MANAMIKE: Broken crayons still color
I am the child you didn’t want. The MISTAKE you chose to sweep under the rug. The one you failed to acknowledge because you had a family of your own.
I wasn’t as special as your other kids that you gave your name, their birthright, your attention, your love.
Grown as I am I still want to say out loud I am Munyaradzi Pasi, son of Dzinashe Pasi muyera Nzou weku Dande.
Every Time I am asked “ Unoyerei?” I choke with emotion because it reminds me of you.
How can I say ndiri muyera Nzou when the very being that made me rejected me and pretends that I don’t exist????
When my friends gather and talk about their dads, I have nothing to say. Some say I’m a bit of a recluse but it’s because I don’t want to think about it.
I’ve had to put my mother’s name on my children’s birth certificate. They carry the name with pride because they don’t know. My wife tells me it doesn’t really matter, it’s just a name, that you don’t deserve me.
But she doesn’t get it. What does she know, she’s a woman and she can change her last name at any point she decides to marry a new husband. But I can’t do that.
It’s not you that needs to deserve me but I deserved a father. A man I could count on. I had to count on other men to be my go to guys, but they had their own kids.
My mother tells me that you had your wife and you told her that you loved her. She believed you. And thought you’d stick by her side through thick and thin.
When I look back now I wonder, how could she be so stupid? Could she not see that you cheating on your wife meant you were not to be trusted? Did she really think you’d change for her? But it doesn’t matter now, does it?
I would have wanted you teach me something, anything so I could say… “ My father taught me abc or my father says “ Son, when life gets tough, you should…”
All I wanted was your time, attention, affection, acknowledgement that I was your blood, your child that you loved. Feelings of confusion and hurt manifest as total physical heartache that cripples my mind and soul.
Sometimes I drive to the lake and sit by myself and cry to myself and wonder what could’ve been. My mother says your presence didn’t matter in my life because I had her, but again, she lost a lover not a father, big difference.
I would have wanted you to come to my graduation and stand tall and proud that I was yours. Instead in this digital age, I saw you attending your other children’s events and how proud they were of you “worlds greatest dad” they call you… but you chose to not even be called “ present dad”.
Your other kids don’t know me, I don’t know if they’d like to, your wife probably doesn’t know and her precious heart would be broken if she knew of my existence .
God forbid you can’t have that.” Time is a healer” is it really? How come I keep hurting, I’ve hurt all my life and the only thing I wanted was for you to accept me.
Acceptance seems like a trivial thing, why should I care about a man who doesn’t care about me? And yet I care. As I write this, Huge teardrops fill my eyes and flood my face, my throat has a huge lump that makes it hard to breathe.
I feel like I’m dying but no one can help me. I wish I had known you so I could have decided what kind of father you were to me.
My children call me the “worlds greatest dad” because; according to them,I am always there. I feel proud that I have done the best I could given I had no one to look up to as a dad. I suppose it’s true…: Broken crayons still colour.
Tariro Manamike is a Zimbabwean radio producer, presenter, mom and health advocate. She has a keen interest in children’s issues and is an avid reader who hopes to make her mark on the African writing scene.