Last week, former US President Barack Obama visited the country. Unlike his last visit as the President of the United State of America (Potus), this time he was able to go back to his roots in Kogelo. In his speech, he mentioned something that was profound. He talked about what happened to him during his first ever visit to his father’s homeland when he was 27 years old. Going back to where his fatherland and actually visiting his father’s grave sealed a void in his life that left him never the same again.
His journey to come back then was in response to a deep need that many people who never knew their fathers have, a quest to know and answer the question “who is/was my father? A father’s role in a child’s life can never be underestimated. Many children grow up without knowing their fathers or with absentee fathers. Part of this is due to the fact that many men abdicate their responsibilities after fathering a child. Also there are those women who never want anything to do with the father of their children because of how those men hurt them.
For those of us who are married, it so often pains my heart to see fathers aloof when it comes to relating with their own children. They leave all the responsibilities to the mother of the children such as attending parents’ meeting, taking the children to church, helping them with homework and even taking the boys for initiation ceremony. The question always being asked is where are the fathers? Children, especially boys, need to see their fathers around more often than not.
The father’s presence not only helps boosts the child’s self-esteem, but also draws his wife closer to him. Wives want to see their husbands more involved in their children’s lives not leaving it just to them as if they are single mums. When dads step in and give their wives that domestic support, they connect with them at a deeper level, as that is one of their top emotional needs. Parenting our children together brings us closer to each other, thus enabling the two to continue being one.