Based on a true story

I was born on the 13th of December 1992. I had two parents at the time but was raised by one. Everything was fine at the beginning; I addressed my mother’s uncle and his wife as my mother and father. I also had many father figures from my mother’s side of the family, who filled the void my biological father had left.

It was only until I was nine-years-old or so when I realised that the people whom I called my parents were not really my parents. I then started to ask questions about the whereabouts of my biological father. Unfortunately, I never got my mom to answer me because every time I asked, I was promised a beating, or she would just ignore me like I never asked.

I didn’t feel the void of my father’s absence until my teenage years when I began to realise that life isn’t a fantasy. I believed that life was such when I was younger, still a child. I needed to be advised about the changes in my body, the new challenges in my life and how to behave as a teenager. I also needed advice on matters such as courtship and how to treat a lady. That was never done for me however; today I’m still suffering from the consequences of it.

I don’t want to complain about how my mother struggled to raise me, because even though it was a challenge for both of us, I became a better person because of it. Through the hardships we faced together, I learned how to be strong, how to rise from my downfalls and how to conquer life’s challenges. I also believe that through the way my mother raised me, I’m able to understand women better than most men.

I can cook, clean and wash my clothes (even though I hate washing). If the man I now know as my biological father was around at the time I learned all those things, he would have said “leave that son, it’s supposed to be done by a woman not you”. So, at least something good came out of his absence and for that I’m really proud of being raised by a single mother, specifically my mother, she raised a real man.

Now, I know my father and I’d taken my own time to forgive him for abandoning me. I’m glad that we’ve managed to reconcile and accept each other. We’re not as close as we’re supposed to be, which is sad. I’m closer with me elder brother than I am with my own father. The reason for that is that my father is never really honest with me; I always have to force him to tell me the truth about his past.

Now that I know my father and have taken my time and finally forgave him for his absence in my life, I am really glad that we have reconciled.

The main lesson I learned through my father’s absence in my life is the importance of a father’s presence in his son’s life as he grows up. That can’t be traded for anything in the world; which may be why I found it so sad to find out that my father’s other son (my half-brother) was also abandoned by our father and raised by his single mother in the Free State.

I want to say to those who have had their fathers from birth to adulthood (especially boys), that they must appreciate what God has given them. They must love and respect their fathers regardless of who they are. It’s a priceless treasure that they have. Therefore they should always thank God for it.

To those without fathers (especially boys once again), I want to say; whatever the situation that left you fatherless, God allowed it to happen for a reason. It was to make you prosper, for He says in His word: “Challenges are not there to overcome and destroy you, but to make you a stronger and better person than you are.” Thus even in this challenge of growing up without a father, there is something you can learn to make you a better person.

My last word of advice to you is that all things can be done with the help of God the Almighty. His word says: “I can do all things through God who strengthens me.” Know that in all that you do, you must remember that God is there to strengthen you. So, never forget to invite Him in all your tribulations. Thank you and God bless you.


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