Title page for ETD etd-10082011-172837

Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author Nyanjaya, Ananias Kumbuyo
URN etd-10082011-172837
Document Title Absent fathers due to migrant work : its traumatic impact on adolescent male children in Zimbabwe
Degree PhD
Department Practical Theology
Advisor Name Title
Prof M J Masango Supervisor
  • theory
  • pastoral care
  • practical theology
  • narrative
  • migration
  • identity
  • co-researcher
  • Diaspora
  • absent father
  • adolescent
  • qualitative
  • quantitative
  • sacred reality
  • survey
Date 2011-09-08
Availability restricted
Only men can initiate boys into men. Boys are prepared into men by men of integrity, for that reason, when a father is absent a male model has to be found. Lack of models is the number one enemy for our adolescent males in Zimbabwe today. The absence of adult role models means adolescent males are moulded by unsupervised, doubtful and inexperienced peers. In the past the bringing up of a child was a community responsibility. In the present day children are growing up as sheep without a male shepherd. The qualitative and quantitative research methods guided the process of this study. The study revealed that fathers are absent because they have migrated to other countries and that their absence has a negative impact on developing healthy adolescent males.

Migration of fathers to the Diaspora could not be resisted by men because of the socioeconomic and political situation in Zimbabwe. Fathers have left the country for greener pastures. The exodus of fathers to the Diaspora has created a vacuum when it comes to mentoring and moulding of male children into adults. The study carried out with adolescent boys indicated that fathers in the Diaspora are engaged in some form of income generating activities. As a result, some of these men are able to provide material needs intended for their families back home. However, the absence of these fathers has made some children feel emotionally abandoned and betrayed, while others are disappointed by fathers who did not bid them farewell at the time they were living the country. There is another group that felt that the absence benefited them. The absence of fathers destroyed father Ė son relationships, generated anger, bitterness and lack of any future trust with fathers. When children are angered and bitterness resides in them, they would go against their fatherís potential assistance.

On the other hand, in the process of the study on the absent father, a Christian model of caring for an individual and community emerged. The church has been noted to be the only institution that would guide the society to value the job of caring for the people of God who are in needy situations. When the church cares for the adolescents it will be caring for itself as well as the body of Christ.

The author considered the views from James fowler (1981) and Gerkin (1997) on the stages of faith development and the idea of seeing the church as a community of faith in order for this research to portray the community of faith as a Community of Love. This is because it is only by Christís love that people are forgiven by God through grace. In addition, it is through love that people are nurtured; miracles of spiritual and numerical growth are realised. Acts 2; bears witness of the power in love fellowships or communities. He states that in sharing the gospel of Christ in love fellowships each member becomes a part of Christís body that spreads the gospel. The love fellowships make the church to be more than a preaching or meeting point. It becomes a family where all members have the opportunity to share their experiences at fellowship and individual levels. People will not depend on one person for spiritual growth but on each other for spiritual nourishment. Gerkin was important throughout the research with his pastoral care approach of caring for an individual and the communities of a Christian story in addition to guiding the researcher to create a model for a caring community.

Therefore, caring of boys whose fathers are absent requires both individual mentors and local communities to model them. The church has been found wanting by the boys in this study. Boys have indicated that the church was not aware of their pain. This shows that the church was unable to see the depressed and hear the silent voices in order to interpret their situation. This reveals that the church has some parts that need spiritual attention in order for the body of Christ to function optimally. Children will open their hearts in love fellowships in order to be healed, nurtured, sustained and guided through love. Faith will be expressed in a more mature and responsible way when all is done in love.

Faith in this study is the act of love that guides individuals and communities to an expression of freedom and responsibility in trusting Godís presence in human situations. It aims at increasing love for one another and to God. For it is only through Christís love that healthy memories are created.

Chapter one gives the background and context of the problem to the study. It reveals that the motivation to carry out the study emerged from the authorís journey with his father and interactions with young people as a youth pastor. Therefore the socio-economic and political situation in Zimbabwe created an environment for the study to be carried out. In addition, absences of mothers at church prompted him to consider carrying out a study on the: Absent fathers due to migrant work: Its traumatic impact on adolescent males in Zimbabwe. Many women went to collect money from their husbands who are in the Diaspora each month end . Chapters twodemonstrates how a qualitative and quantitative method of carrying of the research is helpful. Listening to stories of the adolescent males enriched the research process. Chapter three dealt with the stages of human development coined by Erik Erikson with the intention to give the reader an understanding regarding the worth of adolescence stage. Chapter four explains father and fatherhood, the role of a father and impact of absence towards the up bringing of adolescent male children. Adolescent males develop their masculinity from their fathers for this reason every child should have a male model in order for him to be a man. In chapter five the researcher engaged in dialogue with adolescent males. Chapter six gave the concluding thoughts and recommendations to the study.

The church has been identified as central in guiding children at individual and group levels in this era. The church should be a component of the extended family that is unique but related to the family units without competing with it. Every son needs a biological father from whom he learns how to manage weakness and strengths in his life and act in response to the challenges of the global village. Therefore, a father ought to be a male person in Zimbabwe who fears God and loves his sons not an angel out of this planet. Finally every adolescent child needs Christian males to guide him for it is through Christís love that healthy male memories are created.

© 2011 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Nyanjaya, AK 2011, Absent fathers due to migrant work : its traumatic impact on adolescent male children in Zimbabwe, PhD thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-10082011-172837 / >


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