" ITREALMS: African footballers: Destroyed by DNA paternity tests - ITREALMS

Friday, June 14, 2024

African footballers: Destroyed by DNA paternity tests - ITREALMS

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In the last decade, one thing that has remained worrisome is how African footballers’ homes are being destroyed by DeoxyriboNucleic Acid (DNA) paternity tests. REMMY NWEKE calls for verifiable research on why such has been the case in order to find a solution and give our footballers peace of mind at homes.
“I never knew somebody could give you what is not yours,” decried Afrobeat maestro, Femi Kuti, on realisation through a DNA test that two of his children were not his in 2014.
African footballers: Destroyed by DNA paternity tests - ITREALMS
Of course, Femi’s revelation left Nigerians mouth agape, while the shock lasted. Though he made paid his promise to return the children to their supposed father.
Looking round in the last decade, there are a number of African footballers who inadvertently or advertently allowed their homes to be destroyed by DeoxyriboNucleic Acid (DNA) paternity tests.

DNA, according to experts at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) is the molecule that carries genetic information for the development and functioning of an organism. DNA is made of two linked strands that wind around each other to resemble a twisted ladder — a shape known as a double helix.

Also, each strand has a backbone made of alternating sugar (deoxyribose) and phosphate groups. Attached to each sugar is one of four bases: adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G) or thymine (T). The two strands are connected by chemical bonds between the bases: adenine bonds with thymine, and cytosine bonds with guanine. The sequence of the bases along DNA’s backbone encodes biological information, such as the instructions for making a protein or RNA molecule. Thus, DNA is the hereditary material in humans and almost all other organisms.

Kayode and paternity test:
A case in point concerning an African footballers destroyed by DNA paternity test, was the recent story that set the social media agog involving the news of a DNA test conducted on the three children of Ex-Super Eagles player, Mr. Kayode Olarenwaju. The report has that the DNA revealed those children were allegedly fathered by a god known as Pastor Tobi Adegboyega, with whom his wife had supposedly been committing paternity fraud.

Though the wife is disputing the test and had demanded the copy of the test and possible redoing of the test, the character of Pastor Tobi ever since this news broke out suggests a putting paid to the allegation of paternity fraud, including his reported claim for the children to ‘return home.’

DNA and African footballers:
There is no doubt that despite their splendid performances in the field of play, some African footballers have come into public glare with their family matters, which some core rigid African culture observers said have become unbecoming and unAfrican to carry family matters to the public-sphere also known as social media.

However, DigitalSENSE Business Magazine peeped into the affected footballers to see how this has affected them.

Subtle research showed that aside from Nigerian Kayode, there have been the likes of former Black Stars captain Asamoah Gyan, former Black Stars player, Nii Odartey Lamptey and former Black Stars midfielder Anthony Annan, as well as Cameroon midfielder, Geremi Njitap.

Marriages Destroyed by DNA:
Another instance is the case of former Black Stars captain Asamoah Gyan, whom it was gathered, filed for a divorce at the Matrimonial Division in the High Court of Accra in 2018. According to reports, Gyan conducted a DNA test on his three children with his ex-wife Gifty.

Gyan had questioned the credibility of his three children and requested for a DNA paternity test to be carried out on each of them to ascertain the truth. Five years after a prolonged conflict, the Ghanaian court ruled on Tuesday, October 31, 2023, that Gyan is the biological father of all three children of Gifty Gyan.

This was after the couple’s marriage made headlines both in local Ghanaian media and internationally.

For the former Black Stars player, Nii Odartey Lamptey, 
DigitalSENSE Business Magazine gathered that all his children with his ex-wife, Gloria Appiah, were not his through a DNA test, as he declared "I thought I was the father but upon rumours that they are not my kids, they said I have to do a DNA," during an interview with Accra-based TV3.

Also in 2018, the former Black Stars midfielder, Anthony Annan, had sought for a divorce with wife, Gifty Annan, over paternity of his children which led to a DNA paternity test.

As said by the wife, Gifty Annan, then, they had attempted to resolve the issue at hand but efforts failed, stressing that “The problem began when I realised he had a child outside our marriage.”

Anthony Annan, 
DigitalSENSE Business Magazine gathered, had claimed the kids were not his and wanted a DNA Test. “We have had several family meetings to resolve the marital issues but to no avail,” Gifty Annan reportedly told Happy FM in Ghana.

And for the former Chelsea and Cameroon midfielder, Geremi Njitap filed for divorce from his wife, Toukam Fotso Laure Verline, after DNA tests indicated the twins were fathered by her former partner and that was how their 12-year marriage collapsed.

What are men looking for in DNA, asks Tiny Voice?
Reacting to what he tagged DNA craze, Nigerian writer and public commentator, Mr. Sunny Igbanugo also known as ‘The Tiny Voice’ wondered what the craze for DNA is all about?

Here is his prose admonition for me:

“So, now, what?

What's the gain of this discovery?

Who gains and who loses? Plenty of mess!

Now I hear the man is threatening to commit suicide.

What happens to the woman thereafter?

Would it stop her?

Wouldn't she sleep with the pastor the next minute of an opportunity?

Be wise men, be wise!

Stop looking because you'll find and when you find you won't be fine!

You'd be the loser!”

Fathers’ contest over DNA, secretly:
To acknowledge Igbanugo’s probing admonition, The Punch in a recent publication revealed that men are often the ones going to search for DNA test discreetly, without the knowledge of their spouses.

Unknown to many, mostly fathers in Nigeria are jumping over themselves to conduct DNA paternity tests, moreso doing so, secretly without their spouses’ consent. This trend has earned Nigeria the second-highest position in paternity fraud in the world, according to a Lagos-based DNA testing centre, Synlab.

The centre also revealed recently that two in five Nigerian men were not biological fathers of their children, just as three in five paternity tests turned out negative, according to The Punch.

Equally, a survey conducted by The Punch, revealed that out of 123 respondents, 70 men said they would get a DNA test done for their kids if the resources are there for the sake of assumed ‘peace of mind.’

Meanwhile, the survey stated that only 11 of the 53 women said they did not mind having their husbands conduct DNA on their children, stressing it would only build more trust in their marriage unions.

Further, the report had it that remaining 42 women were divided between ‘undecided’ and emphatic ‘no’ threatening to leave the marriage should their husband demand a DNA test. The ones who were single among them said they would not marry any man who did not trust their ‘judgment’.

There is an African adage that states that it's only a woman who can say who fathered her child.

In this case, the elders seem to be wise, which goes to show that even in olden days, the issue of paternity fraud has existed, is existing and will still exist but men need to take caution and obviously take admonition by The Tiny Voice, Mr. Sunny Igbanugo seriously to avoid the stories that touch the heart as we learnt that Kayode Olaruwaju was contemplating suicide after the DNA result, likewise Ghanaian Lamptey who reportedly thought of pulling the gun on getting the outcome of the DNA test.

Yes, men could be broken momentarily but suicide or pulling the gun is not part of the solution. Every life matters, as such men should cry as much as one can when disappointed but not bottling up in the name of being a man who does not cry.

Another aspect of the argument was that without Christianity, the issue of paternity fraud or what some called ‘infidelity’ in marriage does not hold waters, because if a man were to marry many wives as upheld in polygamy era, before now following the condemnation of the Christian religious, what exactly should have been the essences of the paternity test.

Unfortunately, the Western Christians are gradually returning to polygamy, as a way of life, while Africans continue to metamorphose, while bearing in mind that in a culture where only monogamous relationships are legally recognized, bigamy is the act of entering into a marriage with one person while still legally married to another.

So, in Nigeria some four types of marriage and divorce are recognized; African customary marriage and divorce; Islamic marriage and divorce, Christian marriage and divorce, and statutory marriage and divorce. The last two types of marriage and divorce are monogamous, whereas the first two are potentially polygamous according to LawPadi.

Above all, living life in moderation is very important while it is key to investigate why African footballers make all the money in the world, while their wives indulge in paternity flings.

The future in any case is usually brighter than we anticipated, so let's hang-on and remain hopeful. There is a south eastern adage that says that “hunger with hope does not kill eventually” for there is light at the end of the tunnel.

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