I’ll tell Daddy

The sound of a wild dove early in the morning wasn’t just a wake-up call. It was more. It meant that I was still a child and could not just do things. My freedom was limited. I had to consult Dad, the master of everything at the time. That’s typically the life of most children, always under watch, but all for the good.

The same morning, you could also hear other fathers shouting a distant away, they called out names of politicians and other prominent people, encouraging them to keep pulling, pulling the plough. These were names of bulls and it was definitely a ploughing season. Every morning of this season, this was the order of the day, but not for me, I was considered too young to be out in the cold at dawn and could only join them once the sun was out.

Even before I could collect my thoughts and reflect on the night that has been, music started playing. Dad would tune to KBC Swahili service every morning. This was the home of all his favourite songs. Not that there were lot’s to choose from then as it is now, but KBC was among the best. The title of the song was ‘Pesa Position’ by Franco, Le T. P. OK Jazz. It would be played more often, in the morning. And that’s how I became a fan of Jazz and Rhumba music. These were songs for peace loving people, a people with big hearts, a people ready to share love and do good. And oops, I forgot to mention, a people who aspired to live larger than life.

Anything that Dad said was good, was good, and that which he said was bad, was definitely bad. He was my superhero. To the little me, he came second after God. I believed that he knew everything and was very powerful. He was available and he followed up on homework. Back then I thought he was being too hard but little did I know that he was simply hardening me.

The little things he did touched in a bigger way. He never did everything, but that made it even better because it gave me an opportunity to self-discover. I did tell dad on all the bullies and mean teachers in school, I did tell him on all the bad boys who used to insult and assault me, I did inform him about my greatest competition in class l. Therefore, I had no secrets with him.

Given another chance to be with him, I would still tell him about almost everything that has happened in my life. I would share with him the good, the bad and the nostalgic moments. I would seek his counsel, I would stay by him sharing all sorts of stories. I would want to here more about my childhood behavior especially those I can hardly remember. I would love to hear him make that promise again, a promise to buy me a bicycle when I do well in school. Who knows what he could have promised to buy me if my life as an adult would make him proud?

Today, my childhood ‘bingwa’ (hero) is resting. He rests well having raised boys to become men. He rests well knowing that his bloodline lives on. He rests well knowing that he would now be a proud grandpa. And alas, he rests well knowing that his teachings on ‘do as I say and not as I do’ were followed to the later.

I miss Dad, a Dad who knew that he could not be perfect, a dad who knew that he could not provide heaven but still made us happy. I miss a dad who was self-aware, a dad who knew his faults but never at any point allowed them to jeorpadise the wellbeing of his offsprings. I miss a dad who fought to his last.

Yes, you did it the best you can and forever I celebrate you. I celebrate because that’s the least of things I can do.

Fatherhood is invisible but invincible. It’s a spirit that never dies, a feeling that never goes.

Happy father’s Day!

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