Sunday 17 May 2020


I am a married 40-year-old man and blessed with three children. My older brother is 42 and is in the United Kingdom with his family. We both contribute towards the upkeep of our father (68) on a monthly basis.

When our mother passed away, our father married a very young wife, who is 37 years old. We maintain their four-bedroomed house and buy groceries for them. However, I have observed that my father is being ill-treated. This woman is around just for the perks. They do not have any children with my dad but they have so many visitors from this woman’s side. My father is retired and he looks frail because of his failing health. We are worried about him. Similarly, he complains about what happens in his home. 

My brother and I have talked about this and ended up agreeing to put our father in an uptown old people’s home. The problem is the idea has divided the family. Some of my father’s siblings think this is our way of dumping him, while his two sisters are okay with the move. Please help us, we are now confused. We have so far engaged a gardener and a maid to help out. My stepmother is hardly at home although she is not gainfully employed. Baba said she now has no time for him and he is considering divorce. They are customarily married.


First and foremost, let me start by thanking you so much for taking care of your father. The adage “chirere chigokurerawo” is exactly what you are doing. I am so sorry about the passing of your mother. What is going on in your family is a Catch-22.

Your father is at the centre stage and every decision has to be in his best interest. Is his divorce consideration coming from the heart or he is just frustrated about his young wife? 

Divorce is definitive.  I suggest his siblings or professional counsellors sit down with him and his spouse to discuss it first. A rushed decision is not good for him considering his age. If he stands with the decision after counselling, then let it be. I personally do not see anything wrong with taking baba to a home if he is willing to go.

You also need to hear from your stepmother why she is behaving that way. At 68, dad still knows what he wants so why decide for him? Let him speak his mind. It is good to have visitors here and there, but mainini should control them because they both are unemployed. They depend on assistance from you guys. She needs to be considerate. If the home issue is a problem, maybe consider putting them in a smaller place like a two-bedroomed apartment and sell the big house. Instead of having two workers, they will also have one. I would be happy to hear from you again. Sunday Mail


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