This year’s edition of the Community Father of the Year Awards and Father of the Year Awards, which shine a light on fatherhood took place in Harare on Sunday 19 2022.
In the Father of the Year category Mr Washington Matiyenga (55) who is the CEO of Washmate Motor Centre was voted the overall winner.
Mr Matiyenga spent 23 years of his life in civil service in the Water Development department now ZINWA before going into business.
In a country full of so many amazing fathers, he took the title Father of the year and he was honoured with such a bestowment.
Such fathers as Mr Alex Mashamanda who took Community Father of the Year Award, Mr Neville Mutsvangwa and Mr Rinos Mautsa who took second and third place in the Father of the Year respectively among others who got honoured with special awards.
For him being a father also includes embracing his Africanness which teaches us to take care of our extended family, including providing them with an education and all aspects of welfare.
“I felt honoured that my children nominated me for this category which was also full of amazing fathers, but to eventually garner more votes and eventually win, is a proud moment I will cherish forever.
His son Victor who just like him ventured into the automotive business and is the managing director of Exquisite Car Sales also bears the teaching of his father.
“The most important lesson I imparted on my son Victor is honesty,” he told Zimbuzz.
“Victor grew up a very adventurous child, from an early onset he was fascinated with learning things that were above his age, even his friends were older pals.
“I then nurtured his adventurous and curious side and he has remained the same boy with a hunger to learn ever since,” said Mr Matiyenga.
“As a father, I’m not surprised he rose to where he is today and I’m glad he is carrying our name with greatness.
Mr Matiyenga speaks so highly of his son and told us that he contributed very minimal finances to his business but offered him more advice than money.
He also speaks glowingly about his other children who have taken up various educational disciplines from Architecture, commercial law, Accounting, and flight school amongst others, in fact, soon together with his wife are jetting off to the United Kingdom to attend the graduation of another daughter.
Parenting can sometimes be easy when the children are still leaving with their parents but once the kids leave the nest, it’s the teaching of old that will sustain them.
“Once children go out into the world to pursue their dreams they mix and mingle with people of different backgrounds and characters, but as a father, I made sure I instilled in them values,” said Mr Matiyenga.
“Teach children Christian values, make sure they have times of prayer, that kind of routine breeds in them discipline,” he said, passionately.
He is a man of faith. Throughout our interview, he would unceasingly conclude every response with ‘But above all instil in them the fear of God.
Society seems to have different expectations for sons and daughters. Like the late great Leonard Dembo said in his prayer-song Mazano: Dai mamupa vanakomana vakawanda rudzi rwake rudiki diki, Mozomupa vanasikana vakawanda madzitete anopa mazano.
(May you bless him with many sons, for his tribe is small, Then give him many girls that will become aunts who give wise counsel)
“One thing I teach to my children, both genders is to pursue their goals without fear, the world is waiting to be conquered by those who dare it,” he said.
For the sons, he said his message is always on one emphasis, ‘be hunters’
Said Mr Matiyenga: “With the roles of Aunts somewhat diminishing because of the way people are now living in different parts of the world, far from each other, I learnt to develop a friendship with my daughters so that communication channels are open,”
He added that children should respect you and not fear you.
With the world in an everchanging world, some changes even giving others a culture shock, Mr Matiyenga said the traditional roles of fatherhood remain unchanged.
“A father must be a provider both materially and emotionally. You should be able to meet your family’s needs and be constantly available,” said the newly voted father of the year.
He says he is also a product of his parents’ teaching and that wisdom is generational.
“What my parents taught me is the same values I imparted to my children, and I expect them to do the same with their own children, drawing lessons from more than one generation of parents,” he added