Father's Day Tribute to My DADDY

5:06 PM

During my first year as an undergraduate student, I was in a class and the teacher asked a question "how many of you are from single parent homes?".
More than half of the students raised their hands. Out of those that raised their hands, almost all of them were raised by their mothers alone.

I grew up in an environment where most people who grew up without their fathers did so, because he had died. I'm currently living in an environment where its almost normal, for the father to 'not be in the picture'. Today, so many status updates on my Facebook will be Father's day messages made out to mothers who have served as both. Father's day has a deep meaning for me because, so many people didn't and will never experience what it means to have a father. I count myself blessed and privileged, to tell you about this man: my father; my mother's husband.

I've thought really hard to remember the first time I knew my dad was my dad. It sounds funny, but I just wanted to have a starting point (laughs). Well, your guess is as good as mine; no starting point, I've known him all my life. I have vague memories of being in nursery school and him taking me to school and picking me up everyday. So, let's start from there.

My Father and School Run
During my days in primary school (which is more vivid), school run was done mostly by mothers. I was a child, so I didn't know anything about roles in the family. All I knew was that every day, while mothers were filing in to drop off and pick their children, my dad will be one of the few men on the line. While writing common entrance for secondary school, my dad took me for ALL my examinations and waited outside till I finished. When I went to secondary school almost 3-4 hours away from my home, he missed only one visiting day. I can't remember any competition or ceremony, that he didn't attend. I did my A-levels in Ibadan and when I took JAMB, he traveled all the way from Rivers State, just to be there to support me. I will never forget, the big smile on his face each time I stepped out of an exam hall, not sure of what I wrote, and he would grab my hand and say "I'm sure you did well". He's always had more faith in me than I had in myself.

My Father and His Determination
I won't be where I am today without the fearlessness and determination of my dad. I remember when robbers came and stole from our house, including my school fees (secondary school) and I was to return to school in two days. I sat on the floor crying my eyes out and my dad rushed over to me and said "Don't mind those people, you will go to school". I'm not sure how he raised the money in two days, but I did go back to school. I won't forget all our trips to the embassy; the gut-wrenching visa denials and how my dad kept my hope alive and won't stop pushing. Where his family is concerned, he never gives up or settles for less.

My Father and His Humor
My dad is one of the few people that can make me laugh in a bad situation. He uses his humor to protect us, to teach us, and to inspire us. Till today, I look forward to talking with my dad; I know I'm always going to get a good laugh.

My Father and His Superhuman Skills
There are a lot of days I believe, my dad is superhuman. One of my favorite memories was in primary school. My dad picked I and my immediate younger brother and we encountered the nightmare called 'traffic'. This was when Portharcourt roads were EVIL. As expected, I and my brother were hungry and we had one apple in the car. My dad cut that apple into two with his bare hands (don't ask me how). 

My Father and His Daughter
 A lot of people wonder where I got my orientation about life as a young girl and a woman. My dad was one of the first people to tell me I can be anything and achieve anything. My dad taught me how to have a voice and use it. It was from him, I first learned that being female is not a disadvantage. 

My Father and His Sons
I saw my dad teach my brothers how to respect people regardless of their gender or background. He continues to show them by example how to be a 'Good Man'. He still teaches them that manhood is about loyalty, love and protection.

My Father and His Wife (my mother)
Just thinking about them brings tears to my eyes. I love how he reminds us, she is his wife first before our mother. No marriage is perfect, but my father has always treated my mother with love and respect. Several years ago, I and my younger brother were talking and he said "daddy and mummy never fight". He said it with this curiosity on his face because everywhere around us, it was expected that married people should fight. Of course, I know they have their differences and disagreements, but he has never in our presence, disregarded our mother. The way he treats our mother has set the bar high for the way my brothers are expected to treat their future wives and the way I expect my future husband to treat me.

My Father and His Work
One of the first things I knew as a child was that my dad worked really hard. I remember him juggling two jobs, and barely sleeping five hours every day. He made sure we had the best of everything. Even when things were tight for us, he would find a way to make us happy and comfortable. I remember us going somewhere and all the cars packed were flashy; my dad pulled in with his beat-up car and we all hopped out of the car. I could tell we were out of our league, but I also knew he worked really hard so that he could afford to take us there. He held my hand and that of my brother and we walked majestically into the restaurant. My dad has shown me, that through hard work and God, anything is possible,

My Father and God
My father has shown me God. Not just through words, leading us to Christ and taking us to church, but through the life he lives. He's a giver, he's a lover, and he can sacrifice anything to keep us comfortable and happy.

To my readers, I write this article to encourage every father and aspiring father. The role you play and will play in the life of your children is irreplaceable. Mothers are not and cannot be fathers. It's ironic how I fully appreciated the benefits of having a father when I came to a developed country. It goes to show that no government or system or environment can make up for balance in a family.

For every father who has been and continues to be a father, HAPPY FATHER'S DAY.
To the boys and men who will be fathers, love and respect your wives, love and train your children, and let only death separate you from your family.

Have a Winning-Day

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