‘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


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