“A mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity. It dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path, the only love that I really believe in is a mother’s love for her children. God could not be everywhere, so he created mothers. A mother’s love will never end it is there from beginning to end, and there is nothing as powerful as a mothers love.” These and many other statements alike are what we hear, read and see a lot as regard the affectionate sentiments of a mother.
It is often that we find ourselves talking about a mother’s love for her children. We hold in high esteem the love of a mother. Society has told us that the love of a mother towards her children is second to none but Gods love for his children. We have set apart days for the celebration of mothers. We have days like women’s day and mother’s day. On these days we honor our mothers and women. Do not get me wrong, I see nothing wrong in recognizing, appreciating and celebrating our mothers. I am not saying it is wrong to hold in high esteem the love of a mother.
My concern is with the forgotten father. I wonder why society does not recognize, appreciate and celebrate our fathers. I wonder why society has not set apart days to celebrate our fathers like Men’s day and father’s day. I wonder why society does not celebrate with so much effort, support and joy our fathers. Is it because our fathers do not love us? Is it only a mother who loves her children and a father does not? This kept me wondering and eventually made me ask the question, what is love? Going by the oxford dictionary definition, love is a profound and caring affection towards someone. Ironically it goes on to give an example in a sentence, “a mother’s love is not easily shaken”. Love is an affectionate, benevolent concern or care for other people or beings, and for their well-being. So from the definitions presented here, we understand that when you love someone you care for them and you are concerned with their well-being. You would go out of your way and sacrifice your comfort for their comfort. Now the word sacrifice means to give up something important or valuable to you in order to get or do something that seems more important.
Most fathers give up the comfort of enjoying the pleasures of life for their children or should I say families. Most fathers put their lives on the line just so their children can have something to eat. Most fathers instead of spending money on a new car would rather spend that money on their children’s education. Now again do not get me wrong, I am not talking about men who impregnate women and run away from the responsibility of raising the child and taking care of the child but I am talking about the men who own up and take responsibility for their children even children who are not their own.
One thing we should not forget is that, any man can make a baby, but it takes a real man or should I say a Father to take up the responsibility and raise that child. When a man decides to take up that responsibility there are many things he gives up or should I say there are many things he sacrifices for his children. When a man is able to do this for his children then and only then do we call such a man a father.
In Africa we have so many mines and most employees that go underground to mine these minerals are men and fathers. There are so may risks that accompany these men underground, for example; the ground may collapse and burry them underground, an explosive may accidentally go off and kill them, the supply of oxygen at any time may be interrupted even just for 5 to 10 minutes making them suffocate and die, they inhale toxic substances that destroy their lungs, electricity is in abundance and in high voltage which may electrocute anyone just by a simple mistake and many other risks. According to a study conducted of mining accident casualties of 91 mining accidents from a platinum mine in South Africa between 2010 to 2012. The results obtained showed that while routine violations (45% of all accidents analyzed) were the most common form of human error, problems in the physical environment of workers were the most common work place factor (39.6% of all accidents analyzed). The outcome of this study demonstrates that systematic factors, rather than human errors and violations are the chief causes of accidents in the mining sector.
We also have taxi drivers, bus drivers, truck drivers who risk their lives everyday on the road. According to an analysis based on data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting system (FARS) statistics show that 71% of all motor vehicle crash deaths in 2018 were males. Males accounted for 71% of passenger vehicle driver deaths, 97% of large truck driver deaths… the list is long, there are many other professions, trades and crafts that these fathers are involved, in which there are so many dangers that these same fathers are exposed to but all in an effort to take care of their families and children. All they want is to feed their families and take their children to school.
So inasmuch as talking about a mother’s love and how wonderful it is we should also talk about a Father’s Sacrifice. We should not put aside and neglect the Father because he too loves his children. Love and sacrifice are inseparable. If you love someone you will be willing to sacrifice for that person and if you are willing to sacrifice for a person other than yourself it simply means you love that person. So father also loves. A father loves his children his family and is willing to sacrifice for them. Let us not only talk about the love of a mother but side by side let us also talk about the sacrifice of a father. The love of a mother and the sacrifice of a father are both experienced by the child and add to the development and growth of the child. This means they should be equally talked about, recognized, appreciated and celebrated. I look forward to an Internationally acclaimed Father’s Day, through which we can globally honor the sacrificial love of our Fathers and their heroic persona they add to our society.
DEDICATED TO LLOYD SIMUCHIMBA