My birth certificate ordeal By Imelda Duduzile Moyo My name is Andile Moyo and I am 22 years old. I was born in South Africa and my parents split when I was 5.My parents were cohabitating and my father never paid my mother’s bride price and neither do my maternal relatives know my father. My mother had to send me to Zimbabwe so that I could be raised by my distant maternal aunt Sandisoso that my mother could get a job and support me and cater for all my needs. When I turned five I had to go to school and no school could enroll me with a South African birth certificate and I had to spend another year without going to school and because no one could enroll me, I had to use my cousin’s birth certificate and go to a totally different school so that I would not be caught. When I sat for my grade seven examinations I had to lie and I told my teacher, I had lost my birth certificate and I wrote my grade seven examinations. I passed my grade seven examinations and I went to form one at a local school. My mother passed away when I was thirteen and my dreams of having a birth certificate came crushing down. That is the time I discovered my maternal aunt I was living with was a distant relative and she could not help me obtain a birth certificate. My maternal aunt Sandiso tried to obtain a birth certificate for me but all her effort were in vain because she could not prove how she was related to my mother as they were distant cousins. At that time all my mother’s siblings were in South Africa and with time we lost contact with all of them. When the time came to write my O level examinations, I tried the story I had used when I was in grade seven and this time around, my headmaster would not budge and I had to drop out of school because I knew if I used my cousin’s birth certificate I would be caught and this would be the story of the decade.Dropping out of school meant that I had two choices to stay at home or get a job and since I could not get a job I had to stay at home and help with the household chores and this really broke my heart. About 3 years after dropping out of school I got in contact with my maternal aunt who could prove that she was my mother’s sibling. This was an enormous breakthrough but I had no know how of the next step to take next. A friend of mine told me about child line and I went to their offices to seek assistance. When I got to Childline, they referred me to Trinity Project where they assisted my by giving legal advice and giving me the money to go and register .I have since registered with the help of my aunt and I am waiting to go and collect my birth certificate. Next year, I am going back to school and I intend to write my examinations in November. I will have a bright future, thanks to Trinity Project.

Father’s day…celebrating only the responsible fathers and father figures in our lives.

To me a father is male figure who is responsible, loving, a hard worker ,who can provide and protect his wife and children and Yes he can have flaws because he is not perfect .

In Zimbabwe we celebrate father’s day on the third Sunday of June. Father’s day is a day set aside of celebrate fathers all over the world. However some will agree with me that it is ok to celebrate all he father figures that we have in our lives, because frankly some of the biological fathers are not in the picture and do absolutely nothing for their children. Some were irresponsible to the extent of denying that they were the ones who impregnated the various women that they have had in their lives. Some fathers even had the nerve to tell their partners to abort because they claimed; they were not ‘ready’ for fatherhood. Though children would want to know who their fathers are in the future, if your mother is not ready to tell you about your father just bear with her, because trust me she has a good reason why. Also there is a reason why that man’s name is not on your birth certificate.

Also there are the lukewarm ones, you are not really sure if there are in the child’s life or one, as they here today gone tomorrow. The can pay school fees this term and pay again after two years, never buy food or clothes for their children. These fathers are the ones that usually turn up when the child is working or when the child is about to get married so that they can be the ones who will get to negotiate the bride price for their children. These are nothing but gold diggers with some cheesy story about being confused or lied to and now claiming to be irresponsible and wanting to be part of the child’s life. Dahhhhh… if he wanted so much to be part of your life, why didn’t he look for you and take care of you whilst you still young and played his role as a father.

I understand some children did not even meet their parents because; they passed away when they were very young and father’s day to them is painful experience. Some however see it as a day to celebrate the legacy their father left because they left a lasting memory of how a father ought to be.

The fathers that should have the privilege of being celebrated today are the responsible ones. The ones that have been there for their children. Through thick and thin and who would do anything for their children. I have seen quite a number of fathers who are willing to go to hell and back for their children. They work hard to put food on the table, make sure that their children get a decent education, proper shelter. These are the fathers that are role models that children look up to and the ones that deserve to be celebrated. The society also deserves to have fathers that will teach the younger generation how to treat their wives and how to take care of their families and most importantly how to be good fathers. They have to teach the young men the three ups, to profess, provide and protect .Over the years women have learnt to understand these three Ps.

Isaac is an example of a good father; he knew that his children deserved to receive a father’s blessing. I am sure most us want our father’s blessing not only when we are getting married but for him to just speak a blessing upon our lives.
This father’s day let us celebrate not only our biological fathers but all the responsible father figures we have in our lives. Those that cannot be celebrated are not worthy because they are ghosts or lukewarm, just man up so that you too can get a chance to be celebrated next year. This will give all of the irresponsible folks to go back to the drawing board and strategize about being better fathers that are worth being celebrated next year. To the future fathers look for someone who will teach you the ropes of being the best father you can be.

Enough said happy father’s day….

Talk about irresponsible parents….and them contributing immensely to poverty

Growing up the only thought that came to my mind when I thought of parents was immerse love for their children, security and wanting the best for their children. But it is so shocking how this just changes especially when some of them go outside the country, to the famous “eGoli”. They always seem to forget about what made them leave Zimbabwe in the first place. They just forget that their children need to be fed, go to school, get clothes and get a descent shelter. I don’t know if there is something in South Africa that just brainwashes people and they just forget their responsibilities.

Some even have the nerve to even give their children to strangers called “omalayitshiya” to come and give their parents their babies so that they can take care of their children. I do not know who introduced the trend that grandparents are the ones that should take care of children instead of the child’s parents. What makes matters worse is that some of them even go to the extent of not communicating with their families to find out how their children are or if they are doing well at school. And they expect their children to squeal with joy when they come back from South Africa with absolutely nothing. Some even fail to just send their children’s health cards and some go to the extent, of changing their names and acquiring a different identity. Whatever happened to being proud of who you are and where you come from?

In some cases, the parents take off to the famous “eGoli” without obtaining birth certificates for their children. I mean come one who does that. I for one believe that this is irresponsibility at its highest level. How does your child go to school without one? I honestly do not blame children who despise their parents because their literally shatter their children’s future.
Not all children are gifted academically and some are talented in sports. No child is allowed to compete outside the school house competitions unless they have a birth certificate. Imagine the disgusted look on your child’s face when they are told that they cannot go and compete. If they are even unluckier they will not write their grade seven examinations, and if they are lucky they will not have any luck writing their Ordinary level examinations this leading them to drop out of school.
This usually results in prostitution, unwanted pregnancies, crime and a whole lot of other things because they cannot get any job anywhere because they do not have birth certificates which then enable them to get IDs.

If you did not know, the Birth and Death Registration Act states in chapter 5:02 Section 11 : 2 (a) states that provides that the registration has to be done within 42 days of the birth. The liability for registration is with the parents of the child.
I just wish something could be done to enforce this clause probably stiffer penalties so as to nudge parents in the right direction to registering their children before 6 weeks. This  would go a long way in shielding children from being vulnerable and cut down on the poverty rates and at the same time, not shatter our children’s future.

Also let us remember that it is the sole duty of the parents to register and not anyone else. Single mothers, I know there are those undecided fathers who take up forever to make up their minds whether the child is theirs or not. Just go and register the child on your own. Women are the ones that have the right to register their children on their own anyway. Let’s be responsible parents and protect our children.