Father’s Day 2024: Pro-Life Group Helping Men in Africa Reject “western lies, misconceptions” about Fatherhood

Emil Hagamu (right) and HLI mission in Namibia (left), Credit: Human Life International (HLI)

Roseline Uiras, who works with families in Namibia, is worried that the family structure in the Southern African nation is deteriorating. 

In Northern Namibia’s city of Tsumeb where she is helping to strengthen families in collaboration with pro-life organization, Human Life International (HLI), Uiras has observed an increase in cases of gender-based violence, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning/Queer (LGBTQ), and other western influences. 

“People have lost their identity. It’s very unfortunate that we grow up witnessing tragic scenarios in our communities: gender-based violence, same-sex marriages, and the LGBTQ lifestyle,” Uiras says in her message on Father’s Day 2024, celebrated in many countries on Sunday, June 16.

“We have lost men - lost fathers - as a result of this. Many have run away from their fatherly responsibilities. Some have turned to substance abuse,” Uiras says in a message shared by HLI, and asks, “Who will lead the children? These confused, so-called ‘fathers’? Who is supposed to teach, protect, and provide for their children?”

Uiras relates the story of Mark, the sole caregiver for his four children.


Divorced and in his early 40s, Mark struggled to cope with the challenges of single parenthood after his wife abruptly walked out on the family. Despite the overwhelming challenges, Mark has remained determined to provide a loving and supportive environment for his children.

His participation in Uiras’ life advocacy group has helped affirm his role as provider and protector of his children.

Uiras points to the restoration brought about by HLI, which is helping fathers in Africa reject foreign misconceptions and return to the traditional African understanding of fatherhood, where the father is the sole provider of his family. 

In Tanzania, Emil Hagamu, the regional director of East Africa at HLI is working to deconstruct myths propagated by pro-abortion groups, who he says are lying to locals that abortion strengthens families.

Hagamu highlights the experience of Paschal, a Tanzanian village father and his neighbours, who accepted what they were told by population control groups – that contraception and abortion made families stronger.

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“Anti-life groups taught them that family planning would bring health, prosperity, and peaceful marriages. As they came to understand, the truth is exactly the opposite,” said the official of the US-based Catholic authority on global life issues, including abortion, contraception, and end-of-life concerns.

With the training of HLI, Paschal has learned that the real motive behind the “family planning” push is that there be fewer Africans. He has been able to step up confidently to protect his family, vowing to keep his marriage focused on life, and to teach his children the truth about life.

In his message on Father’s Day 2024 shared with ACI Africa, Hagamu provides insights into the position of an African father as seen from a Tanzanian family.

“In Africa, fathers are typically perceived as the head of a family and respected as such,” explains Hagamu, adding that in his native country of Tanzania, fathers seek health, prosperity, and peaceful marriages for their families.

“The African father is an embodiment of cultural values such as strength, trust, hard work, love, community life, respect and a transmitter of those values to the next generation within his tribe or clan,” he says.


Hagamu adds that in Africa, the father is a protector of the family. He says, “In the event of any danger the father will push himself in front leaving other family members behind him.”

Additionally, the African father is a role model of masculinity, the Tanzanian-born pro-lifer says, and explains fathers in Africa demonstrate attributes such as strength, fearlessness, belongingness, trust, and one who solves family problems and disputes.

The African father provides family governance, Hagamu says, and explains that an African father is good at showing who should do what and is entrusted with the responsibility of distributing family property.

“The African father is a father of children,” Hagamu further says, and explains that an Africa father rejoices in having many children.

“His love and passion is to see he has children who will have children and grandchildren who have children – a continuity of genealogy. Children provide security to the family. An African father is fond of having many children because at his old age children become a source of his living income. They provide assurance of old age insurance just as much a children depend on their father when they are young; a life of reciprocal love, care and belongingness,” Hagamu says.

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In Uganda, HLI’s Fr. Jonathan Opio, shares how bringing men together in conferences that focus on faith and family has been a way of leading them to lovingly reflect the image and authority of God within their respective families.

And in West Africa’s Côte d'Ivoire, HLI has presented “Father and Future Father” workshops, which coordinator Armel Angodji reports were “well-received” and delivered “positive impacts.”

As HLI helps fathers in Africa step up to be their families’ protectors and providers, Urias prays for the upcoming generation of men, that they “stand firm and do what is right for the sake of their children.”

Agnes Aineah is a Kenyan journalist with a background in digital and newspaper reporting. She holds a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism from the Aga Khan University, Graduate School of Media and Communications and a Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communications from Kenya's Moi University. Agnes currently serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.