Challenges of Fathering in Africa
One of the foremost social ills on the African continent is a lack of fathering. Fathers have either abdicated their responsibility of the role of a father or have no integrated
perspective to the responsibility of fathering. Unlike the ultimate Father, God, fathers
have either gone missing, been absent, or they are present but not necessarily engaged
emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. Yet the very same men tasked with the
fathering responsibilities on mother earth seek to drive bottom‐line profits in business
as a means to validate their pursuit of success in life.
A recent thought crossed my mind of men that wear the paraphernalia of success but
are embattled by personal failure. Imagine, it could be the top Chief Executives and
Managing Directors that influence and impact bottom‐line profits of stock exchanges
and multi‐national companies and yet fail the commitment test to being effective
fathers. It may also be the father who is a rural farmer or a petrol attendant whose
pursuit of the promise of success ignores the calling to fathering. Right smack in the
middle of the myriad of activities of chasing money, power and ‘mistresses of life’ is the
resounding echo that questions such warped values. Fathering works on the premise of
love and Godly values. That premise requires commitment.
Key to effective fathering are personal values. Fathers without fathering are like leaders
without leadership. Yet so many men who don the title of ‘father’ are challenged by the
responsibility of being a father. Quitting has become the easy way out on copping such
responsibility purely based on emotions rather than decisions. The role of the father is
the cornerstone of the institution God seeks to perpetuate His kingdom. More than
looking to be a perfect father, I believe we should be looking for fathers that are
effective, who in spite of their imperfection are courageous enough not to quit. I
earnestly believe as fathers we may have lost the essence of fathering. We may need to
understand that fathering seeks to be relational rather than methodical.
Maybe our priorities of fathering have been placed on the back burner in exchange for
far less important yet more seemingly appealing, attractive, successful prizes of life. The
push for economic emancipation has bulldozed its way to the front and left fathering
tattered to smithereens in the rearview mirror of life. Somewhere in the far dusty
distance in the back of beyond lies a potent investment ignored by the wisdom of this
What if we taught young boys at an early age a curriculum contextualized to their intellectual and emotional capacities, the following keys to fathering, as values?
2. Awareness‐Knowing Your Child
4. Protecting And Providing
5. Love Your Wife/Respect Your Children’s Mother
6. Active And Engaged
7. Spiritual And Moral
If more of us focused on accepting that our sons have to be taught the skills that would one day make them good fathers perhaps we would help raise better fathers for the future?
culled from thefatherscry.org, written by Kudzai Shoko, a board member of the National Centre for South Africa and a Master Trainer for Fathering.