Expectations, challenges of modern-day dads . . . world celebrates Fathers’ Day

Trust Khosa 

Lifestyle Reporter

Tomorrow is Father’s Day!

Modern-day fatherhood is no kids’ play. 

It has shifted from being the family’s sole provider, chief decision-maker and disciplinarian. 

Most traditional dads have no time for their kids as they only confine themselves to fending for families. 

Once they provide food, clothing and shelter, they simply disengage, and rarely spend time with their families. 

Most of them have no time for bonding, which has fuelled anti-social behaviour among kids. 

A real father should stamp his authority at home, boost the children’s confidence and be a shield to the kids at no price. 

With changing times and trends, gender roles are also shifting and evolving. 

It now takes a modern day dad to cultivate paternal bonds, a prerequisite for children’s emotional and intellectual development. 

Research has also shown that fatherhood is now a crucial task, which requires dads to embrace new roles they overlooked over the years. 

Instead of leaving their spouses to bond with their kids, dads too, have a big role to play and ensure they give children a better life. 

Some of the tasks they overlook should now be fully embraced to avoid the traditional expectations. 

To be precise, modern day dads play a critical role in the children’s development and well-being. 

The father’s influence should never be underestimated since it has the potential to make or break their future. This is the new task modern day dads need to shoulder. 

As the world marks Father’s Day tomorrow, we should not overlook or downplay fathers’ roles. 

The way fathers relate with their kids is also crucial for their social and intellectual development. 

The fathers’ increased involvement in children’s well-being is needed to promote their social interaction. 

These tasks also apply to non-residential fathers who should not be reminded of their roles. 

The Herald on Saturday Lifestyle interviewed some of the modern fathers who shared their thoughts on modern day dads’ expectations. 

It has also been brought to our attention that failure to embrace shifting roles can be tragic as some modern day dads are fragile. 

Poor parenting and failure to embrace changing trends have a bearing on our children’s well-being. 

Harare entrepreneur and family man Garry Muchemwa believes modern fathers should be in good books with their kids. 

“I have a strong relationship with my kids and I try as much as possible to be friends with them and be there for them in times of need. 

“However, this does not mean that being friends with them comes with the flexibility of them behaving anyhow. 

“I also try to enforce some strict measures on them to ensure that they are safe from the dangers of social media and substance abuse,” said Muchemwa. 

The soft-spoken Muchemwa also believes in empowering his kids academically. 

“I expect the best from my children and to achieve this I have tried to invest in their education. 

“They must excel in their studies and pursue professional careers of their choice.” 

With several modern day dads easily succumbing to mental health challenges, Muchemwa has devised a way to win this battle. 

“I make sleeping a priority and also remain positive about life no matter the circumstances.” 

Harare taxi driver, Elias Muchuwi who has been in his trade for 28 years, reckons it’s never too late to accept shifting roles. 

“It’s only now that we are now celebrating Father’s Day and I sometimes forget it. 

“My only advice to youngsters (modern day dads) is for them to prioritise the welfare of their kids. 

“I urge all the fathers to be there for their children and protect them,” said Muchuwi. 

The cab man expressed his disappointment over some fathers who give in to the pressure that comes with fatherhood, a development that has seen an increase in suicide cases among men. 

“We are all aware that life can be difficult out there, but real fathers who have their families at heart should always be strong. 

“Suicide is not the solution when the pressure mounts as we need someone to speak to when the going gets tough. 

Elias Muchuwa

“We should always try our best and think of our kids before we do the unwise.” 

Bulawayo-based marketing executive, Edmore Chivizhe, strongly believes that modern day dads should also embrace women’s potential. 

“Fathers’ Day means a lot for me and my two beautiful daughters and wife,” said Chivizhe. 

“I used to work in Harare, but when I got a job opportunity in Bulawayo, I grabbed it with both hands. 

“I came here to fend for my family to give them a better future. 

“I came here with my family and I always want them to feel their father’s love even if I struggle sometimes.” 

Chivizhe, who works with several ladies in his department, believes it’s high time couples complement each other for the sake of their kids. 

“We should not feel threatened as some of our spouses have pursued education and acquired better qualifications . 

“I believe modern day dads should not stop their wives from going to work as a way of complementing each other. We should share responsibilities and help each other raise our children.” 

The marketer also took a swipe at dead-bit dads. 

“I’m one of the people who don’t tolerate laziness and cowardice from men. 

“As men, we should never give in to the pressure that comes with fatherhood, and take drastic action like committing suicide. 

“We should always seek advice and share our challenges with the right attitude, instead of dying in silence. 

“As we celebrate Father’s Day, we should embrace life as it is and avoid pressure or fear to fail,” he explains. 

Another modern-day father, Francis Mhuka of Francis Photos, believes  in  putting his family first. 

“It’s a good thing that we are going to be celebrating Father’s Day with our peers, but my concern is that we should take our roles seriously. 

“A real father is that kind of person who provides for his family and makes sure they never lack. 

“A modern day father should not be swayed by friends to squander money at the expense of his family. 

It’s a shame to fatherhood when the man of the house is failing to fend for his kids.” 

Mhuka, who admits not being spared from the pressure that comes with raising the current generation, says real men don’t give up in life. 

“I would rather die trying or working hard rather than giving up as is the case with the weak mean. 

“We should always seek advice from each other when the going gets tough. 

“Life was never meant to be smooth and if it was , we couldn’t be working hard as we are doing.” 

Similar sentiments were echoed by florist Lloyd Mkosa who works closely with his ally Simbarashe Manimanzi at Africa Unity Square in Harare. 

“Father’s Day is just like any ordinary day for us because we don’t get gifts as compared to women on Mother’s Day. 

“The only relief that I get is that I cash in on people who come here to buy flowers to put on their late fathers’ graves. 

“My only advice to men is that we should simply work hard and expect nothing in return. 

‘‘We should always put our kids first and find time with them away from our busy schedules,” said Mkosa as Manimanzi nodded in agreement.

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