Tata: Absent

2 nights ago, I got the wrath of twitter. This was after I tweeted:


 ‘Absent fathers breed rapists.’


Somehow, (I don’t know how) but this statement was read as ‘All boys raised by single mothers are rapists.’


Are we so afraid of men, that when it’s time to address a male misbehaviour we find a way to twist it and make it about women?

Well then, let me break it down to you.


When fathers are absent…..who will teach boys how to be men?


This statement was not saying that all kids raised by women are rapists. This statement was saying, when fathers are not there, little boys will hurt and are more likely to go out and hurt other people.


The angry response on twitter showed me that a. A LOT of people were raised by single mothers b. A LOT of people are still hurting about their absent fathers.


This is definitely an issue that our society needs to address.

What are the emotional effects of ‘absent fathers?’

How do ‘absent fathers’ contribute to our social ills?


Men have never been made to take responsibility so I understand why this conversation is a little bit uncomfortable.

Men have been given room to impregnate and then ‘run away.’

 Men have not been taught the importance and responsibilities of being a Father.

Bad baby-daddies get off too lightly in our society. Being a bad father is so normal, that we call baby-mamas ‘crazy’ when they need help.


We never consider the turmoil absent fathers create by not being there for their children.


A child needs both a mom and a dad. Being exposed to the male and feminine energy as a child equips you in a life, where you deal with both men and women. When either of these energies is missing, people tend to find ways to fill that ‘emptiness.’


Children who grow up feeling unloved become grown-ups with emotional issues. If you grow up feeling like your own father ‘ditched’ you…that can be quite painful and traumatic.

Men are not just born rapists….something happens to them.

Rape is an unnatural act of violence…..it is triggered by something- it does not just happen out of the blue.

Rape is a sickness, we have to look at the causes of that sickness.


The statement also did not mean that all rapists don’t have a father. However a part of me does feel like the father-son relationship needs to be studied and explored. It has been said that Rape is a crime about ‘power.’

In the patriarchal system we have been raised in, the father is the powerhouse.

The way in which we relate to our parents Does have an impact on who we are.


I don’t doubt women’s ability to raise good, strong men…..but I do feel like a dad has a Very important role to play too.


There are many tragedies that absent fathers have given rise to.

Many social ills that absent fathers have seeded….and RAPE is definitely one of them.


One of the things that Apartheid messed with was our family structures.

Our men went away to work and our sons didn’t have fathers to teach them how to be men.

We are the generation that must end that cycle.

We are the generation where our men come back home.


3 thoughts on “Tata: Absent

  1. The reason for people to rant about your statement.In my opinion is on how you structured what you wanted to say.I am raised by a single parent,family & community.So its unfair to say your statement it undermines capabilities of other strong parents out there.Who have managed to provide for their children.Yes some are still emotional about not having mother or fathers in their lives but there is sometthing called “FROGIVENESS”.

  2. Well I think you have a point there especialy when it comes to the point where most of our fathers go away for a long time to work and come back after a month, two or so, and in their absence no one is there to teach them how to treat or behave around women, how ever our uncles were trying to take our fatheres place back in the days but not anymore, one other thing is that back in the days when “lebollo” was not a business young men were being taught by our grand fathers how to behave when they come back to the community but then money came and ruined everything.

  3. Dear Ntsiki.

    I so wish we could have co-authored this article. I have serious issues with the refusal to acknowledge, and to some extent, confront, the destructive role absence fathers have on our society. And as a result, this plague continues to find root with our brothers and sister, so much that even young men (pre-‘born frees’) are denying responsibility and sisters are ‘condoning’ it.

    The absence of fathers, within the black community, forms the beginning and end to our suffering. Their presence ensures that we have role models and advisers. It ensures that we, as men, understand our role in society and better appreciate our mothers- seeing how they treat their wives. Their presence, to young girls and women alike, forms that intuition of distinguishing between a good man and thug. Forms that confidence to say: “You can’t do that to me, you can’t touch me that way, my father will come for you.” Their presence ensures that they can always say: “I do not deserve this, my father always treated my mother (and me) with dignity and respect.”

    Their absence on the other hand, reeks of ill-informed decisions resulting in long prison terms; allergies for responsibilities; cowardice; failed parenting; Khumulekhayas; and rapists, yes rapists.

    The long and short of it is, until we (both young men and women) confront the fact that notion of absent fathers is responsible for this endless cycle of poverty and deprivation, we will never be free as a nation.

    With full support and more determination become a present father one day.

    Kind regards,


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