BEFORE you were born I made myself a promise that I was going to be your role model, an exemplary father. But today, I am all that you should never be.
I am sorry
for leaving you a heritage of a country torn apart, a country, your country in which you will live in fear of one of your own, a country that had so much promise, but is now just another African country brought to its knees by its own people.
Forgive me for giving so much power to one man, a man who now uses that power abusively against you. I have put the lives of so many into one ruthless ruler’s hands. Forgive me.
Forgive me, for I am afraid to speak against this cruelty, plunder and misrule. I know if I take a stand now, resist all forms of oppression, the suffering I am being subjected to, you will have a better future, but the thought of being tortured for that cause presents a bleak future and your further suffering as a better option. I am sorry, I am a coward.
I can only wish I had the courage of your grandfather who selflessly gave his life for the independence of this nation, a cause now lost, for one of its own hijacked that independence to become the worst oppressor this country has ever seen. I am sorry, I did nothing when all this was unfolding.
I am sorry I can no longer afford basic necessities – your secondary education, three meals a day and a trip back home every month are now luxuries.
Some called for protests and resistance against this corrupt regime but I did not take part. I ignored all the calls, even though I knew it was the only way forward. I am sorry I thought others would do it for me.
Forgive me my child, I have set a very bad example, put your future in jeopardy and lost what your grandfather fought for.
I have failed you as a father, I am sorry. I am a disgrace, a coward waiting for the next man to fight my war.
What makes a man?