Absent dads rebuked

2015-11-26 06:00
 Men attending the workshop listened intently to Khayelitsha Magistrate Court manager Velile Yayi during the last day of the initiative.  PHOTO: Mandla Mahashe

Men attending the workshop listened intently to Khayelitsha Magistrate Court manager Velile Yayi during the last day of the initiative. PHOTO: Mandla Mahashe

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“Being a father is more than just providing financial support for the children.”

This was revealed during a discussion held as part a four-day workshop aimed at developing fathers in the community.

This project was initiated by the City of Cape Town and facilitated by Samila Gender Counselling and Support Services, culminated at the Thusong Centre in Khayelitsha.

One of the main objectives of the initiative was the promotion of responsible fatherhood.

The workshops created a platform for the men to gather and conduct discussions about what this meant and how it can be achieved, according to the organisers.

“One of the key outcomes was the realisation amongst the men of the importance of communication, responsibility and understanding as fathers.

As a father it is important that you do not became a dictator in the house which makes decisions but rather consults the wife and involves the children,” said Samila facilitator Yonela Mazula.

Mazula also noted that one of the resolutions made by the men was the lack active involvement in the development of children.

“Money can never be a substitute for parenting as many fathers seem content with paying child maintenance but fail to be involved in the child’s life. Sometimes even when the father is living with the child but they hardly check up on the child’s home work or go to their school and check their development,” said Mazula.

Another Somila facilitator Ntuntuzelo Pungulwa said that what was key to the great reception of the initiative by the men was the conversational approach.

“The workshops were not about us education the fathers but by allowing them to get in groups and discussing the various areas,” he said.

Pungulwa also noted that many people in the community were not aware of their rights regarding issues of domestic violence.

This was one of the issues addressed by guest speaker on the last day Velile Yayi, Khayelitsha Magistrate Court manager.

Yayi encouraged the man to take a different approach to domestic squabbles as they may lead to bigger problems.

“When your partner or wife takes you to court resulting in a domestic dispute and a a protection order is sanctioned and you break that order it then becomes a criminal matter.

“It may lead to you getting a criminal record which may affect your chances of gaining employment.

“This is why I would like to advised to you today to refrain from getting into physical altercations,” Yayi advised.

He offered advice on various social and legal issues to the men that went back and forth asking questions and seeking advice of on different issues.

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