In South Africa, most rural families are child-headed or single-parented – usually a mother. Long ago, black families were separated when husbands went to urban areas to work in the mines. Sometimes they returned, sometimes they did not.

Even today, most families still don’t have both parents present; this is even viewed as a norm. What most people don’t realise, or maybe they just choose to turn a blind eye to, is that this robs a child a chance of family. When a child is born out of wedlock and their parents marry or remarry, most times they are left behind. That child will get to be raised by an aunt available or an uncle. This also is viewed as a norm in African society.

It is believed that when you get into marriage, you leave your childhood behind because you are getting into a bigger stage of life, which is womanhood. A bride has to change her identity (they are given a name by their in-laws), the bride has to change her style of fashion (no more wearing skirts with a helm above the knee), and a bride changes her behaviour or lifestyle.

But is it justified for a child to not have his/her parents present because they have married?

There are many children out there who are living like orphans when they actually have both parents. You’d find that a child’s family divorced and both mother and father remarried. They both can’t take that child with in their marriage so they resolve to sending him/her to an available aunt.

Does this not leave a huge scar in that child’s life? Knowing well who their parents are but they can’t live with them because they will bring a burden into their marriage? If a person loves you, they should love the whole you and take you as you are. Because now it is unfair for a child to be robbed a family. Every day they live, feeling like they do not belong or they are not worth anything.

Some will say, “But it is fine when they are sending money.”

Money? This is not about money. This is about family, something everyone is entitled to. It is not fair that the children cannot live with their parents because they are born out of wedlock. This can also contribute to bullying. One can be verbally bullied by other kids when they learn that they don’t live with their parents because they are born out of wedlock.

This must really be an eye opener to people out there, that kids should never be left behind when their parents get married. It is not fair to be left at your mother’s or father’s home because your parents can’t take you with to their newly found marriage.


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