While scrolling through Twitter two days ago, I came across a thread of a man revealing the lengths he went to realize that one little boy in the estate had no father figure in his life.
It all started when the man judged the little boy as rowdy and chaotic based on how he was interacting with the other kids. Days later, the little boy needed help with his bicycle and the man hurriedly helped and disappeared. Days later, the little lad introduced the man to other children on the estate as his friend. As if that was not enough, he would rush to him with a book asking for help with his homework.
It took the man several giveaway signs for him to discover that the poor little boy was not really chaotic; it was his coping mechanism. His mum was never home and he had never seen his father, hence, he had no one but himself to feel safe around. Heck, he even had no one to help with his homework, hence why he approached the man when he started feeling safe around him.
Sadly, there are so many similar cases like this of children in Kenya living without their fathers. A 2019 report that was published by Transform Africa under the Man Enough Program reveals that 45 percent of children in Kenya are living with one or no parent.
Furthermore, out of the 3,000 interviewees, only 1 in 5 (20 percent) have a good relationship with their father. Shockingly, the 80 percent stated that they either have a good relationship with their father or have never met them.
What most people fail to realize is a father plays a fundamental role in the upbringing of a child. These include improved physical and psychological development, an establishment of security and authority, identity, and affirmation of potential. So, children that grow up without a father or had a bad relationship with their father could have adverse effects.
The rise in the rate of single parenthood continues to baffle many, with children often getting the largest impact. Sadly, most children that grow up without a father often blame themselves. We need to speak up more about this and how factual it is based on real happenings.