Absentee Black Fathers: Excerpt from In My Arrogant Opinion by Khaya Dlanga
In an extract he published on his blog, from the Youngsters series book, In My Arrogant Opinion, Khaya Dlanga reflects on what being a child raised by a single mother, and not having a father as a role model or one that could help raise him, feels like.
His own father died when he was very young, and he’s often thought about how so many black children basically go without having a father in their lives. Dlanga says that the percentage of young women raising children on their own has risen significantly and that one of his greatest fears “is being a bad husband or a bad father”. We previously published another excerpt from In My Arrogant Opinion.
Many young black South Africans carry around bitterness towards their fathers for a variety of reasons. One of the major reasons is because their fathers have been fathers in name only, and not in actions. The only thing they seem expert in is making babies – and then abandoning them. I have heard many people simply call their fathers sperm donors. I have heard people refer to their fathers as ‘that thing’. The great bitterness towards fathers has less to do with hate than deep-seated disappointment. It is because they know what fathers are supposed to do. When they don’t do what they are meant to, bitterness sets in. But this does not mean that they hate their fathers. A myriad of contradictory feelings settle upon many children directed at their fathers.
- In My Arrogant Opinion by Khaya Dlanga
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