Patricia Animah Nyamekye, Mobolanle Ebunoluwa Sotunsa, Babatunde Adebua


Single parenting has become a challenge in the African society today. A single parent could be a male or female who for some reason is having the sole responsibility of taking care of children in the family. There have been various literary studies on single parenting, however, most of these studies have focused on the dilemmas of single mothers. Therefore, there is a need to evaluate the experiences of single fathers. This study examines the portrayal of a father as a single parent in Helon Habila’s Measuring Time. This was to enable the researcher to identify the effects of single parenting in the selected text and to explore the coping strategies of both the father and the children. The study employed the tripartite model of father involvement to do a textual analysis in order to assess the effectiveness of the protagonist’s role as a father. The findings of the study revealed that the cause of the protagonist’s single parenthood is widowhood. His fathering styles have both negative and positive impacts on himself as well as the children. The study further discovered that, the father, Lamang, performed his fatherly role of providing the basic necessities of life for his children but could not provide care, love and attention. To cope with their situation, the father involved other family members to take parental responsibility, while the children also sought love, care and attention from family members. The study concludes by encouraging fathers to be fully involved in the care of their children irrespective of the situation, to avoid the risk of waywardness. The traditional role of fathers as breadwinners should be complemented with care, love and attention.


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