The World’s Worst Fathers

Image: LA Progressive My mind keeps flitting to this year’s Father’s Day and an incident that happened on Twitter. While most people were praising their fathers, this girl (whom I won’t mention) shared a thread about her abusive father and how he isn’t, for lack of a better word, shit. She wished her mother a happy father’s day for being both father and mother to her and her siblings and prayed her father rots in hell. People were angry that she deigned to say such things about her father. One guy in particular was so mad, he started a thread of his own. The crux of his thread was that he didn’t want to hear about her father being horrible, that she should have kept it to herself and worse, that she was a useless child for airing those things about her father. I was livid at the guy (and other people like him) for bashing the girl. I wondered why it was okay for them to praise their fathers on their own timelines but it wasn’t okay for the girl to call out her father on her timeline. I remember tweeting along those lines and saying that everyone had a right to whatever emotion they had and it was wrong to shut people down because they do not look or think like us. Today however, the incident has me thinking about the reasons why that girl spoke about her father like that. I played all the scenarios of fathers I have met and been told about and I couldn’t help but conclude that there are some really horrible fathers out there. So…here is my list of the world’s worst fathers;           1.     THE ‘BREAD LOSER’: If the bread winner is one who takes care of the family, the ‘bread loser’ is my word for one who doesn’t. People know that in many homes, the mother is the breadwinner of the family. She works or trades to ensure the family is catered for while maintaining the ruse that the father provides the money. Now, I am not hammering on men who cannot take care of their families – probably from illness, disability or recent job loss – but men who won’t take care of their families. There was this time in film school when we were doing emotional exercises and one of the acting students shared her experience. In her words, she was glad her father was dead. Many people balked at that statement but I wanted to know why. Thing is, her father had been a deadbeat father. He never provided for any of their basic necessities, choosing to spend whatever he made on himself. It was so bad that at his death, they had nothing! They were forced out of their house and their properties reclaimed to settle his debts. They had to live in an uncompleted building for months until someone took pity on them. Hearing her talk was about the hardest thing I could do. The pain was so raw that there wasn’t a dry eye in that room. And though some of our course mates said she should never have said something like that, I understood. You cannot imagine how horrible it is to have a father who lets you go hungry while being the man-about-town in bars and clubs or who makes you suffer the shame of being driven from school every term for school fees; or having a father who spends money on clothes and cars but doesn’t care that you are wearing rags; or even having a father who spends money eating grilled fish with cronies every night while the family eats Miyan Kuka every day.  These kinds of fathers deserve to be on the list of the world’s worst fathers.           2.     THE CASANOVA; These are the fathers who chase and date anything in skirts; or trousers. Everyone knows they are philanderers, flirts, womanizers or just plain licentious. Their wives and children bare the shame for these men who seem to have no shame. These are the ones who bring in their side pieces into their matrimonial homes and beds when the wife takes a simple two-day trip. They are the ones who dishonor their children with their unabashed lack of restraint and strength of character. There is this friend of mine whose father is a professor. Each new academic year brought him a bevy of fresh undergrads for his taking. When the guy was in 300L, he met a girl who, coincidentally, was one of his father’s side pieces. After the initial anger, he and the girl became friends. I was shocked when he told me that. I wondered at his decision until he explained. ‘My father doesn’t care two-bits about us. He gives us a basic allowance and when something new comes up and we need more money, he tells us he has done his part. I know he spends a lot of money on his girls; they even brag about it. So when I became friends with the girl, I told her how he treats us. She came up with the idea that whenever I need something, I could pass it unto her and she would get the money from my father. And true to her word, when asking for her allowance from my father, she would add the amount I needed and that was how I got by in school.’ Horrible, right? No! This guy needed to get basics for school; basics that his father wouldn’t give him but would give a girl he was fucking seeing. No wonder he had to do what he could to get some money. Some of these men may not openly disrespect their families but they are still Casanovas. How do I know? I have been propositioned by men whom I knew were married and whose children could be my age and even older. I have hung out with friends at bars where obviously married men were

Why We Support the Eradication of Poverty

A boy with calloused feet and worn out slippers.A direct result of poverty.Picture: SHARE THE WORLD’S RESOURCES Poverty is an ever present reality for many Africans. This is usually as a result of war and conflicts, natural causes like drought, famine, excessive rainfall or epidemics. For many countries however, poverty is a direct result of failed or ineffective government policies. This has led to the death of millions of men, women and children and is usually the first card in a string of dominoes that results in Africa being an under-developed continent. Poverty may not be easily eradicated but it can be vastly reduced. This demands a concerted effort by the governments, private organizations, aid agencies and all African citizens. Poverty can be reduced by;        Placing the extremely poor on government facilitated social welfare;             Ensuring free education for poor people;             Providing basic health care facilities and personnel for inner cities;             Massive capital and infrastructural development to enable job creation and improved economies;            Facilitating food policies that generate income for nations and hence, her people;             Empowering whole communities on revenue generation through sustainable development;             Empowering women through gender equality, education, entrepreneurship, leadership and innovation and;             Citizens holding their governments accountable for each African life; We owe it to our continent to stand up against the poverty! This is because all indices of poverty (and its horrible effects) place Africa as the worst hit. We cannot continue to sit back while Africans – our brothers and sisters – die from the effects of poverty. We also cannot afford to continually be the butt of world’s joke, pity or derision. We must join the world in eradicating poverty; for ourselves, for our families, and for mama Africa! The theme for this year’s International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is, ‘MOVING FROM HUMILIATION AND EXCLUSION TO PARTICIPATION: ENDING POVERTY IN ALL ITS FORMS’. The theme is all encompassing. We need to participate; and that participation MUST be all-inclusive! We support the charge of the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, which says “Poverty is not simply measured by inadequate income. It is manifested in restricted access to health, education and other essential services and, too often, by the denial or abuse of other fundamental human rights […] Let us listen to and heed the voices of people living in poverty. Let us commit to respect and defend the human rights of all people and end the humiliation and social exclusion that people living in poverty face every day by promoting their involvement in global efforts to end extreme poverty once and for all.” This fight is not just for the United Nations or for governments. This fight is for ALL OF US! Add your voice today! Fight for the eradication of poverty in Africa!

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