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Opinions of Saturday, 16 June 2018

Columnist: Joe Kingsley Eyiah

Not all fathers are fathers!

“Shut up woman! Only God knows the true father of your child!!” - Unknown.

A video being circulated recently on social media prior to the celebration of Fathers’ Day this year depicts a rooster and a hen eating some grains from a big bowl with ‘expectant’ chicks around them. The rooster (a male chicken) is seen selfishly or greedily eating the grains/seeds while the hen picks a grain at a time and feeds the chicks which are out of reach of the grains in the bowl with it. The obvious lesson in this video is that the male does not care about the children as the female does! Right?

However, reflecting on the video a friend of mine defended the male in it. He jokingly said, “may be the rooster in the video may not be the exact or only male that crossed the hen in the video to lay its eggs!” Hahahahaha! Can this be true when it comes to human beings too?

Anyway, my questions here are: Who are the fathers? Are wives not allowing their husbands to be the ‘true’ fathers they ought to be? These are many questions that flood my mind as we celebrate Fathers’ Day each year! As society changes and many women become single parents to many children around the world, the questions raised above become more crucial. Parenting is saddled with the absenteeism of many fathers from the home!

Fathers have important part to play in the upbringing of their children. For example, it is from the father that a girl first learns who she is in the world with regard to men. She learns that she is pretty, talented, strong and deserving of respect and protection first-hand from the father. Mike Tucker puts it this way: “Girls who don’t enjoy a relationship of tenderness with their fathers develop what some call FATHER HUNGER.”

Dads have great influence on their sons as well. Sons learn from their fathers how men treat women and children. How true! I vividly remember my own experience with my father-Opanyin Joseph Eyiah (popularly known as Carpenter) of blessed memory. I learned from him that I AM CAPABLE and that has brought me this far, by God’s grace. I learned from Opanyin Joseph how to be a man-the priest of the house and the provider of the family. He was present in my life from my infancy till I finished my college education. He was also always there for my other four brothers. Where are you, ‘true’ fathers of today?

In our Black communities it is more pathetic the way fathers have given up or refused live up to their responsibilities to the very children they’ve brought into this world. I know the power of mothers, which sometimes throw some fathers out of their God-given authority in the home. I also know how our culture, especially among Akans of Ghana, has favored women and set men against their own children- the matrilineal inheritance comes into sharp focus. However, as fathers, we should not allow tradition and feminism to make us “useless fathers.” Or are we just running away from our responsibilities as fathers?

HAPPY FATHERS’ DAY TO ALL THE ‘TRUE’ FATHERS OF THE WORLD! God knows the ‘true’ father of the child. Amen