Straight and Two Beers: Fathers’ responsibility counts the most

Legendary Hollywood actor Robert De Niro announced recently that he has welcomed a baby at the age of 79.

The Godfather actor was asked by a reporter from Entertainment Tonight Canada what it was like to be a father of six children.

That was when he said he did not have six, but rather seven children, then shared that he recently welcomed a new child into the world.

The Oscar-winning actor’s revelation unleashed congratulations and condemnations in equal measure, largely because of his age.

Hardly had De Niro finished changing his newborn’s diaper than his mate, another screen veteran, Al Pacino revealed that he also had a bun in the over with his 29-year-old girlfriend Noor Alfallah.

At 82 years, Pacino is no spring chicken. The actions of the two madalas generated so much derision and scorn. They were labelled as selfish for making babies at their ripe old age.

“When Al Pacino turns 100, his child will only be 18,” a fan pointed out.

However, others reckon that’s their business and they have amassed enough wealth for their kids’ upkeep without relying on state welfare.

Closer to home, South Africans feigned shock when then president Jacob Zuma had a baby with a 24-year-old student. Unfortunately, there are no figures of the size of the Old Dad Club.

But there are countless grey hairs sowing their wild oats in their old age all over the place. They don’t make headlines because they are not public figures.

Biologically, men can make babies right into their old age while for women falling pregnant becomes risker in their 40s upwards.

De Niro’s eldest ‘child’ is 51 years old and that qualifies her to be the latest addition’s grandmother already.

But sniggering aside, Father’s Day falls in the month of June and we should talk about fatherhood. Who and what makes one a father? There are sperm donors and there are doting daddies who share all the child-rearing chores.

Some fathers are denied access to their offspring while many others unknowingly raise kids who are not their own.

It is every parent’s responsibility to love and protect their family, and De Niro and Pacino are up to the task.

There is no cut-off age to have a child and it’s deplorable when 20-year-olds make and dump children, leaving the SA Social Security Agency to pick up the tab.

To all responsible fathers, keep up the good work. And to single mothers who want to piggyback on Father’s Day, stop it.


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