‘I grew up without a dad’
A Parent24 user shares her thoughts on the importance of fathers.
Some say a child needs both his parents. Maybe yes, maybe no.

From where I come from, it takes a community to raise a child. Whether there is a father in the household or not that child will grow up healthy and happy. I am full proof of that. 

That’s what I saw as I grew up in the rural areas of the Eastern Cape. I remember growing up with my mother gone to the cities of South Africa trying to make a living and send money and clothes home. There I was, living with Gogo, my late great-grand father and my late cousin- sister, my uncles and my other little cousins.

I was a happy child, did not even know who my father was until I was in Cape Town in 1998 when my mother decided to tell me about my father who left me.

Then I started thinking about what he looked like, what was he thinking when he left me? Does he actually think about his long lost child? Lots of unanswered questions. I sometimes wondered when I was around looking at every decent looking guy: ‘what if that guy is my long lost father?’

That continued until I said to myself: ‘count your blessings Zim, there was a reason why he left and you turned quite fine. You have a degree, you have a great job and lots of aunts, cousins and uncles that love you and believe in you. You had a dad, the best dad any child could have ever asked for, your great grand dad.’

Did not having my biological father (which I call sperm donor) affect me negatively? No, it made me stronger. Maybe if he was around I would have turned out differently, maybe I would have been a drunkie or a high school drop out. I guess, I’ll never know.

But I know for sure, it takes the whole community to raise a child. 

Did you grow up without a father? How did it affect you? Comment below or mail your story to Chatback@parent24.com


Read Parent24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.


Want to know what your baby looks like and what you can expect at this stage?




Play creatively

Don’t let your little one’s frustration with wanting to ‘get things just right’ stop them from playing creatively.

See more >


Everything from parties to pre-schools in your area.