Fathers are underrated.
Fathers are the backbone of the family; they are their daughters first love and the boys’ first hero. They are the ultimate role model and our guardian angels on earth. I won’t talk on behalf of all fathers, but of mine. I’m glad I took his name; I wear it proudly. I don’t mind someone ignoring my two names and calling me the surname.
My mother passed away when I was almost eight and my brother almost two. I was old enough to feel his pain or at least understand it. I saw him take care of her. One day as I was watching him wash my mum’s dirty clothes he was sobbing silently, when he noticed my presence, he wiped his tears and gave me a big smile. I then pretended not to have spotted the tears, bend down and helped him. We washed in silence and glanced at each other with the expression of hope that it will all get better.
In that period my mum was hospitalized, I learned to take care of my brother. The hardest task my mum left me with. I remember the day she died. He came home, trying to be strong, asked me why I didn’t go to school, it was obvious cause I couldn’t leave my brother all alone. He sent me to get an envelope wrote a note, sealed it asked me to take it to my class teacher. I knew something was wrong. He hugged me so tightly, I swear I heard him sob. He held me for quite some time and I knew something was wrong. That’s how I knew of my mums passing, through a note. During the burial, my mums’ side of the family wanted my brother and me to remain with them in which my dad refused completely (thank you, dad)
Life after her death was hard, she worked in a pharmaceutical company which refused to give us her savings they ended draining us to the core. (court issues). He lost his job since he was working for the same company. Here he was, a widower left with two young kids, one had not even learned how to speak properly. But like a phoenix, he rose.
He worked as a waiter, in a club. We did not have much, but he made sure my brother and I were satisfied. He used to do night shifts, come like around four in the morning. I remember he once came home knocked so hard but we were dead asleep. So, he had to wait, till I woke up That’s how we ended up using a rug to close the door and when he comes, he would just push the door open. It was our little secret. He would come with snacks from backers Inn. The donut with the chocolate on top was my favorite, as for my brother, anything with cream. Would do it for him. We had phones, dad brought us phones, but they didn’t last more than a week, he would then tell us that he couldn’t allow his precious kids to have the same phone for more than two weeks. Later on, I came to realize the phones belonged to those who couldn’t pay their bills and when they finally came back to pay their bills, then the phones were returned. Still funny to date.
One thing I loved about Dad was the fact that he values education. That is one request mum left him with was to ensure we were educated, a promise he intends to keep for as long as he lives.
The other day he asked me, “after kumaliza masters next ni? “
“Doctorate, hiyo ndio Ph.D.”
“hiyo ndio mwisho.”
“Uwongo, masomo haina mwisho”
I just repeated the statement,Masomo haina mwisho.
Dad got a better job, and we were in a good school. A good private school. That was a private school and private school meant high fees. He was determined we be in that school. But at a cost. We had to forego school lunches and being picked up by the bus. He would carry us to school both in the morning and evening. On his bicycle. The bicycle did not have brakes or a bell. So, he had this whistle that was on my brother’s neck. The whistle would act as the bell. For the brakes, he used to say, “Baiskeli haina insurance” which meant if we ever fell down, just wipe off the dust and move on. we never fell when he carried us. He was a superhero.
That is the bike I learned how to ride and carry passengers, my brother. We fell too many times. Those were great moments. During lunch hours, since our school was close to his workplace, we would go to his place for lunch. Our lunch was his share. He never complained and till date, he insists, “if you guys are full, then I am.” We would go to a hotel, eat and he only takes water. I would tell him, we have to eat together so that if it’s poisoned, we all die. I knew he would not let us starve. We had land, his inheritance. He always said it will come handy. When I was in high school, it did. In my four years, we never paid my fees in the form of cash. We supplied the school with maize. How he did manage to convince the school I’ve never understood.
In all major steps, he has been there for me. In campus, he ensured I got more than I deserved. He reminded me, I should always aim for the best. One time he was in Nairobi, work-related stuff. We were to go for lunch together. He took me to Laico Regency. That was the first time I went to a five star. He then said to me, “acha nikupeleke huku ndio kijana wa mtu asikuringie ati atakupeleka huku” I knew that was an assurance, that I would always count on him.
He always had a way to ensure everything turned right. He is our strength as we are his. I pray for more years with him.
I came to realize that Dad is favored by both God and Man. Things have been going on well for him. And I thank God. It has not been an easy ride, but definitely a worth one. He is the reference I think of when I think of the type of father I want for my kids. He is not only my father but a friend, a counselor, a and a teacher. He is the complete package. I would choose him again and again when asked to.
Happy Father’s Day dear Daddy.