“Mom why did father leave us?” Amanda asked and her mom Glenda.
“He left for work,” Glenda replied.
Amanda’s father left Glenda when she was just three months pregnant. He told her that he was going to work but never returned home. Now, his daughter is doing her last year of university at UNISA for her teaching diploma.
Amanda’s father John, was a mine worker in Jo’burg when he deserted Glenda. They had been living in Durban at the time. He used to come home from work often when Glenda was just a few weeks pregnant then he stopped coming home all. Glenda was ashamed and embarrassed because all her neighbours were asking her when John would be coming back home. Whenever anyone asked after him, she would make up an excuse.
Unbeknownst to Glenda, a couple of months after Amanda was born, John was fired from the platinum factory where he worked in Jo’burg for stealing platinum and he lost his job. He sold everything he had in Jo’burg. Things were still good when he had money but when it ran out, John found himself homeless and without a job. He sold everything he has and in Jo’burg he was homeless he couldn’t find a job. Amanda hated his father inside what hurt her the most is that he was still alive.
John had been living on the streets ever since his daughter was born. Amanda hated him for abandoning her and her mother but thought it her duty to look him up so that she could have peace of mind. She asked her mother permission to search for her father and Glenda said yes. Glenda knew that Amanda’s life would never be totally happy or at peace if she didn’t find out what had become of her father.
Glenda suggested that they put her father on the local tv show Khumbule khaya but Amanda refused. They then set off for Johannesburg to see if anyone knew him or his whereabouts. Most people didn’t know who they were talking about. They searched the whole of Jo’burg but came up empty handed. As they were making their way home, a homeless man sitting at the bus station called to Glenda. Amanda and Glenda both turned to the stranger, Glenda was astonished to see that it was John.
He was dirty, old and frail but Glenda recognised him immediately. When Amanda saw her mother’s expression she knew that they had found her father. She stepped forward while Glenda stood fixed to the ground and introduced herself to her father before giving him a hug. Finally, she had found the man she had been hoping would find her instead. That was the happiest moment of Amanda’s life.
Glenda and Amanda took John home with them and that evening he told them his reasons for abandoning them and asked for forgiveness which they granted freely.
Tell us what you think: Did John have any other choice than to abandon his family?