Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day in Africa?

“The son shoots a leopard; the father is proud.” – Congolese Proverb

Simou (right) is the father of five.  A fisherman, his work is hard in the depleted waters of his little country.  He was helping his daughter and son-in-law build a house next door last time I was with him.  Good-hearted guy in a tough world.

Another dad (left) and grand-kids on the steps in front of his simple home.  He's a fisherman too.  He helped his son buy a home there in the little village by the ocean.  His son is also a fisherman.

“When you follow in the path of your father, you learn to walk like him.” – Ghanaian Proverb

“A mother is gold, a father is a mirror.” – Nigerian proverb.

The oldest grandson (center, right) is doing well in school and fishes with his father.  Bright kid; difficult future in the subsistence economy.

This dad (left) was a taxi driver until an accident cost him his arm and his job.  When I met him, he was tackling the jungle with a machete, one-handed, bringing in firewood for the outdoor cooking fire.  He and his son built this little kiosk where they generate a little income from their garden efforts.  Raising pigs now, too.  His bright, perpetually positive wife manages the books for the business, and all the kids are in school.  A noble fellow, indeed.

Father's Day isn't celebrated everywhere in Africa, but like families everywhere, Dad is a key to who the children will be.  Happy Father's Day, fellows.  God bless you and your families.  Good men, all.