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I AM NOT A DAD

By Ann Nyambura, published on 28 Aug 2020

“One day my daddy said to me “come we are going somewhere” and we went to Nigeria. At the place he took me there was a lady selling maize. He told me to stay with the lady. When he left, I cried, the lady told me to be quiet. So, I was quiet.”

“I was just a kid and I don’t remember my first marriage.”

“After I got divorced from my first husband, I pleaded with my father to take me to school but he refused. Instead he sent me to live with a new husband. I tried to escape but I couldn’t get away.”.

The flow of this narrative might fool you into thinking it’s a one person’s tale. But hey, this is not the story of a single character nor is it fictional.

They are the voices of a boy and a girl. One from Benin and the other from Ethiopia. Dosu kiki and and Sehenesh 

are their names. Dosu Kiki was sold off by his father. Yes, you read that right. Like a commodity, his own flesh and blood sold him off for a couple of coins to a lady in Nigeria. As for Sehenesh she was already a divorcée at the age of 10 and by 11 she had a new husband.

One may attribute this misfortune to extreme poverty or inappropriate cultural practices and it would be ignorant of us to disregard these facts. For the longest time this misfortune has cost most children their childhood.

The stories of Sehenesh and Dosu are just a drop in the ocean of how society and particularly fathers have failed their children.

Over the year we have found ways as a continent to solve this challenge. Governments, individuals and non-governmental organizations have come up with ways of tackling unemployment and creating job opportunities as well as coming to the rescue of the affected and shining a light on harmful cultural practices in the society. Progress has been made.

But even in the 21st century fathers are still failing their children. So, I am asking around why this is happening, because for one I am not a man and for sure I am not a dad.

Stick around for my findings.

 

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