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Opinions of Thursday, 23 June 2016

Columnist: Alan, Jet

Fathers' Day: Not for all fathers

Last Sunday, I premeditatively paid a blind eye to every message that wished me a euphoric Fathers' Day. My kooky decision was not informed by the fact that I'm yet to join the club of fathers. I have always had this tenacious congenital aversion for fathers. I very much appreciate my brothers and sisters who texted, but let me be swift to add that, I hardly celebrate fathers. I won't say my father is harum-scarum. But he can always do better since he has the wherewithal to play his fatherly roles as expected of him. Perhaps, he is being driven by mediocrity or needless penny-pinching.

Many African children have untold tales that are simply not funny. But some of us have vowed never to paint them with loud words, but by silent ink in zillion books. Till these books are published for the readership of the entire world, let our stories remain imprisoned in our bellies with the umbilical cords of our mothers' love serving as the chains.

And just before the fortunate ones begin to throw verbal jabs at me for going hard on a father whose 'waist production' ushered me into this rather hot part of the world, let me bless their knowledge with the genesis of Fathers' Day celebration as narrated by the 2011 May edition of the ENJOY magazine.

"Some 4000 years ago in Babylon, Elmesu carved a Fathers' Day message on a clay card which wished his father a long and healthy life.

The first official Fathers' Day was observed in June 19, 1910, in Spokane, Washington, when Mrs. Sonora Louise Smart Dodd honoured her father, a civil war veteran who had single-handedly raised his six children after the death of his wife. In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation declaring the 3rd Sunday of June as Fathers' Day."

The quotation says it all. I'm not yet a father, but obviously, Sonora's father is the type who's worth the celebration. Pitifully, my father does not deserve this worldwide standing ovation for fathers. Characteristic of most African parents, my father views parental responsibility with respect to financial commitment as an investment rather than a corresponding moral or societal obligation that comes with his 'waist chilling'. And since our tightwad fathers are simply reluctant to invest in us, we are sadly left to our sorry fates at our tender ages to go out there and battle with life, not only for our bread and butter, but for our education and shelter also. Many of the African fathers who have crossed age sixty see themselves as half-living ghosts who will soon kiss mother earth bye and therefore see no need to invest in their children.

Are these the fathers we are celebrating? Let's say no to parental irresponsibility!!


The author is a blogger at and