Too many fathers have ‘Elephant Man syndrome’ – Don Andre says raising children is more than just about money | Entertainment
UK-based dancehall artiste, Don Andre, is urging fathers to play an active part in their children’s lives.
Speaking with THE STAR in a recent interview promoting his latest track, Responsibilities, the artiste lamented that there are too many young men affected by what he dubs the ‘Elephant Man syndrome’.
“There are too many single-parent households, especially in the black community. Too many people are falling into the ‘Elephant Man syndrome’; having kids here, there and everywhere, and this mentality is helping to damage the society. Kids, especially black boys, ain’t having any father figures to look up to because daddy was too busy being a gyallis planting seeds all over,” he said. “In his defence, Elephant Man would say that he provides financial support for these kids, but what fathers like him don’t understand is that mental and physical support is far greater than what money can offer.”
Don Andre said that men should not allow situations between them and their babymothers to decide how they treat their children.
Pointing out that children’s relationships with their fathers is just as important as the relationship with their mothers, Don Andre pleaded with absentee fathers to start making up for lost time.
“It’s never too late to make amends. Don’t make the relationship between the mother and yourself determine the child’s situation. As soon as (the child) enters the picture, it’s no longer about you and the mother. The child’s relationship with you is invaluable. At the end of the day, no one can’t complain as long as you just try to be there. The problem is when you run away from the matter. It’s better to try than to do nothing at all,” he said.
But when contacted by THE STAR, Elephant Man said that he did not regret having so many children “because a destiny”.
“At the end of the day, the whole a dem grow up and the whole a dem all right. Mek a man gwaan talk because at the end of the day, we nuh talk, a actions we deal with, and my kids know dem daddy is there for them. Some man just talk, we a do the do,” he said, adding that he and a few of his children spent Father’s Day morning at his house. “Most a my kids are in foreign and me see dem all the while when me go up go do shows and we communicate all the time by phone. A me grow dem from dem a baby till dem big so me still take care a dem.”
Don Andre, who has three sons, said the absence of a father in his life made him want to go harder for his children. He said in addition to saluting all the active fathers, Responsibilities serves as a lesson for his sons.
“My son was in the studio when I was recording the song, so he saw the entire process and I’m happy he did because the main inspiration behind this song is my kids. I want my sons to grow up with the word ‘responsibility’ embedded in them. I want them to remember all the sacrifices daddy made just to make sure they were all right and that he lived up to his responsibilities and it wasn’t all on mommy, so that when they become parents they will do the same,” he said.
Responsibilities was released last Saturday just in time for Father’s Day.