ATM Fathers

More than half of South African children live without their fathers, this is according to Tebogo Monama of the Sowetan Newspaper (18 June 2012). Research by the University of Johannesburg and non-governmental organisation Sonke Gender Justice found that absent fathers wanted to be more than ATMs to their children but because of the complicated relationships with their mothers and black customs like “inhlawulo” the kids are suffering. (Sowetan 18 June 2012)
There is a continuingly growing trend of ‘ATM fathers ‘these are the men who plant their seeds anywhere without much thought. They assume the role of an ATM without playing any significant role in the lives of their children. I believe that everyone needs more than just money from any relationship. More especially, as a child we need love, nurturing, authority and validation from both parents in order to be an emotionally healthy individual/adult when you have to raise your own. (Keletso Thobego of Mmegi blogs)
With black culture, costs related to having a child (inhlawulo) and marriage (lobola) are key drivers of why most young black men today don’t want to get married and will resort to being the ATM dad. (blady excuse). When a relationship ends between two individuals who have a child, women tend to be the ones who are left to care for the baby, nurturing and spending more time with the child. This therefore makes it difficult for men to play their parental role (which is not only buying ama khimbi ne bisi or imali ka doctor). When the relationship between two parties involved ends horribly, woman then tend to use the children as weapon to disrepute the father. They tend to deprive the father of time with the child but ALWAYS DEMAND monetary contributions. This is unfair because already mommy is forcing you to have perception of whom or what daddy is in your life. (the financial contributor)
Back in the day, when people had children they were forced to get married. Possibly we should go back to doing this because it did influence responsibility and accountability. This will somehow reduce the nation we are brewing of a dysfunctional society of people intertwined in empty, complicated relations. (Keletso Thobego of Mmegiblogs)