Editor's note: Fatherlessness remains a pervasive issue in South Africa. Mbuyiselo Botha argues that it is the source of many of the country's social problems.
On June 16 we will be celebrating Fathers' Day. In 1986, I was shot and paralysed by a bullet fired by the police during a march against rent increases in Sharpeville.
It was in that instant that I realised - for the first time in my life - that I missed having a dad intensely.
The void that had been there all the years I was growing up without a father and not knowing who he was or where he was, grew wider and wider at that very moment and caused me so much anguish.
My strong and resilient mom who had been with me could do nothing but break down in tears in hospital. I joined her and we cried together.
Ever since that seminal moment in my life, I have realised that growing up without a father is probably the most difficult and painful life experience for any young boy or man, especially.
It is one thing to know that your father isn't alive to give you the moral, financial and spiritual support you need as a boy, or even as a girl child.
But knowing that he is alive somewhere and yet is not there with you when you need him, must be the most difficult challenge to overcome.
Read the rest at Sowetan Live.
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