Brother demanding money for working on dad's house

September 13, 2017

Dear Pastor,

I am writing to you about a problem. I don't know what advice you can give me. I am 29 years old, and I have been reading your column since I was in high school.

I come from a very poor home. My mother had nine children. She died last year. My father is still alive. I know that my mother loved him. He says that he loved her, but he always had other women with her. Sometimes she used to cry and beg him to stop the running around.

Her brothers and sisters encouraged her to leave my father, but she said that she would love him until she dies, and that is what happened.

My father was a farmer, so the house always had ground provision. My mother would get up every morning and cook yam, banana and chicken back for him to take for lunch.

People say that some of his women used to meet with him when he was gone to his farm.

I have two brothers that I did not know until three years ago. My mother said she knew about them.

My father had an unfinished house, and my brothers finished building the house. One of my outside brothers, who is a mason, asked my father if he could add a room to the house, so that he and his girlfriend could live there. My father told him no.

He is making trouble and demanding money for the time he spent working on the house. He is very arrogant. Pastor, he volunteered to work on the house. We did not ask him. And he is like a stranger to us. He said that he is entitled to live there because it is his father's place.

We used to get along until we all rejected his request to add a room to the house so that he and his girlfriend could live there.


Dear L.R.,

Your father might have been a wild man, but it is evident that your mother loved him, and she stayed with him. He was a good provider. He supported his family the best way he could. He did not waste the little money he made. I am sure that he would tell everybody that although he had other women, he loved your mother, and she was number one in his life.

Concerning your brother, he is too bold face. He has his girlfriend and he is in construction work, so he should try and get himself a piece of land and try and build a house for his woman and himself. He should not be allowed to make an addition to your father's house because that will cause problems in the future.

I have one suggestion to make: tell your siblings and your father that everybody should put money together and pay your brother for the work he did on the house. Let him put a value on his labour, and to avoid contention, pay him for the work he did.

The best person to suggest that to him should be your father.


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