I am 24-years-old and I come from an amazing family. My parents are very successful and we live in the most uptown parts of Harare. I drive a Jeep that they bought me and they cater for my every need.
I work as a junior engineer at a renowned manufacturing company. As you can imagine, my life is pretty much perfect. Except for one thing. My father is a womaniser. He has several small houses all over the country, some of them even younger than me. But that is not my business.
Chirikunetsa ndechekuti my mother has refused to ever be involved in the welfare of my father’s other children. In fact, she says she does not care. She pretends they do not exist.
The reason is because some 10 years back when my mum found out about the affairs she confronted him and for almost six months our house was a warzone.
My mum had swollen eyes from the beating. My dad was once cut on his hand vakanoiswa three stitches. Door rakambotemwa nedemo, amai vazvikiira imomo. It was terrible. I was young and I was lost.
My parents talked through it and the marriage survived. They are happy and are celebrating their 30th anniversary next year.
My problem is that my father approached me about a month back and asked that I make time to get to know my half-brothers and sisters. They get about US$500 a month, which will sustain them but will not buy cars or take them on holidays.
My dad feels that they should be allowed to visit the family home during school holidays and join us on family vacations that we go on twice a year. He said he didn’t want to upset amai by asking of her something so difficult. He asked me to go and see them, go to movies and lunch.
These children are innocent Mai Chisamba and I feel they should not be punished for the mistakes of their mothers. I also feel that if I reach out to these children it’s a betrayal to my mother. These children are a reminder of betrayal and pain.
I am confused Mai Chisamba. Is it my place to meddle in my parents’ marital affairs? Should I say no to my father’s request? Will that not just push him back into his mistresses’ arms?
I watched my mother cry herself to sleep, I saw her beaten up, I watched her being hurt. All because of some women out there who decided to have an affair with a married man.
What is wrong with people these days? But the children are innocent. I have forgiven my dad for what he did to my mum. But I will never forget what these women did to my family.
I want my family to remain happy Mai Chisamba. Please help.
MAI CHISAMBA RESPONDS
Yes your parents have done well in terms of amassing wealth, maybe they concentrated on that too much and forgot to work on their marriage. You describe your father as a womaniser, I think that’s very unfortunate for a man of his standing. Having small houses all over the country and creating families that he cannot look after openly is both disgraceful and irresponsible.
I can tell that your mother has gone through thick and thin. She has been physically and mentally abused. She was a victim of domestic violence and this is the woman you describe as someone who doesn’t care. I think you are judging her harshly. You need to be in her shoes to understand what she went through.
When your father is out on his escapades your mum is lonely, deprived of her conjugal rights and even at risk of contracting HIV/Aids nezvimwe zvirwere.
Your father is stealing resources from his marriage to go and have fun. I agree with you that the kids out there are innocent because they did not request to be born in these circumstances.
My advice is do not let your father use you against your mum. You have nothing to do with the point at issue usatenge nyaya. Your father should be man enough to talk to your mother.
You say they are getting US$500 per month and you think that’s little. There are families that don’t get that much a month. Your father cannot just bulldoze, maybe he needs to rope in a professional counsellor and help to map a way forward.
You have forgiven your father, well done. But you are not his wife, mind you baba is messing around ivo mai varipo. Zvakasiyana nekuwana murume aine vana vake.
I am happy that after all this they made up, sando kuna mai vako. Baba has to be extra careful because he should never rub salt on old wounds. Last but not least do not ever involve yourself munyaya dzama small house ababa vako.