Hunt for fathers is on!

In just a week, the world will once again celebrate ‘Father’s Day’. For some fathers though, this day would bring sadness as they remember that they don’t have any relationship or even access to their children. Others would hopefully feel ashamed; remembering the children they long abandoned.

I cannot speak for other nations, but women in this country have only two major challenges in life; lack of financial security and absent fathers. While most of them accept and deal with the situation in their own way, for many, if ever there was anything they could trade-in their tones of clothing and makeup, then it is to have present fathers in their children’s lives.

As if such mothers already don’t have their hands full, a few weeks ago an announcement was made to the effect that from now on, all children travelling to South Africa in the company of one parent would not be allowed to cross the border, unless the accompanying parent produces the child’s birth certificate and a consent letter from the other parent.  With the recent spate of child trafficking across our continent, the new law is long overdue.

Even though this latest law isn’t discriminatory, in the sense that it affects both men and women, women seem to have taken it especially hard! It is enough having to worry about a dead beat absent father, having to drag them to maintenance courts, for some women, getting them to consent is going to be a pie in the sky!


But, the situation is here nonetheless and one way or the other we are all going to have to comply.  It goes without saying that for some mothers, the new dispensation is going to stress them, even humiliate them in front of everyone involved (families, children, new partners, exes, their partners, immigration and police etc).

While others view this as a bad development, I see this as a blessing in disguise. Often estranged parents behave like juveniles, with others using children as weapons or pawns against each other after going their separate ways. While the little games continue, the children lose out on the other parent. So if there is anything good about this new development,  for the first time, most parents are going to be ‘forced’ to get along, even co-parent like they should have in the very first place!

There are four types of single mothers. The first group is the mother who, when faced with this situation, will get that consent letter by crook or hook. Goliath, as we all know by now, had his little muti locks cut down by a woman while he slept and snored. This type of woman is going to swallow their pride, even use their charm if it comes to that, just to get that consent signed.  The best part; mom, dad and child will all get a good deal. I fall into that category.

The second woman is the woman who long declared the absent father dead; just to avoid questions from her child. Now this is the most difficult one and unless their child believes in resurrection, they are going to find this very challenging because word is, in instances where fathers are deceased, only a death certificate would do. They may have gotten away with that old trick for years, but as they will soon discover, crawling back to a bitter ex is going to be Sunday picnic compared to producing a death certificate of a live, let alone a dead person! God forbid, that the person is indeed deceased, then they will have the difficult task of having to crawl on all fours to the deceased partner’s families, just to beg for a copy of the death certificate. Knowing Batswana families, chances are that they are going to assume that the paper is needed for some fat insurance cash backs, or in some crazy scenarios, for witchcraft purposes!

Then there is the third group. This group is going to find themselves in the most difficult, embarrassing and unenviable position of having their children sired by married men. It does not matter whether the children came before or after the marriages; the challenges are still the same.  If any of you sisters fall into this category, expect an avalanche of white hairs, even diabetes complications!

The last and fourth group is the mother who just doesn’t give a hoot. For this mother, hell will freeze before she begs anyone for some consent letter! For this mother, the children will just have to wait until they are 18 before crossing into South Africa. Because this woman works on her own timetable and lives by her own rules, she may just jump the border with her children, even smuggle her pets along just for good measure, then come back and brag to the so called father!

Editor's Comment
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