As 2024 Fathers’ Day Beckons, Let’s Not Continue To See Fathers As Unsung Pillars And Forget Their Sacrifices

By Isaac Asabor
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In the twilight of their years, when the vigor of youth has faded and the strength that once carried families through tumultuous times wanes, the patriarchs of Nigeria stand in the shadows of neglect. These fathers, once the bedrock of their households, bear the scars of a lifetime of labor, their hands calloused from the burdens they shouldered. Yet, as age creeps upon them, their presence dims in the collective memory of society, their sacrifices rendered invisible.

In fact, the narrative of Nigerian fathers is a tapestry woven with the threads of resilience and perseverance. They are the unsung heroes who have toiled under the relentless sun, tilling the earth and nurturing the seeds of the future. They are the guardians who have stood firm against the storms of adversity, their resolve unyielding. But when the time comes for rest, when their bodies plead for respite, the tide of reverence recedes, leaving them stranded on the shores of solitude.

This is the paradox of their existence: in their prime, they are the pillars that uphold the sky, the silent sentinels of progress. But as the dusk of life approaches, their contributions are eclipsed by the passage of time, their legacies fading like the last rays of a setting sun. It is a tale of forgotten valor, a chronicle of strength that endures in silence, a story that begs to be told.

Let us not forget these architects of today's foundations, for their hands have molded the world we inhabit. It is time to honor the legacy of Nigerian fathers, to bring their stories into the light, and to ensure that their twilight years are cradled in the gratitude and care they rightfully deserve. For they are not just the unsung pillars of their families, but of nations and of humanity itself.

Against the foregoing backdrop, it is expedient to opine Father’s Day which is fast approaching, and usually celebrated worldwide to recognize the contribution that fathers and father figures make to the lives of their children is the day of celebrating fatherhood and male parenting. Although it is celebrated on a variety of dates worldwide, many countries observe this day on the third Sunday in June.

Without a doubt, Father's Day which ought to be a day of recognition of fathers all over the world, particularly Nigerian Fathers in this context seems not to be celebratory amidst the celebration of "Omu Gwor” , which lies as an undercurrent of neglect towards these fathers, particularly as the focus shifts to the enjoyment of "Omu Gwor" by women.

The reason for the foregoing cannot be farfetched as the essence of this day often seems overshadowed by the lack of attention given to the struggles and sacrifices of Nigerian fathers.

For the sake of clarity, the term "Omu Gwor" does not appear to have a direct connection to Nigerian culture or Father's Day celebrations based on available information. It seems to be a misinterpretation or a term from a different context. Nonetheless, the sentiment behind the phrase as presented by the user suggests a perception that women are receiving a form of enjoyment or privilege that fathers are not.

This perceived imbalance calls for a deeper reflection on how we celebrate and appreciate the roles of fathers in Nigeria. It is essential to recognize that fathers, just like mothers, are pillars of strength, discipline, and love within the family unit. Unfortunately, their contributions often go unnoticed, and their efforts sometimes unappreciated, as societal norms have historically placed a heavier emphasis on the role of mothers.

Notwithstanding the neglect of fathers by not a few children and their mothers call for the need for the celebration of Father's Day it is an opportunity to rectify this imbalance. It should be a day of profound gratitude, where the sacrifices and hard work of fathers are brought to the forefront. In fact, Nigerian fathers, like all fathers across the world, deserve to be celebrated for their unwavering commitment to their families. They provide not only financial support but also emotional guidance and moral leadership.

In the spirit of equality and appreciation, it is crucial to elevate the status of Father's Day to ensure that Nigerian fathers feel valued and respected. Given the foregoing backdrop, it is germane that communities should come together to create platforms that highlight the importance of fatherhood. Schools, religious institutions, and media outlets can play a significant role in amplifying the voices of fathers and sharing their stories of resilience and dedication.

As we approach the next Father's Day, let us remember to give Nigerian fathers the recognition they rightfully deserve. Let us celebrate them not just with words, but with actions that reflect our genuine appreciation for their role in our lives. After all, the strength of a nation lies in the strength of its families, and fathers are an integral part of that foundation.

Against the foregoing backdrop, while "Omu Gwor" remains an enigmatic term in this context, the message is clear: Nigerian fathers should not be neglected. They are the unsung heroes who deserve every bit of celebration and more. As Father's Day beckons, let us ensure that the spotlight shines brightly on them, acknowledging their sacrifices and contributions to the fabric of Nigerian society.

At this juncture, permit this writer to opine that in many societies across Nigeria that,the dynamics of family care and attention can be complex and influenced by cultural, economic, and personal factors. It is not uncommon for children to show more care towards their mothers to the detriment of their ageing fathers due to various reasons, such as emotional bonds, cultural expectations, or the division of parental roles during upbringing.

In some cases, mothers may receive more attention and credit for their role in raising children, which can sometimes lead to fathers feeling neglected in their old age. This could be attributed to the traditional roles where mothers often take on the primary caregiving responsibilities, forming a closer emotional bond with the children. As a result, children might feel a stronger sense of obligation to care for their mothers when they grow older, despite the fact that their fathers actually took care of them, particularly in terms of sponsoring their education, and in most cases up to university level.

However, it's important to recognize that this is not a universal truth and can vary greatly from family to family. Each individual's experience is unique, and there are many instances where fathers are deeply cherished and cared for by their children in their later years.

It is also crucial to address that neglecting elderly parents, particularly fathers, regardless of gender, can have significant emotional and psychological effects on the individuals involved. Societal efforts to promote balanced care and respect for both parents in their old age are essential in fostering a culture of gratitude and responsibility towards the elderly.

Against the foregoing backdrop, it is germane to opine that while there may be narratives about children neglecting their fathers in favor of their mothers, it is a complex issue that requires a nuanced understanding of family dynamics and cultural practices.

Throwing more light into the situation, it is expedient to opine that in many Nigerian cultures that the traditional roles of parents can often be seen where fathers are typically the providers and mothers the nurturers. This dynamic, however, does not diminish the importance of either role.

Fathers may work hard to provide for the family's financial needs, ensuring that their children have the resources they need to grow and succeed. Their contribution, often in the form of financial support, is a cornerstone of the family's well-being, and yet their efforts are not acknowledged by children who their mothers might have brainwashed against their fathers’ efforts.

In fact, the foregoing views cannot be dismissed by mere wave of the hands as mothers often take on the role of managing the household and caring for the children's daily needs. They are usually the ones who are more visibly present in the children's lives, which can sometimes lead to the perception that they are the primary caregivers.

However, it expedient in this context to admit that both roles are crucial, and the glory should be shared. The efforts of Nigerian fathers in providing for their children are as commendable as the nurturing role of the mothers. It is a partnership where both contribute in different but equally important ways to the upbringing of their children.

Be that as it may, it is essential to recognize and appreciate the contributions of both parents, as each plays a unique and vital role in the family structure. The support and sacrifices of Nigerian fathers are a testament to their commitment to their family's future, just as the daily care and love provided by mothers shape the children's lives in profound ways.

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