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In just a few hours the world will celebrate Father’s Day. Well that is those that want to participate in the commercial day. As we celebrate this day it is also a time for reflection at the role of fathers and men in general in society.

It is often noted that most males can make a child, but being a father takes a lifetime. It is deeper than just assisting in bringing a life to this world. Fathers play a role in every child’s life that cannot be filled by others. This role can have a large impact on a child and help shape him or her into the person they become. Thankfully our culture acknowledges and strongly appreciates the role of a man in a household and that of a father. Sadly some man do not appreciate the role that they have found themselves in.

On a personal context, before I became a father I was once called into an office the company director. I recall it as though it was yesterday. He said you are a great manager, but there are only certain things you can know or appreciate about management once you are a father.

Having been a willing baby sitter to my siblings and also as a responsible community member I always thought I understood what it meant when it came to caring about the next person especially a child. The comment that I would only understand management better once I was a father took be aback. I walked out of the office shaking my head. Afterall I thought I knew it all. We all have those moments where we think we understand life better than most.

But we don’t. 
After the birth of my daughter, my whole outlook of life and ultimately management changed. As she grew older the words, ‘you will understand management better once you have a child’ haunted me. Indeed I appreciated my duties more once I also had personal duties that I had to do daily.

So much so that I cannot imagine how there are absent fathers or men who do not take care of their children but are still able to sleep at night. As I said in one previous feature, I cannot break bread with such a man. He must break bread with his ilk. Many people around me are a good example of great fathers. As I researched for this feature one website noted that fathers play a very important role in the emotional well-being of children. “Fathers, like mothers, are pillars in the development of a child’s emotional well-being. Children look to their fathers to lay down the rules and enforce them.


They also look to their fathers to provide a feeling of security, both physical and emotional. Children want to make their fathers proud, and an involved father promotes inner growth and strength.  Studies have shown that when fathers are affectionate and supportive, it greatly affects a child’s cognitive and social development. It also instills an overall sense of well-being and self-confidence,” the pediatrics resource website noted.

Another resource notes that, “being a father means raising your children in to respectable adults by teaching and being actively involved in their lives. A father is a role model and a hero. He is a strong shoulder to cry on and someone to lift you up in your successes. Being a father is all these things and more.”
The stories we read of father rapes daughter are not stories about fathers. They are stories about monsters masquerading as fathers. 

They belong behind bars for rehabilitation. They have no space in society. They are the men who belong to the ‘Men are trash’ category. However out there are responsible fathers. Fathers who go beyond the normal call to ensure that their children are empowered to be proper individuals or society. Just this weekend I sat and watched in awe as one of my close friends was teaching his son to drive around the yard. In fact the child can drive better than some adults I know. By the time he is of licence age the driving school test will be a breeze. The father has been a symbol of empowerment in his life.

Teaching his son to drive, farming, golf and so many other things before he even gets to the age of 18. There is no abdication of duties there. He has his faults, the dad that is, but then again who doesn’t. But at least he strives daily to play his fatherly role in the life of the child.

With more fathers playing a present and empowering role in the lives of their children we can obviously see a better society and less problems as we see today. Afterall this is the yardstick that the children have. So as we celebrate this important day, we the men that are fathers portray a positive image to their children.


An image of hope, responsibility, honesty and integrity. May they not implant memories that are negative of themselves only getting intoxicated and being abusive to the family because such seeds that are planted spread to create a violent society tomorrow.

But if they plant seeds of care and goodness we will have a productive future. Happy father’s day to all the men that strive to do better for their children and that refuse to be categorized under the famous term bafana bayafana (boys are the same) but dare to be different and responsible adults of society.

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