All too often, we hear about people who give up on life with the excuse that they were dealt a bad hand. And sometimes, you’ll come across people who manage to get past the rough upbringing, they’ve had to learn from negative experiences and they emerge as a rare diamond. Albert Jumbe never felt what it was like to be raised by his own father, yet it inspired his biggest dream of someday becoming the best father he could possibly be.
Years later, he’s become living proof that being a father isn’t a skill you are born with or that you can learn from others, but it is more of a personal journey – something that you learn over time and experience. We are so proud of the man Albert has become! Our latest conversation has him opening up to us about his past and touches on his words of advice for a better future. We present all the best parts of that interview here!
AAF: Can you tell us about your family and upbringing?
Albert: My name is Albert Jumbe and I am from the Singida Region, which is the Central part of Tanzania. My father abandoned my mother when she was pregnant and refused to acknowledge me as his child because she was from a poor family. This is the reason why I was raised solely by my mother.
Despite the odds, my mother managed to raise me and my two sisters. I was also able to go to school and later attend college, where I studied to become a tour operator. I run a Safari Tours company now.
AAF: What lessons have you learned from your men role models – uncles & any other men you admire?
Albert: I learned to protect my wife and children, and to work hard to provide them with what they need. I make sure that my wife is safe from anyone who might want to take advantage of her or look down upon her. I have learned to love and discipline my children so that they all live according to the norms of society and not to misbehave.
AAF: What experiences influenced your views on how you would raise your own children?
Albert: I lived a horrible life on the streets and always admired families where there was love. This is what I wanted for my children – to be bought up within a loving family.
AAF: You are considered a role model for your and many of Asante Africa’s kids. What are the things you would like them to learn from you?
Albert: I want the kids to know that there are people who love us, even if they are not from our own families. That even though we experience poverty, there is still hope and possibility to come out of it. Finally, they should always try their level best since there is always a way and a better life ahead.
AAF: In your experience, what does it take to be a good father?
Albert: It is a feeling that comes to you over time. Growing up, I saw my step father beat my mother and saw her suffer. And after everything I saw in my family and community, I promised myself that I will always take care of my wife and children.
AAF: If asked, what will your kids say they like and least like about you?
Albert: What they would say they like about me is that I am a loving and a supportive father. And so they can treat me as a friend. What they don’t like is that I am always asking them to be responsible and accountable for their mistakes. Also they’re not happy when I have to travel a lot for work and come home late.
AAF: What are your favorite memories with your children?
Albert: When I touched my child Alpha for the first time in the hospital, I knew that I had become a ‘father’. She changed my life. That is my biggest memory.
AAF: How do you spend time with your kids?
Albert: Whenever I have time, I always spend it with my family. I go out with my kids over the weekends to strengthen my bond with them.
AAF: What do you want your kids to grow up to be?
Albert: I want them to grow up to be responsible and accountable, to respect and love everyone, and to be able to touch peoples’ lives. I want them to achieve all their dreams.
Albert: Asante Africa has changed my life and made me a good man. They have taught me to share my life with people; to love, be respectful, and be very close to the community; to recognize the value in people.
I have also made very loving and supportive friends
AAF: Any other thoughts you would like to share with fathers everywhere in the world?
Albert: Please take at least 10 minutes to think of what you will do to make this world a better place. We create problems when we don’t care. Fathers are the ones who can either destroy their families or make it a happy home. We are responsible for our children, and what we teach them is how they will live.