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Opinions of Sunday, 16 June 2013

Columnist: Kwarkye, Nana Abena Afriyie

It all started with just one man

I do not intend to bore you with so much talk about how the world was created. I guess you will all agree with me on the fact that the first human being to be created by God according to the record of the Bible was man. Consequently, a woman was formed out of man . Indeed the whole chain of procreation in my opinion, would not have been an established order if God had not created man. It is in this vein that I think that men are worth celebrating not only on a set aside date but all year round.

Father's Day is a celebration meant to honor fathers and celebrate fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society. Many countries celebrate it on the third Sunday of June, but it is also celebrated widely on other days. Father's Day was created to complement Mother's Day, a celebration that honors mothers and motherhood

The day was founded in Spokane, Washington in 1910 by Sonora Smart Dodd. Its first celebration was in the Spokane on June 19, 1910. Her father was in civil war , the veteran William Jackson Smart, he was a single parent who raised his six children there. After hearing a sermon about Jarvis' Mother's Day in 1909, she told her pastor that fathers should have a similar holiday honoring them. Although she initially suggested June 5, her father's birthday, the pastors did not have enough time to prepare their sermons, and the celebration was deferred to the third Sunday of June. The celebration has no doubt come to stay irrespective of when it is celebrated, the bottom line is that there is a day set aside to acknowledge the effort of men especially fathers. Many people have argued that Father's Day does not receive so much hype as much as Mother’s Day. I associate strongly with this school of thought. To me, this argument of the publicity between the two celebrations is not out of place since the distinction is clear.

I can only trace this to our traditional systems which placed fathers at a certain pedestal which made them fearful. In the past, children had to 'run for their lives" when their fathers’ names were mentioned. Perhaps, due to the fact that most mothers will always threaten their wards with their fathers names when they go wrong. Instead of mothers punishing their children as a way of correcting them when they err, some mothers left it solely to the fathers. Again, some fathers always pushed their wards to their mothers especially when their wards wanted fatherly attention. As a result, many children grew up bearing in mind the fact that fathers are to be feared but mothers are all loving. Gradually, this perception is being corrected.

Thankfully, the situation is not entirely wide spread. There are many wonderful fathers who have indeed sacrificed their all just to be great fathers to their children and others. My late dad is one of those wonderful men. He was forced to be a single parent by default when my mum passed away. He single handedly raised five strong girls. He put in all his effort to make us great women in future. In my books, he is rated as one of the best fathers ever. Unfortunately, he could not live to see how matured his little girls had turned.

The mantle fell on my uncle when my dad passed away. Another great man who is also worth celebrating. He filled the vacuum that daddy had created so well. Raising five girls and his family too was not an easy task. My sisters and I owe him a lot for what we have been able to achieve in life Though he has also passed away less than two weeks ago, he is not forgotten either. I believe there are a lot of responsible men out there who are playing their fatherly role so well. To all these men, I salute you! You deserve to be celebrated every day. We cannot run away from the fact that some men neglect their duty as fathers and relegate the responsibility of raising children only to the women.

Regardless, some men do play an important role especially as fathers and indeed their effort is also worth celebrating and rewarding. In a nut shell, I believe that if God had not created man, there would have been no family.

Happy Father's Day!!!

Nana Abena Afriyie Kwarkye