Sometimes good, sometimes bad

In typical African context, a father goes beyond blood ties. With the evolution of time, the perception is fading out. Children, with the influence of some parents, see it differently nowadays. Cameroonian singer, Longué Longué, in one of his songs, said “it is only in times of need that you know your friends”. For the sake of this report, the adage can be paraphrased as- “it is only in moments of agony that a child will disclose who his biological father isn’t.” Testimonies are many. For years, when the going was good, no neighbour in Simbock suspected anything.

Diana respected and worshipped her caretaker father until one unfortunate day when he beat her mercilessly for erring. Neighbours were shocked to hear Diana, in tears, let the cat out of the bag “you are not even my genitor to beat me so violently”. Also embarrassing was a somewhat happy ceremony that turned sour for Luc. He accepted his wife with children born out of wedlock. Without discrimination, he raised them up giving them sound education and facilitating their recruitment in the job market. Then came the time when one of the daughters, Carine, was to marry.

Luc developed goose pimples when Carine’s biological father, invisible for all those years, miraculously resurrected at the bride price ceremony. When he stood to say the girl was his blood, thus, according to tradition, he and not Luc deserved the traditional marriage goodies, Carine retorted politely “you will receive a present gentleman, but Papa Luc is the man I call Father. He gave me all I needed when you were absent”. During “Visiting Day”, a day reserved for parents to visit their children in boarding school and make provisions of food and cash, Joe’s father, a farmer, came modestly dressed, bringing along “Kumba bread”, fried corn and groundnut, and dried sweet potatoes, for his son.

Unlike his friends who presented him to their parents who came in posh cars, Joe met his dad discreetly without his buddies, except for one, noticing. When asked who the man who visited him was, Joe lied saying “our security guard”. Unbelievable, but true!


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