Everyone deserves to know their parentage


I hope you all had a soothing and relaxing festive season.

Saturday Dialogue with Ropafadzo Mapimhidze

Although the situation in Zimbabwe doesn’t look too good, I never really want to think negatively about life in general especially at the start of a new year.
This is because, that negativity, discharges through the following months, spoiling positives that may have come along the way.

I am aware of the difficult times many people are going through but losing sleep or pondering over these problems will not help at all.

Life has never been a rosy road . . . We have our ups and downs, lows and highs . . . Life is a road filled with thorns and bumps.

And by the way those situations are not permanent.

Let’s keep the faith and say: “it will get better.” And yes it will . . .

It’s back to my first column of the year 2014.

I received a distressing call from one of my many maternal cousins, who said her mum had sent her packing back to Harare when she visited her in the rural areas.

What was her crime? Her dad, who she had never seen, had apparently contacted her, and she wanted to seek permission from her mum to allow her meet him.

I do not know how her dad got my telephone number, and called me sometime last year.

Although I had never met this man, I was very astounded, but also very happy to hear from him.

This man had apparently lied that he was a bachelor and hence my cousin turned her back on him, when she discovered that he actually had a family.
He, however, had not denied paternity.

This cousin was never told who her dad was and asking her mum about him would be met with hostility.

Her mum did not want to talk about the matter, and hence paternity of this young woman, who is now married and has three children, remained a mystery.

When I received the telephone call, I immediately sought my cousin’s mobile number from some relatives and broke the “good” news to my cousin.

She was excited and sobbed over the phone and kept asking: “Is my dad truly alive?”

It was the most defining moment for her. I had only met this cousin only once ever since she was born at a family wedding with her husband and that was it.
It, however, remains a mystery how her dad got to know that I am related to this cousin’s mother.

I then took a major stride and called her mum as soon as I had spoken to this “mysterious” man.

The response was rather antagonistic and hostile. “What does he want? I have nothing to do with him . . . I raised this child alone and he must remain in my dark past.”

I argued that this young woman deserved to know who her dad was, whether or not the father had denied paternity.

But I remember very well events that led to this scenario in the late ’80s.

She was hurt to learn that he was married and did not want to be in a polygamous relationship.

Although I haven’t seen her for nearly two decades now, the hate she displayed as she talked to me over the phone was rather disturbing.

I could feel the bitterness and anger piercing through my ears as she repeatedly said . . . “I don’t want anything to do with that man . . . I will not forgive him for what he did.”

The words were just too strong and they still ring in my ears every time I think about this conversation.

Father of this cousin says he wants to meet the customary obligation and pay chiredzwa (maintenance) in the form of several cows.

Getting dumped, especially from a serious relationship, is one of the worst emotional pains anyone can experience.

Generally it comes as a surprise and feels as if your whole world has crashed down around you.

The feeling resembles that of someone that has lost a loved one through death.

The devastating pain of getting “dumped” is by the way not gender specific.

Men, too, hurt just as much as women, though they may act out in different ways.

Many children have never lived with both their parents and it is often their father whom the children do without, while many, sadly, do not even know who their dad is.

There are mothers who do not want the father on the scene for various reasons, some good and some not so good.

In the case of all children, but boys in particular, the absence of a father can be extremely detrimental.

Fathers play a strong male role model to a boy’s social development.

Although no one has control over the causes of broken relationships, it is vital for both parents to stay fully engaged with their offspring.

But it is not always the case, unfortunately.

How often have we heard messages on radio, or read letters published in newspapers by people wanting to know their parentage?

These offspring normally just want to know and not that they want to get involved with the “deserted” parent/s.

I am at pains as to how I will convince my cousin’s mother to allow her meet her biological father.

In the meantime, I will continue engaging the “warring” parties.


  1. ndezvake izvo anga aripi makore ese aya. he has made it now wants to pay, wat was happening wen he had not yet made it in life, just thinking mwana arikungokura ne mvura yedenga. This guy was watching and thats y it was convenient for him to call u at this hour.

  2. Interesting topic. If the girl wants to see her dad and has consulted with mum and she said no. She should still go ahead and see him. She is an adult and has given the mother an opportunity to be part of it. I appreciate she needs to respect her mother’s views but it’s not her fault that her own mother was dumped. She should not suffer just to please her mother who is behaving like an adolescent. If she is not willing to go against her mother’s wishes she will regret it, let alone miss an opportunity to develop a potentially fulfilling relationship with her biological parent and so will her own children. Once lost this opportunity can never be found again.

  3. Both parents are wrong. The mother should not gotten pragnent by a married man. The proper thing would have been to get married 1st then pragnent. Now having messed the sequence it is evil to deny a child to meet her father. Whatever happened between them its not the child’s fault. She didnt choose this

  4. Thank you for being honest but in this kind of situation it does not pay.Go ahead and meet your father but never tell your mother about it, I do not see a reason why you should not meet him,whatever took place between them is none of your bussiness.For your infomation your mother will discuss this with other people and eventually the bitterness will die down.

  5. I have a more complex but same issue as this one. I got a girl pregnant some 28 yrs ago. The girl then decided to give the pregnancy to some guy whoo was staying 600km away meanwhile we were staying and sleeping together daily. I then went ahead and got happly married and have 3 other children. However every time I see the other child I feel very guilty because its only me and the mother who know about it and even talk about it when we meet. I want my child hence when he was born I bought him nappies blankets etc with the help of what to buy coming from the mother. Should I let mwana achinzi Moyo here ini ndiri Shumba.

  6. same problem . ..ts painful to live without knowledge of who yo dad is.. feels so ashamed of miself.. im -‘undefined ‘

  7. Ko chiredzwa chino ripwa muchihwande here? Mwana akakura kumadzisekuru. Gomba harina mwana. That fella must engage madziSekuru and do the right thing. He is trying to be clever by half. (Where was he all this time? Now he wants to be the Father to a grown woman?) If he has seen the error of his ways he must engage the right people and do the chiredzwa chacho properly.

  8. Svikiro; please be honest to yourself, to your child and to God telling the sinless child the truth. God will punish you if do not do the right thing. Do that whithin one day from now.

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