On Fatherhood

Our fathers were hopeless, don’t be like them

By Silas Nyanchwani Sunday, Apr 24th 2016 at 09:02

I never saw my father. I am one of those people who will never know what it feels like to be owned by a man who, in the evening, sits on the sofa, legs on the table, glasses slanted over the bridge of the nose, reading a newspaper (actually nodding off).

However, the uncles who filled in the role were gracious, wise and did a perfect job. I will never complain. But not all fathers were like my uncles. I know many fathers who behaved like gods. Choleric men whose reign of terror in their families destroyed their children, forever.

I know many female cousins who, on realising they were pregnant, as teenagers took off with the wastrels who had impregnated them, condemning themselves to a life of misery. I know many cousins and friends with zero feelings towards their fathers.

I know many married women who have lived extremely wretched lives simply because their husbands were breadwinners. I doubt there are feminists out there who hate men because of their douche-bag fathers who abused their mother. I suppose even some women changed their sexual orientation because of their abusive fathers.

My father’s generation (men born between 1935 to 1965), were mostly losers as I have said before. They were born after the White man had thrashed their fathers’ spirits and there was this identity crisis that gripped the country when they were growing up. Then there was education, a shift in the way people earned their living, KANU’s reign of terror that made them so pussy-footed, they had to let their frustrations on their poor wives and kids.

They were mostly absent fathers or present but cold. Some beat their wives with reckless abandon and went to brag in bars when drinking all night was followed by submissive wives who opened doors for them at some devil hour.

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Mums, mind your own damn brats
Today, pulling such a stunt can see a hubby sleeping in the cold, or if very lucky, the couch.

As Frank Bruni, the New York Times columnist wrote recently, a mother’s love was automatic and unconditional whereas a father’s love was earned. Mothers nurtured, tending to tears. Fathers judged, prompting them. Mothers had to lavish the kids with affection and fathers could come and go, as long as they provided.

My college senior Justus Omwoyo recently shared a powerful Facebook post where he examined how power changes within a family as children grow. First you have a powerful father who abuses the wife and kids. Kids grow, start earning their money and lavish the mother, leaving their dad to die of loneliness, hypertension and depression. Since he was never there for them, the children side with the mother after many years of shared victimisation.

What annoys me the more about men of our father’s generation is that they didn’t even fight in a war that kept them away from home or forced them to deal with post-traumatic problems. They were right here and they ruined men of my generation, who to date, if left in a room with their fathers will not hold a coherent conversation.

I am glad things have changed and there are fewer women who can settle for the crap our fathers took our mothers through. For men of my generation, we can be great fathers if we drop the macho brouhaha that irreparably damages children and hurts the wives more.

Learn to eat at home, every day with your wife and kids. Giving your family time is the best gift ever as opposed to money that you are chasing. Be slow to judge, and quick to motivate and empower your family. Be patient, women go through so much, offer a helping hand everywhere you can.

Learn to forgive. Know children will have different abilities, yours is to empower those that they can flourish in. Give them gifts. Respect their mother. If you divorce,have a respectful relationship for their sake. You brought them to the world, so, you have to show them the way.

Teach your daughter about the standards of men she should interact with, lest she brings home a midget with a stud on the right ear who listens to rock music. Teach your son substance, lest he marries a woman with a tattoo and a nose ring.

It is as simple as that. Not rocket science. And the rewards are terrific.

@nyanchwani

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http://www.sde.co.ke/m/thenairobian/article/2000199407/our-fathers-were-hopeless-don-t-be-like-them

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Learn to eat at home, every day with your wife and kids. Giving your family time is the best gift ever as opposed to money that you are chasing. Be slow to judge, and quick to motivate and empower your family. Be patient, women go through so much, offer a helping hand everywhere you can.

Learn to forgive. Know children will have different abilities, yours is to empower those that they can flourish in. Give them gifts. Respect their mother. If you divorce,have a respectful relationship for their sake. You brought them to the world, so, you have to show them the way.

Teach your daughter about the standards of men she should interact with, lest she brings home a midget with a stud on the right ear who listens to rock music. Teach your son substance, lest he marries a woman with a tattoo and a nose ring.

It is as simple as that. Not rocket science. And the rewards are terrific.

13 Likes

Nice article. Nani alisumbuliwa na babake? I too know some friends who don’t like their fathers, wale walikuwa wanasikia mabuda zao wako home wanaanza kushtuka.

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My old man alikuwa dictator while growing up, but looking at the way my bro and I turned out… My dad did one hell of a good job.

[SIZE=5]May Allah grant us the patience to deal patiently with them in their old age as they dealt patiently with us when we were small and young. May Allah always bless them and reward them for loving and protecting us. No-one is perfect. But we owe our parents A GREAT DEAL. May Allah grant them Jannah. Ameen.[/SIZE]

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Nice article… deep…
Woe unto absent fathers!

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I bet some talkers never passed summary writing skills

I stopped reading what that guy writes. He let’s his political inclination cloud his writing. I love Biko Zulu and the great Oyunga Pala they never let politics interfere with their masterpieces.

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I’m one of them mpaka wa leo I don’t like being around him,too judgmental and critical over anything.

I have pal whose dad acts like he is jealous of his success. my pal has been trying to ask him for years for permision to revive the family biz but amekataa ,machines worth million are lying somewhere gathering dust yet all he has to do is hand over the keys…the dad came from extremely rich family but he unable to manage the family biz when his dad retired yeye nI hustler was kwaida.whenever they are together you can’t feel the tension I have stopped physical fights btwn them a couple of times.

Tupo wengi, as you grow older you learn to handle the situation better.
The lucky ones can build back bridges, most can’t and its a pity
You end up feeling sorry for the old chap, but hey life has to go on.

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Eish …that is lousy

Actually I can’t complain, my dad was fantastic, still is. Always been there for us and mum. I thank God and wish him many years on this earth. Poleni sana those whose dads weren’t there for them. Now it’s your turn to be the best dad and husband possible.

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Hapo umenena safi

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My dad was clueless. He had absolutely no idea what he expected us to turn out to be.

More details please someone can benefit from your experience.

I love him a lot and we talk for long both on phone and face to face. I spare no effort to make my parents lives comfortable. Only that I find the realities of modern life overwhelmed him.

pia me dad amekua nguzo dhabiti kwa familia i love my mum but she’s emotionally weak, twice in my lyf i have witnessed dad stepping in to save our family from breakdown. he used to lecture us hadi mate inaamkauka mdomoni, he’s never a bully, he has never i mean never raised his hand on my mum! i wanna be lyk him… i love u dad!!

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Nice piece of advice

Most of you call me a feminist but men you have a very huge role to play in families and the nation. Like it or not you are leaders and your actions determine how society turns out. . . . .

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That’s my situation well described… And to make matters worse he wastes his money drinking in the bar… It would make sense if he was absent/distant but responsible… … When I was in high school na fees haijalipwa i used to have these thoughts of paying thugs to beat him up, but as @Bigfish1 says u handle the situation better with time…

That aside do u guys think our generation will improve?.. If u take the example of drinking after work and weekends, i don’t see ourselves becoming better… It seems like we’ve unknowingly inherited this disease which is what contributes most to that father-children drift… ata hii kijiji inaeza tumiwa kama ushahidi… if it’s not drinking then it’s chasing ass…

For the village fathers i hope u’re doing a better job…

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