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June 14, 2021
This Sunday marks Father's Day in the UK and we wanted to take the opportunity this year to celebrate fathers that often go overlooked. We chatted with 3 of our lovely artisans and friends - Jean-Pierre in Senegal, Boniface in Kenya and Joseph in Tanzania - and asked them what it is like to be a Father in Africa. Fatherhood in Africa can often look very different to Fatherhood in the Western world. Fathers in Africa often work very hard to support their families, especially if they live in areas with higher rates of poverty and unemployment. But there is one thing that is certain, a Father's love transcends culture and language. Here is what Jean-Pierre, Boniface and Joseph had to say...
Jean-Pierre and his children
Joseph: I have 4 children, 2 are girls – Ester and Eunice 2 are boys - Milvan and Baraka
Jean-Pierre: Well my childhood journey was not easy at all since i was family farmer and I was eldest boy in the family. I early started assisting my father in the farms at age of 6 six. All the works I was doing is manual. I spent my education years from the age 10 to 22 with other families since my father moved to a village where there is no school. I usually spent 3 months every year with my family during vacations.. This childhood enabled me to build a positive outlook on life and has enabled me to pass lessons to my children like be hardworking and be dignified and respect others.
Boniface: I was raised up in a poor family and I want to believe that my family was the poorest of all if I can guess. I was raised by both parents. The saddest part of my life is that I had a father that was very strict. He never joked around. I only came to realise that this behaviour came about due to embarrassment and disappointments brought about by poverty. I grew up in a Christian home however poor it was, it taught me very many moral and spiritual things that made me grow well. Despite all this, I never wanted to raise my children the way my parents used to. I am trying even harder to ensure that my children are growing in a comfortable ground than the one I grew in. From that time I learned to have a bigger focus on family matters to bring up my children in a way that is needed.
Joseph: My father was Pastor of seventh Day Adventist Church ( SDA) I was raised up in that faith which I enjoyed. I believe in being faithful and I respect everyone. I believe my faith has helped shape my children’s character.
Jean-Pierre: My proudest moment of being a father is being among my family during holidays sharing gifts.
Boniface: When my family is happy, healthier and in good mood. And when they perform well in class.
Joseph: My Proudest moment is when I see good behaviour to my children as this promises a good future for them.
Boniface's and his children Morgan & Ligan
Jean-Pierre: My favourite thing of being a father is earning a living and I am proud when i am to satisfy my family in their needs.
Boniface: Unlike when I was young and unmarried, I was not stretching my mind any further. I am now a responsible father and committed to serving my family. Furthermore I am called “Dad” by my children and also a husband.
Jean-Pierre: It is difficult when you are a father and spend most of your time outside your family. Missing your family is hard.
Boniface: The most difficult thing as a father is the financial challenge. As the head of a family you need to do more to enable your family stay comfortable.
Joseph: You cannot avoid difficulties, 2 of my children are in private primary schools and 2 are in colleges, I have to get money to pay fees for their education, so once I face economic problems it becomes very difficult to me.
Milvan, Joseph & Baraka
Jean-Pierre: My hopes my children 's future are positive: i believe that my children can be among people that can bring change in this world despite the inequality.
Joseph: My hope is to have good future to my children, I don't want them to go through the difficulties I am going through.
Jean-Pierre: My advice to a new father is: cultivate peace and love in the family, ensure children's education, be loyal, tolerant. Honesty and respect.
Joseph: My advice to new father's is they are supposed to a good lesson to their children, Parents behaviour is a lesson to their children.
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