I never met my father. Therefore, my image of fathers has always been idealized.
With increasing Westernization, there is more divorce in our society. The disruptions in families, among Akans, has been exacerbated by our matrilineal systems of inheritance. Even educated people sometimes do not embrace the obligation of a father to support his children.
Added to this is the phenomenon of new wives, intent on separating men from their children. While the men are strong and self-supporting, this is normally manageable. The problem
is when they become weak, infirm and sick. Then the children who were driven away by the attractive new wives have to step in.
The situation is further complicated when there are children, from the multiple marriages. Then the rivalries can even mar the funerals. To be fair, while this occurs more with men, the children of the same mother can also be bitter enemies.
First, as parents, we must never shirk our obligations to support our children. A man who will not support his children because of a new wife is unwise. While uncles may help, it is your obligation to support your children. Do not let any wives talk you out of this.
Second, women should stop separating parents from their children–it is ungodly and immoral.
Third, children have an obligation to support their parents, even if they have been imperfect parents.
Let’s strengthen our families and be each our brothers’ keeper.
Arthur Kobina Kennedy