Features In focus

Family time is important

DEXTER NJUKA
I don’t know if I can either rightly translate or vividly recall the lyrics of a song ‘Sikufuna Chabe’ by Danny a local musician. The song starts with the singer telling the story of a young married lady he confronts on the rumors of her extra marital affair.
He has known her to be God fearing from childhood. Surprisingly, she confirms the rumours by complaining that what good would someone do if she tries all her best to please her man but he is never there for her?
“Nanga ninga chite bwanji’, and he reprises her complaint in English by, ‘What can I do?’ before he continues her defence in Nyanja. ‘…What can I do if he is ever hanging out with his friends and always leaving me behind as if I am his house keeper? “So please Danny, talk to the people on my behalf about my situation.” The refrain resonates, “It’s not out of will. I am just a victim of circumstances.”
Without justifying her moral hiccup, this song speaks volume of the family values that have broken down due to the man being an absentee figure. Many a husband are too busy for their families in the name of fending for bread and butter.
Going home after a long day at work, the man can’t even notice that his wife has refreshed and has romantically garbed herself into fragranced lacy lingerie as she seductively frequents the TV room. Alas he has either busied himself onto the phone or glued himself to the television set.
It’s man’s mandate to build up a healthy family status. In the hustling and bustling of time, the man should be able to create family time.  At least a day in a week should be set aside for one’s family. This day shouldn’t be interrupted even by a phone call from the boss.
There is need for the father to always sit down with his children and create an atmosphere where they are able to share with him their day’s endeavors. Especially for the girl children, he is the right person they could find out from about the opposite sex.
One way to enhance family time is to develop the ritual of eating together. This custom of children eating alone in their bedrooms or in the kitchen destroys the oneness. Some fathers are fond of chasing away their little ones whenever they try to get closer.
Once in a while, the man should be able to take his family out for an evening meal or for a night movie or for both. The amusement parks found in most cities are ideal places for family relaxation. These little things are treasurable memories that children will hold on to even when the parents are long gone.
‘House-wifery’ is no trivial job.
It’s no luxury or extravagance that once in a while the man dines and wines his wife out. Just the two of them. Taking one’s wife out or buying her a present can be so magical as to sensualise and revitalise her.
A cocktail glass of juice served to the wife, socked and sponged under foam bath in a Jacuzzi well-lit by romantically scented candle, oh my, what gesture permeating the evening! Who said lodges or guesthouses are for business trips or for the ‘just married only?
I feel for those women who are always alone in bed as their husbands binge and enjoy life with friends and only to go home at oddly hours and drop dead , only to wake up for work. So sad that at times it takes weeks for the children to see their daddy. It’s during those cold, long and lonely nights that women of such selfish men crave for companionship but only to find solace in an inanimate pillow case.
And when he is back, its either he is too tired to meet her famished desire or the wife is too sleepy to ‘perform’ her conjugal duty, yes to perform because it’s like the man has no regards for her feelings.
Then she meets a man who seems to be so loving and caring. He even helps pick up her children from school. At first, they are just friends. The kids call him uncle!
Benignly, these little activities and the attention now being given to ‘Danny’s victim’ innocently fan the flame of her flattened yearning. Soon he is there to help the husband replace the ‘blown bulbs’, ‘flat tyres’ and rid the ‘cobwebs’.
Men it’s about time we reclaimed our rightful place in the home. Come on let’s do it!
The author is a Chaplain for Mupapa Secondary School for the Seventh-Day Adventists on the  Copperbelt and reading for a BA in Journalism & Communication at Rusangu University.

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