Perceptions and experiences of taxi drivers on fatherhood in Wentworth, Durban.
Adarkwa, Sbonisile Ofori.
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South Africa has one of the highest rates of absent fathers globally with many children growing up without fathers. This has prompted many studies to be undertaken in South Africa to understand fathers’ absence with few studies being done on those fathers that are present in their children’s life. Against this backdrop this study set out to understand the perceptions and experiences of taxi drivers as fathers due to the dearth of research on taxi drivers as fathers in South Africa. Taxi drivers in South Africa are commonly stereotyped as violent, reckless and stubborn. With this stereotype in mind it was important to find out their experiences and perceptions of fatherhood and whether the taxi industry environment has an impact on their role as fathers. To achieve this the study aimed at understanding the perceptions and experiences of fatherhood amongst taxi drivers in Wentworth Durban. The study adopted a qualitative research paradigm which was guided by an ecological framework. It was an explorative study which utilised purposive sampling where ten taxi drivers with one or more children were interviewed. Semi-structured individual interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed, the data were analysed using thematic analysis. The major findings of the study were that taxi drivers perceive fatherhood as comprising both biological and social fatherhood. With biological fathers as those that have fathered a child whilst social fathers are those that play a part in the lives of other children other than their own. Most of the taxi drivers preferred a boy child over a girl child with the underlying belief that a boy child will eventually carry on the surname unlike a girl child who will get married and leave. The participants saw their role of fathers as that of providers and protectors of the family and that of their partners as essentially child carers. This showed their belief in the masculine roles that divides the roles of men and women in society. The participants also work long tiring hours which adds to their inability to spend quality time with their children.