Tuesday, 06 November 2007

Zone 14: A Story Of My Life.

Life is so full of surprises, disappointments, joy, laughter, sadness and all the good and bad things you can think of. And I had a taste of all of most this, if not all of them. However, being a single parent and or being raised by such – especially mother(s) you go through it all.

It is so amazing how responsible mothers bear, nurture, love, cherish, protect and look after their kids especially when they are less than a year-old although some mothers continue to provide all of that until dead comes over.

The title of this piece was inspired or triggered by a drama(Zone 14) aired on SABC 1 every Monday at 20h30 just after Generations – one of South Africa’s popular daily soapie.

One day A (a young boy) met his father (B) whom he hadn't seen with his own yes but only heard of him through the “grapevine”. I, on the other hand knew my ‘biological’ father but never spoke to nor greeted him whenever we and whenever we met. We passed each other like a stranger you would pass in the city of Jo’burg (Johannesburg).

Back to A and B. Because A’s mother’s parents refused B to see A as he was his father – both A’s mother and father unfortunately broke up and this left A being raised by a single parent (mother). B never saw his son growth nor played with him soccer like most responsible fathers would do. And who am I to judge – the same thing happened with me!

Sadly, A’s mother and grandmother died when he was still young and had to live with his uncle whom he had not seen in three months after he tried to beat him and this drove him to being a kid “livin’ dangerously” on the street.

B invited A into his home and offered food. During their conversation, A wanted some cash or maintenance of some sort from his father since he had not maintained or provided for him when he was still young.

To cut the long story short – I did the same in 2004 when my Mom and uncle told me that they wouldn’t be able to help me further my studies. They therefore, approved that I go to my “biological” father whom I had never spoken to nor said a word to since my birth; yet have been living in the same village with. It was time for him to take responsibility he’d never taken before, or maybe he did, but with someone else or he only heard of it (a father’s responsibility).

What happened then? This must be the question you can’t wait to find the answer to, hey?

When I got there I introduced myself and said all I needed to say. We agreed and I looked for a university to go to the following year. I thought things had gotten better or would at least be better with him working and taking responsibility like a real father should but after a year – I realized man have I got it all wrong!

Just like A – my mother passed away in 2005 when I was doing my first year at university. Unfortunately for me I just kept quiet as he humiliated, abused and drained me emotionally when he didn’t or could send me money when he should have and when I needed it most. I was forced to call him and only to find his cell phone off and on voicemail all the time or at least when I’m calling.

Maybe I had too much expectation of him as a father, or maybe we didn’t give each other enough time to bond, or maybe for me I didn’t have the time and energy to bond with someone I’ve hardly talked to for the full seven-teen years. It was after I turned seventeen, the year I matriculated that I spoke to my “daddy”.

Why couldn’t he tell me or talk to me when he saw me passing and knowing I was his child? Was he afraid that somebody especially my uncle whom I regard “my only father and the only father I know and have know my entire life” would tell him to stop talking to me?

Why didn’t he visit me? What did I do wrong that he abandoned me? Why would he bring me to this world and yet desert me? Is he really my father? Why do people say and think I’m as intelligent and talented as he?

Do I deserve to live or does any one deserve a “father” like that?

These are all the questions I have asked myself many times before and after I had a relationship with him.

I struggled to make him pay university fees that I owed because he had not kept his promise of paying the whole amount. Or maybe I’m blaming the poor “daddy” here without taking into consideration that I went to him knowing he had started a new family and as good as I was raised – I didn’t want to see myself tearing his family apart, or being seen doing that instead, I cut him off my life and even erased his number off my phone and felt much better since then than when he was still a part of my life.

Despite how cruel this might seem – only if you were in my position at that time you would know how it felt!

It cannot be disputed that maybe we started it all wrong with many or few expectations. And yes not all fathers are like that!

All of this brought me to one conclusion which could apply to most people with the same experience and made me have my own quote that: “if you could never be a father then, you can never be one now”.

I guess A would be lucky if he’d a good relationship with his father that I never had with mine.

Like R. Kelly said in one of this songs Any man can make a baby – but it takes a real man to be a father”.

Was my “daddy” a father enough? And what is a father “enough” by the way?


Irvin.m said...

I try to synchronize the two stories you are telling here. Well, I was also shocked by the scene in Zone 14 and it reminded of one of my friend back home, well you know him and his so called father died last year, well the sucker unveiled himself after my friend finished his schooling with no money to further his studies. He saw an opportunity of trying to be a father he never was, well, as you said if you can not be a father then, what ,makes you so sure you will succeed. He failed decimally. My friend's heart was broken all over again, and he got to a point where he was no longer respecting the only guy who let him to his home and treated him like one of his own. The Zone14 script got me thinking deeply, and all I hope was that the young lads out there who are making babies as if the world is ending, well, one day the same script will be replayed except during that time the cast will be different.

Knowing you, and you growing up in front of me and you became my friend, I never knew you were carrying so much on your shoulders, well, I knew you were having problem that involved your "Daddy" but never knew it got to this point. I know it's good to talk about these things but darn man that too much to bear. Remember life goes on, and what you experienced was just a dust standing in your way. You are well of now so I don't see any restriction that will prohibit you to do what you want and become the best you can be. You are a very intelligent ndoda Akanyang and I hope you don't look back jaaka mosadi wa go fetoga letswai babeleng. We all have stories of our lives, even worse than yours. What ever you do, do not forget what your uncle Jack did for you man. I am saying a lot of things here and I know I might not be making sense but try to understand me. What you can do mfana is not to turn out like B. Keep on doing what you are doing because you are doing it so well.

Akanyang Merementsi said...

Thanks Irvin.