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Out with the draconian, in with the affectionate dad

By Vision Reporter

Added 13th June 2008 03:00 AM

With Fathers Day tomorrow, is the draconian dad a thing of the past or does he still exist and has become a wolf in sheep’s skin?
Yesteryear, daddy was not just daddy.

With Fathers Day tomorrow, is the draconian dad a thing of the past or does he still exist and has become a wolf in sheep’s skin?
Yesteryear, daddy was not just daddy.

By Timothy Bukumunhe

With Fathers Day tomorrow, is the draconian dad a thing of the past or does he still exist and has become a wolf in sheep’s skin?
Yesteryear, daddy was not just daddy.

He was the head of the household who put food on the table, paid the school fees and more importantly terrified the living daylights out of any of his daughters or sons who dared to cross his path. If paths crossed, the belt was swiftly removed and the lashings started.

The family living room was not a family living room. It was his den, his play pad and at 6:00pm when he returned home all the kids would scatter from it and seek out the sanctuary of their bedrooms or to the servants’ quarters. Communication with fathers then was on a need-to-talk basis. He militarily asked a question, you timidly answered it and then you fled! There was no joking about and no fatherly warmth.

And he was not called daddy. Well he was when he was not around. If he called you, the answer was simple - “wangi ssebo” and in some extreme cases “yes manager” as Paul an engineer, whose father was a manager used and still calls his father.

But today’s fathers have changed. Aware of the hell they went through with their own fathers, the millennium fathers are far different like our picture of President Museveni shielding his wife and daughter from the sun, shows.

In the old days, a father would almost never shield the sun from his daughter or wife. Rather he would ruefully castigate her for having left home without a hat yet she knew it was going to be a hot sunny day.

Today fathers are bonding more with their children. They understand them and the relationship they have is not just a father, manager or ssebo based relationship, but more that of friends. Fathers can be seen at rugby matches, the Goat Races and other afternoon events with their children.

They even make time and leave the office to go and attend sports days. Like Julian who works in the media said: “my father never knew what school I used to go to. All he would complain about is the school fees and that often came with a beating for not performing well yet I was in an expensive school. He even thought sports day was a waste of time.”

“I not only go to my children’s sports day, I try to give them all the fatherly love that I never got from my father. The best thing that ever happened to me was when they walked into my room last year and told me happy fathers day. If only my father could have been like that.”

Out with the draconian, in with the affectionate dad

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