Have you ever wished you were daddy’s little boy or girl, play video games with him, go to soccer matches together, listen to his advices and laugh to his jokes until your stomach aches? That’s was my biggest wish too. Well, maybe our stories are the same but please allow me to tell my story first.

My name is Manqobaa and I’m 22-years-old. I grew up in the dusty streets of Ulundi in a single parent house-hold. It was not easy and had its own difficult challenges. We would sometimes have to go to bed on an empty stomach, or go to school bare foot while daddy lived a wonderful life with his wife and kids. It really hurt when all the other kids would make Father’s Day cards and I didn’t because I didn’t really have a father. I was so jealous of kids who have dads. It made me really sad. All I wanted was love and to be recognised as a son. I didn’t want his money; OK, maybe I did a little but money is not everything.

This is the letter I wrote to my dad.


Dear Daddy dearest

It’s me, the son you fathered, ran away and never looked back. I know you probably think I hate you but I don’t. I actually think of you constantly. That’s all I do, all the time. No matter where I go or what I do, I’m thinking of you. Even after all the pain you caused me; after all the tears I cried and all the attempts to build a relationship with you but end up rejected. I knew I couldn’t force you to love me or to care about me but I kept hoping that you’d show up. Awful isn’t it? I know.

Things kept happening and I always found myself wishing I could tell you about them. All the struggles that my mom went through to keep my life going, while you lived happily with your wife and kids. I needed you, Daddy, but I know to you I was just some mistake or maybe it was my fault that I ended up in this world. Sometimes I wish you would have given me a chance to prove to you that I’m a better son too. I wonder how life would have been if you were there for me. I wondered how it feels to have dad but finally understood that growing up without you was the best thing for me.

Let me not waste your time and cut straight to the chase.

As I write this letter tears are racing down my cheeks. No, it’s not tears of sorrow but tears of gratitude. Thank you. Thank you for deserting me. if it wasn’t for your absence in my life I wouldn’t have experienced such powerful love from my mom, my uncles, my aunts, my siblings and my mom’s friends (the list is endless).

Thank you for giving my mother a burden to play both roles. At times she struggled but it is only now that I realise it. She wanted only the best for me. She never cried or complained; that’s how strong she is. But I guess real tears are not those that fall from the eyes and cover the face, but those that fall from the heart and cover the soul. Oh my mother, together we fall but we rise again; she is pretty damn special. And I’d be kidding myself to say that I tell her enough how much I appreciate her.

Lastly and most importantly, I’m so proud of myself that I made it through high school and that I will be a university graduate. And I did it all without you. The best feeling comes when you realise you’re perfectly happy even without the person you once thought you needed most. I thank God I had family who supported me and friends who were always around me.

Believe you me when I say it will be when I’m successful that you will regret not helping me in my time of need. Soon I’ll be riding with those I walked with as I’m only eating with those I starve with. I’ve been waiting for you all along. Yes I did wait. But waiting has limits and I’ve reached mine. I’m sorry but you kept me hanging for too long. I won’t cry anymore for I personally think that the only people we should cry for are people who died, not for people who left us intentionally. I wish nothing but the best for you.

May the Lord lead you into a greater understanding of God’s love and the endurance that is given by Christ. 2 THESSALONIANS 3:5

Your son



Tell us what you think: Do you think children raised by single parents suffer more than those raised by both parents?