I am a daddy’s girl through and through. I have always been close to my daddy. When I was younger, (cos I’m still young) lol, about 6 years old, Sundays were our days. We would always go together for a thorough car wash for his then white Datsun (that is a car brand, right? All I know about cars is my dream car, Porsche, hihi). At that time I think for me it was about the ‘riding’in the car more than anything because what 6 year old knows what bonding is all about?
As I grew up, I found I always at ease with my daddy. My mama has her own special place in my heart of course. Like when I would come from school, I would open the door side, and shout ‘muuuuuummm’ and she would respond a bit irritated, with threats of ‘abiro chwadi’ my mother tongue for ‘I’ll beat you up’ of course she never did. There was just some peace that her response gave my little self. I digress. Back to daddy. I was the one who would be sent to daddy to go and ask for money for stuff, especially by my sister. I like calling her sissy though. I know it has another meaning, but I like what I like. On that note, why is there no sister’s and brother’s day? Food for thought.
I remember the time my dad was working for one of our local newspaper company, Nation. They had this Swahili newspaper called ‘Taifa Leo’. My day would always come with copies home and I would be made to read ‘Taifa Leo’ to apparently help with my Swahili. Okay, let me not say apparently, because I think it helped a lot. I am quite awesome when it comes to languages. My friends say my spoken Swahili is a bit of a mess, I say money has been poured to tarnish my name. Pardon me. And I have always enjoyed reading so for me it was a fun activity really. I didn’t know it would come in handy when writing Inshas (Swahili version of compositions).
As I grew older, my bond with daddy grew stronger. I remember the one time I remember my daddy slapping me. He had sent me to the shop and there was a long queue so it took a while and it was like 7:00 p.m. So I think he got worried and came looking for me, only to find me story telling with a boy… I just felt a slap across my face. And for a moment, I hated him. Or so I thought. How dare he? Lol. Looking back now, I think I was more embarrassed than anything else but we survived.
My dad was very particular about certain things. No roaming around the estate with your school uniform. And it was a thing while we were growing up, right? I don’t know why, but there was just something about all,the neighbourhood kids story telling in their different uniforms. My daddy would not hear any of that. The process was, come from school, change from your school uniform, take tea or porridge, whichever was there, sit down to do homework, take a shower, dinner and sleep. Wait, I forgot about brushing shoes in readiness for the next day. And we had I think 3 shoe brushes. One for getting rid of the dust, one for applying the shoe polish and the 3rd, for making it shine. Dare you use the wrong shoe brush for the wrong process. I still follow the procedure. Though I have 2 really, application and shining.
My daddy, is the one who would help me with my homework when I got to upper class, especially Maths. Lol. And we would have very many random conversations. At this time, my mama had ‘retired’ to up country. She was doing the ground work I guess. But she loves farming so that was a dream come true for her I think. Lol. So my dad and I even got closer. He taught me how to fry ground nuts. From preparation, to just the right amount of heat. That was a lot of fun.
I remember sitting with him on his bed side and just chatting. Beautiful memories. When I first told my daddy I love him, verbally, I can almost promise he blushed. African culture you don’t say such things. Okay back in the day… He wanted me to do print journalism cos he knew just how good my writing was but when I said I wanted to do PR instead, he didn’t try and stop me. He’s always been a believer of ‘whatever makes you happy’. Well, I have ended up loving marketing, and now I am on sales, while still pursuing marketing, and when I told him he was too excited. ‘A daughter after his own footsteps’ lol.
When I told him I had found the man I thought was the love of my life, he was like okay. My dad has 21 questions for the men I say I want to bring home to meet him. There’s only been two though. The first one didn’t actually make it, to meet him I mean. The second one did and my daddy told him, ‘I trust my daughter. And if she has brought you all these way, then you must be special’. I was blushing… Daddy’s little girl all grown up. But the engagement didn’t last long and I told my parents, 3 months later. And what daddy told me, brought tears to my eyes. He was sorry of course, but he also was quick to remind me that marriage is not a competition with a prize at the end of it. And he said there’s no hurry in Africa. What matters to him most is my happiness. As long as I’m happy, then he is okay.
I call my daddy when I’m stressed and need some guidance. I call him just to say hi. The other day after the Government’s budget reading, where they said they were raising taxes on the cosmetics industry, he sent me a text apologising about how cost of perfume has now gone up. That’s the kind of relationship daddy and I have. And I love him to the moon and back. Now, he’s definitely not perfect but what does it gain me to talk about the negative things.
I am grateful that even in his many weaknesses, he stayed. He was around. I know too many people who had to grow up without fathers for one reason or another and so I do not take it for granted. I believe a father is an important piece of a child’s life puzzle. And to that, I would very much like to applaud all the single fathers out there. They who did not choose the easy way out and then their backs on their children. They who decided, it may not have worked out with the mother of my child, but what does that have to do with anything? To the men who stay and take responsibility by agreeing to co-parent, I salute you today. Keep doing your thing.
Positive vibes only today. I think men are bashed enough on every other day so for today, positive vibes only.
Happy father’s day to all the fathers and daddies… (go figure the difference)lol. Love you dad.
Daddy’s little Girl,
Toto, ( direct translation baby)