develop divine love for their children and take proper care of them even with or without the presence of their mother because they (fathers) might not know what the future would be for the children to avoid any regret which might be too late to be rectified.

She made reference from the bible to buttress her advice “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us (children)”. To her this biblical reference demonstrated the greatest love fathers have for their children, saying the day is a reminder about the significance of fathers and their good deeds “in our lives”.
Advice to fathers

Mrs. Mensah observed children generally depended on their father for their spiritual, physical, financial, and social well-being, saying that was the reason some children feel sick anytime their fathers traveled.

She, therefore, urged men to aspire to be emulated by their children, stating it was time for fathers to offer selfless care and protection to their children to get them closer to themselves.

That according to her could strengthen father–children relationship to justify the need for them (fathers) to be celebrated without hesitation.

Mrs. Mensah noted that because of education most fathers now did not shy away from either changing nappies, carrying children on their backs, or assisting their wives with lullabies for putting their babies to sleep.
She concluded more fathers were nowadays involved in parenting in a very intimate way as some took paternity leave when their wives gave birth.

Some fathers now understand that it is love, care, and presence that define fatherhood and therefore urged that no matter the circumstances, fathers’ love must be acknowledged to appreciate the efforts of deserving men