Hello there, I’m Surprise Mashaba. I live mainly with my mother and siblings. I am a last born in my family, aged 14 years. My father left this world when I was less than a year old – roughly 5 months old. I’ve seen him in pictures and I’ve heard some bits of info about him from my mom, but I have never seen him or any of his belongings.

Although I would have loved to have a father around, I don’t miss him that much since I never knew him. Losing him hasn’t had that much affect in my life. Though I sometimes do miss him.

To many people in the world “father” refers to their male parent, but in my case it refers to any adult male who shows me love and understanding.

Usually it is said that children who grow up without a father are often disobedient and have no manners, but according to most people I know I’m a actually the opposite of that. My mom has raised me well; she played the role of the mother and father in my life. She usually supports me in the things I do and decisions I take.

Growing up without a father meant that I only grew up with one person to look up to as an example – my mother. I don’t really what effect this misfortune has had on me. I just don’t see the difference between myself and children who have fathers.

I never blame him for leaving since it wasn’t his choice to leave this world. I’ve secured my future and he was my inspiration. I’m a poet, story writer and songwriter, and I’ve done this withouth his presence. With that said, I see his absence not affecting my life.

Not having a father meant I had no one to teach all the basic skills a boy needs. For example, I can’t do many practical tasks, like starting a fire or cleaning the yard. All my life I’ve locked myself inside the house and befriended my books.

Perhaps the reason his absence is not affecting me is because of my stepfather. See he’s a great father. He shows my siblings and I love, understanding and moral support. His dream is to see all of us succeed in life. He’s always there for my mom and I. I regard him as my biological father.

I remember one time when the street’s transformer blew up. It was a cold evening and we had no electricity. So he suggested we make fire. I didn’t even know how to do that.

He said, “Skills are things we learn not what we were born with.”

Those words have inspired me to do plenty and push my self to greater lengths.

He once told me, “I may not be your real father, but I know that you’re ambitious and I’m here to support throughout your journey to success.”

Those words show me that he cares for me and he’s my father.

I may not a father yet, but one day I will be; I pray that lord god keeps me alive so that I can raise them with love and respect. If I leave this world just like my father, I hope that god gives my children a person like my stepfather.


This was one of the commended entries in the My Father essay writing competition. Click here to read other excellent essays from the competition.