It’s important for a child to be raised by both parents, it’s also very important for both parents to play an active role in raising the child. The boy child and girl child are raised differently and contributions towards both kids from both parents happen at different times of their lives. Today we are focusing on the boy child and some of the struggles that he will face.
My father passed on when I was 18 years old and at that time, I had already formed many of my personality around him by looking at what he did and how he carried himself. I have a clear understanding of who he was – the good and the bad of him. I had a good childhood, where my parents were always around and present towards my needs. To some, I would appear spoilt, but I saw it as being loved, to be honest because it wasn’t much about material things – I was just raised around a lot of love. After my father passed on, I realized that my world and my mother’s world were completely different. I struggled with being a father figure to my siblings, husband to my mother and being a teenager really. When I moved out, I had the biggest fight with my mother because I couldn’t afford to move out and she didn’t want to lose another man in her life. When I moved out, I realized that my mother’s teachings from cooking, cleaning and dishes were pointless in the world in which I existed. It was a skill that I didn’t need but I had because I’m not moved if my place is clean or not, I could have dishes in the sink for a week and that wouldn’t bother me.
For the first time I began to understand all my father’s teachings, I started realizing that he had always prepared me for this day when he will no longer be around. For the longest time I was mad at him for leaving me behind with such big responsibilities and only later did I realise that he knew that he would leave me here and I had to face this world without him.
My father was the most involved person I knew in my life, to a certain degree more involved in my life than my mother was in my early childhood. Now that I’m older it makes sense, he understood my world, he knew my world and he could always pre-empt what will happen at any stage of my life. Everything that man was and what he stood for, I embody within me today. My goal is to be as great a father as he was to me when I finally have children. My father was always worried about the influence that was always around me while growing up, he made sure that he was aware of everything that was happening in my life. He introduced me to hip hop with Queen Latifah, Heavy D and Will Smith because they didn’t use foul language – my love for music comes from him. I’ve never seen my father work for someone else before hence I’m also an entrepreneur. Moses John Matsheke is my hero, he is the reason I don’t smoke because I hated his smoke breath, he is the reason why I got into computers in 1996 because he understood my friends and he tried to get me away from their influence. My father understood my struggle without me understanding them at all and his job was to try to make my path easier by being the best father he could be to me. He was able to pre-empt many bad situations and prevent them from happening or prepare me and that always made me feel like I had somewhere to go if everything fell apart.
I know that my relationship with my father is such a rare story because every time I tell it, it seems like a fairy tale of some sort, but to me it’s all I knew. A lot of boys who didn’t have a father figure in their lives have a different experience while growing up, they are forever looking for their future self in other people who didn’t bring them into this world. There is no guide, I know that single mothers do their best in raising their sons, but they can never teach a boy how to become a man, that job cannot be done by any woman. It takes a man to teach a boy how to become a man and we don’t have enough present fathers to carry this generation to the next. A boy who is raised by a single mother, has a different perspective of what the world needs to look like as a man. There is nothing wrong with being raised by a single mother, but as a man, you will always be looking for something that’s missing and that is a father figure. You could be raised by an uncle or grandfather who fills in the gaps in your life, but nothing will fill the father gap. A father affirms you, he affirms who you are and what you are and some of the mannerism and personality as well. No grandfather/uncle can replace that and they also know that because they are trying to do their best of a not so nice situation.