Juliet Owitti
Posted July 21, 2016 from Kenya

Like most campus relationships, theirs too hit the rocks four years after the baby’s arrival and Janet attempted to move out of her then 24-year old boyfriend’s almost empty bed-sitter house. Janet could no longer stand her hustling boyfriend who at times went to the extent of borrowing money from his friends in order to give Janet and their daughter a life close to what she wanted. It had him sacrifice a lot to be able to afford diapers for their daughter to please Janet who was fond of lamenting anytime he said he did not have money. Like they say, ‘Even the most patient person has limits’,Ben couldn’t take Janet’s lamentations and unappreciative acts anymore and called for a separation but assured Janet he was still going to look after their daughter.

Days turned into weeks and weeks into months and Ben was still sending money and sparing his time to visit their beautiful daughter who was then living with her mother at Janet’s parents house.

Ben’s move of getting back to the dating game angered Janet which made her deny him the chance to see or speak with their daughter even when she uttered the word ‘daddy’. Regardless of her actions Ben still sent some up-keep money for their daughter.

“Pigia huyo baba yako wazimu umwambie atume pesa!” Those were her usual statements to her daughter whenever she wanted a favor from Ben. (Call your crazy fatherand ask him to send some money). Kimberly grew up hearing her mother talk ill not of the first man she ever loved; her father.

“Kata hiyo simu unanimalizia airtime! Nilikupea simu umwambie huyo mjinga maneno ya school fees si kupiga story,” her mother would shout at her whenever she tried to chat with her father. (You’re finishing my airtime can you hang up, I asked you to tell that foolish man about your school fees not story telling!)

This went on for a couple of months and slowly by slowly Kimberly’s mother turned her against her father without justification; she was brainwashed by her mother hence she grew up resenting her father who severally tried his level best to win his first daughter’s love.

This brings me to my point on, how such a child would turn out to be? What would her relationship with men be like? Did she really hate her father? Was the brainwashing necessary? The increasing number of children being brought up by separate parents is quite alarming. I believe parents separating is one issue and raising a child together but separately is a second and bigger issue that I feel needs to be approached critically.

Well, I must admit that I am a strong believer of family and its primary values and it worries me when I flip through the pages of a national newspaper or scroll down on online tabloid and read stories on more women becoming single mothers, men abandoning their responsibilities and more women thinking it is OK to raise their children without acknowledging the presence of their fathers etc. What happened to our traditional belief on a family set up? What does it mean to be a good parent? Is it possible to raise your child together following a separation?

In most cases such a child is likely to grow into an woman who may resent men as growing up she was poisoned by her mother into believing that men are evil not excluding the first man she knew and ever loved, she may opt to ‘revenge’ by mistreating men who are also other women’s children, on behalf of her unreasonable mother. It is worse for a daughter as she is likely to be 100% brainwashed by her mother unlike a son is likely to turn back to his father for the ‘male’ identity, a confirmation that a mother can play both roles but can never teach her son how to be a man simply because she is not one.

However difficult it may be I believe it is important for both parents to come together and reach a consensus on how they will raise their child regardless of the differences in their relationship. By doing so, they will be mindful and loving to their child’s mental state which in turn will result to a betterindividualand strongeropinions of family.

In cases whereby the father is a threat to your child’s growth, I believe it is better totry and let that not affect your child by exposing him/her to good fathers out here; uncles, male-friends, nephews, cousins, your father as they too could be father-figures…..just make sure they do not lack that and thank me later!

I’m not a parent yet, but when I cross that line I pray to God to guide me through it.

I salute the likes of media personality Grace Msalame for doing what should be done,more somen who play an active role in their children’s( blood or foster) lives.

Train a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it. (Prov 22:6)

http://owittijthoughts.co.keis the link to my blog feel free to read more, like, share and subscribe.


Comments 2

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Jane Frances Mufua
Jul 21, 2016
Jul 21, 2016

I agree with you Juliet that when a man and a woman decides to bring forth a child into the world they should both take the responsibility of bringing up the child. I have had the opportunity to work with  Juveniles/delinquent children.  What I observed was that many of them who were in conflict with the law came from single homes. Most of the times the children did not  know their fathers. I wish to call on the men to be there for their children and for the women also to give the men a chance  to play the role  of daddy in the lives of  their  children even if they are not leaving together. 


Tamarack Verrall
Jul 26, 2016
Jul 26, 2016

Hello Juliet,

It is always a sad event when parents separate for whatever reasons and I agree that ideally both parents find ways to share the child raising without inflicting unnecessary and unfair adult details of a marriage that didn't work on their children. The realities of what didn't work out are so varied, and as we know from so many stories, women leave to escape violence, and in that case have real reasons for not wanting contact for their own and their children's safety. You rightly bring attention to a different situation, one in which the solution could have been more simple and fair. It was encouraging to read of this father's commitment.

In sisterhood,