Ntomboxolo Matiwane asked Port Elizabeth businessman and former school friend Thamsanqa Ngamlana to share his testimony. This is his emotional rollercoaster of a story.
Having been raised by a single parent under challenging circumstances I will not lie and say I was never a happy child. I had been taught to be satisfied with what I had. So I had one of the best upbringings. It had never occurred to me that I needed a father figure in my life, let alone to ask about the whereabouts of my biological father in our house filled with five most amazing female figures who groomed me. I’m the only male among my mother’s offspring and am followed by two lovely sisters.
His father’s whereabouts.
I had unexpectedly reached a point in my life whereby I was not only willing but mandated to journey into a path of searching for my father’s whereabouts. However the biggest fear I had was to ask my mom for the first time who my father was. Remember that there are some things that you do not just ask or discuss with your parents, especially in my Xhosa community. So this had to freak me out as I had less than four weeks to find out who my father is, and also meet him personally. After thinking about it for a long time, I plucked up courage and dared myself to either be shouted at or reprimanded for raising the sensitive, buried question — “WHO IS MY FATHER?”. But not even the fear of death would prohibit me from asking my mom about my father’s whereabouts in my upbringing. So I did ask — and if only I never had.
Contrary to my expectations, my beautiful mom answered me peacefully and honestly. She told me that she had met my father in 1995. He was a police office in the Transkei and in that same year I was conceived. She told me that she never told my father that she was expecting me. At that time my whole family had moved to Port Elizabeth — except for her. My aunt went to fetch her to join the rest of the family in PE. And so she left without telling my father she was pregnant with such a “now” fine looking gentleman as myself.
Upon receiving this information from my mother I managed to find who and where my father was. Although my mom had even forgotten his name but could remember only his surname, which was popular then, as it was used as his name. Not that I blame my mom though; time does that sometimes. I made an appointment to meet this man and after we met found out that he was a family man, respected in his profession and he had really no information whatsoever about me. He did tell me that he did not even remember my mom, let alone what she might look like. I had recent pictures of my mom with me and I showed them to him and he confirmed that he did have an affair with her — though she looked “grown up” now. But he had not yet confirmed that I was his “son”. Many things were checked in my body. I still have no idea exactly what they were looking for. But I can tell you that the paternal “uncles” would make me stand afar from them as they looked and tried to identify whatever it is that would prove that I was father’s son. After they had finished those inspections they made me open my hands so that they could intensively view both my palms.
After long hours of discussion held at the back of a Hilux bakkie, it was informed by the uncles that I showed and bore symbols of belonging to their family and my father had to stand in front of them and confess whether he was fully persuaded that I was his son or not. And I’m very proud to tell you that he said I was his son that he had never been told about!
You can understand the joy that overwhelmed me in now knowing who my real father was. I came back home the following day and bragged to my friends and siblings who knew their dads. This knowledge changed how I viewed things and it satisfied me fully to know who my father was. I must expose the fact that my motive for finding him was never to ask him for any financial assistance or anything whatsoever. The only thing I was grateful for was that now I had a father and that I knew who he was.
My father and I had agreed that I would visit his home at the end of the first school term. The time finally arrived for the visit. But then, the day before my visit was due to start, my father called me to ask if I had made the arrangements to visit for the whole of the school holidays. And during our phone conversation he told me that he had a confession to make. He told me that ever since my first visit to their house, his marriage has never been the same and that my appearance after such a long time was the cause of the marriage conflict, as his wife did not really think I was his son. Due to this doubt his wife called a family meeting at which she asked that I be taken for a DNA test which would be the only way to erase the doubts she had about me.
If there’s anything I hate, it is to inflict pain and cause discomfort to another person. So, for the sake of saving their now suffering marriage, I agreed to do the DNA test which they had already booked and which was scheduled for the day of my arrival for the “holiday vacation” I was expecting to enjoy in their house. The next day I went to Mthata, where they stay and went to St Mary’s Hospital where blood test was done. We took the test and after two or three months of waiting, the results came back showing that there was no ways I could be that man’s son. We were incompatible.
After I had read the results I thought I was losing my mind and I couldn’t understand why God would put me under such shame and disgrace after I had bragged to so many people, not to mention to have to suddenly lose the joy I had through knowing who my father was. In the space of just a few months things had changed from better to worse –and I felt that I had been better off during the time that I didn’t know my “father” . I told my mom about the test results and up to this day she tells me that she didn’t know any man other man who could be my father other than this one who was ruled out by the DNA test, or rather by Science. Reliving this experience always discomforts me, and I can remember whilst I was praying together with my family before I went to sleep on the day I received the results, a word from (Psalm 27:10 — Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me.) came to my mind, and from this word I took comfort and drew strength. My father could not believe it too when I called him to tell him about the results and promised to investigate, which I think he is still doing.
Since I never spoke with him again after we received the results, I learnt that I was born out of a “thing” and that I’m the consequence of a child’s play. But God had a greater plan and purpose from the word go in His creation of me. I learnt that I’m no ordinary person because I’m formed by an extraordinary God. Looking at how everything has worked out pretty well, I now know that God must’ve taken quite some time in planning my life and all the escape doors he has led through in the situations that I never thought I would survive. Yes, I do not know who my biological father is — But I know that every single second God proudly keeps on calling me his Son and I’m glad to let you know that He’s not only my Father but also my Dad!!!!!!