It is said that an apple never falls far from the tree. Like an apple tree, fathers are quintessential in the upbringing of the boy child, writes GARDY CHACHA
Antony Kariuki, Third Year student at JKUAT
Growing up without a father was definitely hard. There were times I needed someone who could talk to me and ask me questions like how was school; someone who would check on how I was doing and in case there was a problem, act on it. There are also times it felt intimidating when my peers talked about their fathers and what he brought them or what they did together. At such times, I would feel disgusted because I had none. Honestly, I have never wished that he were there because I don’t even like thinking about it. I am lucky my uncle took over most of his functions and he has given me a certain amount of calm. Because of him, I wouldn’t say I missed the fatherly guidance where a young man is taught how to be a man. However, my father’s absence affected my self- esteem in a way. Though now I think I am doing fine, it was a rough ride. I am not in a position to explain it all.
Nicholas Otieno, 24, travel consultant at Team & Team International
I had difficulty communicating with my mother on fundamental topics regarding my growth through adolescence.
Since the African culture is still discreet on sexuality and sexual education especially to the young, I was forced to sort help from my church priest — a function my father would have served had he been available. I was young and rapidly growing in many dimensions.
A confidant (I guess my father, would have been best suited) whose words I could trust would have done me a lot of favours. I wish he had been with us through the years; representing us in school on parents’ day like it was the case with other boys. At times, my peers would talk about their father buying them stuff. I lived in relative economic stability, but I think his presence would have made our financial state better. He should have been there to assist mother with managing us. Life would have been much better.
David Wainaina, Graduated from university last year
Growing up in a family where both parents are there to offer support is no doubt paramount every step of the way. Each parent has a responsibility towards his or her child. Growing up without a father, especially during teenage is something I wouldn’t wish on anybody. I grew up without a father in a family of three. Finances were constantly an issue. I am happy my mother has offered me much of what I would have gotten from my father. However much I can’t understand why my father had to miss in my life, it’s common logic life would have been better had he been around. God had a reason to create families with a male figure as the father. Though I can’t say how, I am certain many things would have been aligned the right way if he were there.
Tony Odongo, Third Year student at Kenya Polytechnic
I will forever remember financial shortcomings that plagued our family. Not that his presence would have assured us of upkeep, but he would have assisted in one way or another.
He would have provided us with important facts and information to help us understand a boy’s growth into adulthood. He would’ve been like a role model.