Growing up without a father was, and still is, the hardest thing that Kabelo Ntau, 23, of Selebi-Phikwe has ever dealt with his entire life. As a boy, not knowing his biological father was not an issue until his teens when the thought of wanting to know his father tormented him.
With time,the thought of his father having abandoned him before he was born and never coming back, felt like a curse on him. Things got worse when his mother, Shirley Ntau eventually got married and the man he called ‘Dad’ never accepted him as part of the family.
His stepfather would scorn him for being the only black child in the family whilst other children were light in complexion and always reminded him how he was not his biological child.
“I was about 13 years when I started putting things together and asking questions as to who was really my father, but never got the exact answer. It started with little things like walking down the street wondering what he (my father) looked like, or if I had walked past him, this was the torture that I grew up faced with,” Ntau said, narrating his sad plight to The Monitor.
He, however, said that he tried to sit his mother down numerous times to get answers to questions about his father’s whereabouts, but the only thing he got from her was the name, Gaolatlhe Taunyane. “She (my mother) claimed not to know where my father originated from, but just said they met in Selebi-Phikwe where he was temporarily engaged at BCL Mine from Debswana Mine at Orapa where he was based.
She told me that my father left her when she was five months pregnant and never came back. I tried to locate him to no avail,” Ntau said.
Now the father of a two-year-old boy, Ntau narrated how growing up without his biological father had brought its own setbacks. He said at times whilst alone, he would wonder how his father sounded when he spoke, the desire to hear his voice and such thoughts ate him up constantly.
Growing up with his siblings and seeing them showered with love by their mother and his stepfather was always a torture
“It felt sad seeing other children being dropped off and being picked up by their fathers at school, looking so happy as a family. It was the kind of feeling I have never experienced in my life,” he said.
The unemployed Ntau always hoped his father would one day realise the error of his ways and just come back to him to just say ‘My son I am sorry for not being part of your life’.
However, it is hard for him to pretend his father never existed and cannot stop yearning to meet him. He said that it is not like he wants his financial support or anything, but he just wants to know who his father really is and see him face-to-face.
Despite his mother having played both roles, the feeling of knowing his biological father haunts Ntau and he is hopeful that he might find closure after meeting him.
Ntau who holds a certificate in environmental health and safety yearns for his biological father’s love.
He said the anxiety attacks increased after his child was born not knowing what his son’s totem is. “Growing up at school, other children used to laugh at me not for knowing my totem when questioned by our teachers.
“This hurts me the most now that I have a child and will surely experience the same torture at school. I want to meet my father wherever he is. I wish him to read this article and consider meeting me so that I can have closure,” Ntau said in hope.