Tag Archives: fatherhood

‘Pay up!’ Unmarried fathers’ experiences of fatherhood

Dr. Elmien Lesch Research indicates that absent or uninvolved fathers have a negative impact on the psychosocial well-being of children. This is particularly important for South Africa as it has the second highest rate of father absence in Africa. It is important to keep in mind, however, that the presence of a father in itself…

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Not all women want men to be fathers

Not all men are fathers. Some men will always be just males. Until you have been a “childless father” or watch the Mzansi Magic television series Utatakho you will never know what that means. You will never know the pain, the emptiness that echoes in the heart of a man who is deprived an opportunity…

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Fanon and the South African father

While there is an exciting movement, especially within neuropsychological disciplines, to highlight the contemporary value of Sigmund Freud’s notion of the unconscious mind, it is important not to dismiss the archaic Eurocentric societal tenants on which much of his work relies. However Freud’s psychosexual work need not be entirely derided on grounds of irrelevance. Particular…

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Wanted: Fathers who can put little boys together

Yehoshua Kurland tells an anecdotal story about a lonely boy who waited eagerly for his father to return from work so he could play ball with him. But dad would arrive late, tired and often with more work to do on his laptop. The boy would persist and pester his father. In frustration one day,…

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South Africa is not a ‘fatherless’ country

By Nick Malherbe In the lead up to Father’s Day, one is often made to think of those who are “fatherless” and the high rate of father absence as a “crisis” of fatherhood. But such thinking cannot continue. I would argue that such a “crisis” stems primarily from the narrow way in which we think…

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The ‘fatherless’ on Father’s Day: Voices from the Cape Flats

By Rebecca Helman In the lead up to Father’s Day on June 21, I’ve been thinking about how important it is for us to redefine who fathers are. In a context where scientific procedures such as sperm donation, surrogacy, artificial insemination and male pregnancy are possible, the boundaries that define who fathers (and mothers) are…

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Fire on the mountain

To shout fire is an act of alarm demanding that everything we are doing at this moment is dropped and postponed because there is a real emergency that overrides all other considerations. The fire threatening us all is the failure of our African masculinity to answer so many of the questions that are being asked…

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