Book Title: Chronicles of a Fatherless Son
Author: Patrick Neo Mabiletsa
Available in print and electronic formats (epub & kindle)
Review by Constance van Niekerk
Mabiletsa, Patrick N. Chronicles of a Fatherless Son. Johannesburg: 2019. ISBN 978-0-6398020-9-1
Patrick Neo Mabiletsa is a South African Entrepreneur, Life Coach and Author of Chronicles of a Fatherless Son, among other books. He lives in Soweto and is a father of two beautiful daughters. Patrick produced this narrative from his own personal experience. His childhood was not rosey, like many South Africans, Neo was raised by a single mother and never knew his father. He spent the greater part of his childhood wondering about his biological father. Patrick says that his older brother tried as much as he could to guide him through the avenues of life but, “he was a brother, not the father, I was not his responsibility” he writes. He dedicates the book to, “all fathers who are doing their best to father their children, the fathers who know that money does not raise children but consistency and love do.”
Through the eyes of Neo, we experience the confusion and uncertainty a son battles throughout childhood due to the absence of a father. He shows us that although mothers do their best to raise their sons after the fathers leave due to various reasons which include death, intentional abandonment, divorce or whatever the case maybe, they are still just women. They cannot teach their sons to be men as they are not men. Only a man can teach a boy to be a man. He attributes the rising cases of violence and divorce in our society to absent fathers. He highlights the role of the father in the family and in Chapter 11, he gives the girl-child perspective.
Neo’s book aims to encourage fathers who abandoned their children to develop bonds with them. He argues that being no longer a part of the mother’s life should not hinder a man from being a father to his children. Many fathers think that as long as they send money or pay maintenance, they’re doing their duties as fathers. Unfortunately, being a father is much more than just financial provision. The father’s obligations are paramount and should never be undermined
Neo shows all the mischief a boy can get up to without proper guidance and lack of a male/ father-figure in his life. The burden that women carry of being both mother and father to children, especially the boy-child is too heavy to carry alone. There are certain talks that mothers cannot have with their sons, which must be done by a male figure. Without the proper guidance, boys can be misled by peer pressure and end up in very bad situations. This also aids in the increase in crime, drug abuse and also father-less children. It is indeed a vicious cycle.
Mabiletsa is a born storyteller with so much to tell the world. He is passionate about changing lives and creating a better future for the coming generations.