Ice Is Hot

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Someone emailed and asked why I don’t write about Tamms anymore, did we break up? (Ho-ho-ho.) It’s because she’s 10 years now, a few months shy of 11-years. And it’s a big deal. I know you must think, but that’s young! It’s not. You should see her; her head reaches all the way up to my biceps.  She’s tall. She’s becoming a young woman with young woman tendencies. She’s not the small girl who used to sit on my knee. (Of course I miss that.) We don’t kiss anymore. Now it’s only the forehead kiss that’s left, and I’m the one who initiates it.

Here is how I know Tamms is a young woman. Whenever I travel I buy the kids shoes and clothes. They are still at that stage where they think all clothes from abroad are good clothes. To be fair to them, some people I know have not come out of that thinking. The same suckers for whom groceries label fruits as ‘imported’ and they eat that shit up. Initially, I’d estimate her shoe size by placing my palm under her feet, because you never forget your palms in the hotel when going shopping. Now her feet are bigger than my palm. Technically this doesn’t necessarily mean that she’s a young woman because there are women with feet smaller than my palm. It just means that I can no longer reduce her to her feet. There was something very tender with me holding up my hand to a shop attendant and saying, “she’s this size,” and the attendant saying, “she is a midget?” and me saying, “no, this is the size of her feet.” She felt small. And she was mine.

I know she’s a young woman because now she doesn’t just accept things that I buy because I’m her father and I decided what’s cool.  Because my kind of cool – your kind of cool, I will have you know – is not cool enough for these 10-year olds. Last time I was abroad she sent me for white ripped jeans (what my dani would have called torn jeans) and some half hoodie (whatever the hell that was). Since she’s now on Whatsapp she sent me a picture of what those items looked like, in case I returned with something that is worn by “old people”. (Like you and me, in this case.) I also know that she’s grown because she no longer counts the number of pieces I bought her compared to the ones I bought, Kim, her brother. If you have two small children you have to buy each of them an equal number of things regardless of the price. If you buy one item less the other will feel like they are not loved enough and will run away from home and live with an older woman or older man who smokes a pipe and never opens their windows. So if it’s three items for the boy, it’s three items for the girl. (A sock counts as one piece.)

She’s a great swimmer. I have a video of her winning some school swimming event. She’s a great swimmer because she’s got long, beautiful limbs which cut through water gracefully. Think of butter and knife. I never cheer at those school events. I’m never the parent who runs alongside the field or pool, hands flailing like a kite in the wind. I sit back and watch the other parents almost fall into the pool, screaming and jumping and going hoarse while capturing the event from their massive iPads. Because I know her. I know the length of her arms. I know the length of her legs. And I trust them. I also know that the other girls don’t stand a chance. Even those boys. When she wins and she heaves herself out of the pool, glistening in the sunlight in her blue swimwear, and her mom rushes over to high-five her – because most mothers in these events are kimbelembele – she will turn around casually to see if I saw that moment of magic and when our eyes meet I will wink at her but she won’t show that she has registered that gesture, she won’t smile back because she’s Tamisha Biko, she doesn’t smile easy. She’s ice. And ice is hot. But I’m cool. I always just know that she knows. I know her magic.

When she was much younger I’d ask her what she would like to be when she grows up and she’d say, “A mother and a doctor.” (I never asked in what order. Neither should you.) Now she says she would like to be a doctor. The mother part is silent. She also loves to cook. Although she can grill a mean chicken, she doesn’t like the hot kitchen much but prefers to bake. I have bought (under her supervision, of course, because I can’t be trusted with these complicated items) kitchen appliances like hand mixers and those special trays (are they called trays?) and cupcake cups and ingredients I have never heard of. Last holidays I enrolled her at a cooking camp for children and talked of preparing dishes I only read about in restaurant reviews. I was bursting with pride, my baby now preparing dishes I struggle to even spell – like beef stroganoff. (I can spell “beef”, though.)

Her cakes are amazing. Okay, they are not amazing, they are good. But one day they will be amazing and people will eat them with their eyes closed. Tamms asked me what I thought of one particular one and I said, “They taste good but they disintegrate,” and she asked, “What is that?” and I said, “They are not solid, when you touch them they break into many pieces.” She didn’t run away from home, so I guess she took the positive criticism well. Now she is working on having them not crumbling.

Sometimes I wonder, with barely suppressed hope, if that is her artistic side that’s coming out. I asked her if she would like to be a chef instead but she said no, she would like to do it as a hobby. Anyhow, I hope she nurtures it but then again if, at 15 years, she discovers pottery, then that’s also fine. I will be the guy who has all manner of pots in his house. I will be the guy who meets old friends in supermarkets and tells them, “My daughter makes great pots, I’m sure you would like one,” and then force them to buy a blue-painted pot. I will be the guy who uses the word “dexterous,” to refer to her artistic hands. But here is what I dream for her. That if God blesses me and continues giving me life and grace, I will send her off to some unheard of Asian university to study whatever the hell she will want to study then. A place like East Timor, or Myanmar or Vietnam or South Korea or even a small town in Hong Kong. A place that completely makes her unlearn whatever she has learnt and that shifts her thinking. That maybe she will love it and she will start a small bakery there (or in Soyo, Angola), something quaint and creative and cozy and in a small town with a population of 2,010, and she will love whatever she’s doing and do it very well and she will live a very small but very rich life full of purpose, devoid of excesses or greed, just being happy and content doing what she’s doing running that small bakery called Black’s Bakery. And once in a while I (60-years old then) will fly out for many hours to visit her and sit in the kitchen watching her bake and clean, or just sit by the big window and read a book or stare out into the small town streets. And her customers will come and ask, “Is that your father? How did he get here?” and she will say, “By boat.” And if she ever decides to marry I hope she marries a man better than me. In whatever colour or shape. But a man who loves her cake.

She’s a phlegmatic, Tamms. Like me. We both don’t talk much. I can read her moods by hugging her and she can read mine by looking at my forehead. We can sit next to each other and say very few words and it is okay. It used to bother me, but I realised that like me, silence doesn’t bother her. We can sit in it comfortably. If I don’t have anything to say I won’t open my mouth. People shouldn’t just speak because their voices work. She’s like me in that regard and I can tell she will grow up not liking loud parties or big groups or undue attention. We are not the life of the party. We are comfortable at the back. My little girl is a leopard, just like her father. She walks the shadows and she knows she belongs there. Whenever I pick her up from school, we exchange niceties, I ask about school and her day and 10 minutes later we recede into ourselves. She naps as I drive. She might wake up and say, “Can we buy pizza?” and I say, “Sure, how much money do you have?” And she offers me the thinnest of smiles, because she’s Tamisha Biko. She’s ice. And ice is hot.

A few weeks ago I went to pick Tamms up from school and as I waited in the car her best friend came to the window to say hello. She’s called Kayla. I was flattered that she told her to come say hello to her dad. Which means she is not embarrassed about me. Yet. Or my wardrobe. Kayla was sweet. And shy. And tall. I said, “I have heard so much about you, Kayla, so good to finally meet you.” I couldn’t think of a joke fast enough because I was overwhelmed with gratitude. In the car she said, “I told Kayla that you are a writer.”

“Oh yeah?”

“Yeah. I told her you write on the internet and newspapers,” she said. “I told her to read the one about when Kim fell and bled at Karura.”

“Oh you read that story?” I turned to look at her, surprised.

“Yes.”

“Nice! Do you read my stories often?” I asked with mild panic.

“Not all of them. Sometimes in the newspaper.”

“What do you think of them?” I asked.

“They are nice.”

Nice. Oh, boy. I wasn’t going for nice. A relative asked me what I think about her reading some of the unsavory things I write here. I think it doesn’t matter. I hope she will accept me for who I am and the warts that come with it. If she grows to make her pottery with her hands, surely I should also be allowed to make my pottery with words. I hope she thinks, “Whatever my father writes has got no bearing on me as Tamms.”  

She’s a young woman now. She isn’t loud or expressive, she just sits quietly and observes. She’s a fly on the wall. Always picking non-verbal cues. Always sussing out situations. She’s not pushy. She will ask for something once and never ask again. Like me, she keeps things under her hat but when called for an opinion she doesn’t know how to sugarcoat it. That’s how she came to say that my trousers were horrible and I shouldn’t go to her school in them. She never shies from saying no, even when an opportunity to impress me by saying yes arises. She notices small things, like I do. She will say, “Papa, is your shirt new?” And in a world where nobody bloody notices your new shirt, that always comes with such warm feeling. She’s very proud. She will not beg. She’s a walker, like me. I suspect that she won’t think twice about walking away from things and people at the drop of a hat. I love that. I hope it means she won’t suffer foolish boyfriends. That she will tell boys, “See this bar? This is how I want to be treated, if you fall below this bar, I’m out.” She is getting to love reading, only she reads faster than I do. I read slowly. With my mouth half open. She’s me, only much, much prettier.

We are slowly embarking on that part of father-daughter relationship where what I do and what I say will greatly impact her life because I’m told that it’s fathers who eventually ruin their daughters. So I tell her that she’s gorgeous and smart and that being tall is not a bad thing at all no matter how many boys in her class are shorter than her. That she should never ever stoop while walking. Walk straight, walk proudly, let the world crane its neck to see you, never stoop for the world to see you. If the world wants to see you, the world will see you. I’m also teaching her to be dependable by showing up when I say I will show up and showing up on time. By doing everything I say I will do. By saying sorry when I’m wrong. By always asking her; “But what do you think?” so that she can voice an independent opinion, even if I will disagree with it and overrule it. And when I fail, and I’m sure I fail her many times as a father and as a man with many complex weaknesses, I try to do better. I’m also selfishly edging her towards the art of writing in the hope that she will find a relationship with words by making her write a composition a week. Hopefully something that doesn’t include “no sooner had she walked in than…” Maybe she will write, maybe she won’t. That’s also okay. She can do anything she wants to do – she’s Tamisha Biko, after all.   

She remains a lovely kid that I’m immensely proud of. She listens. She says sorry. She says thank you. She cares for her little brother. She’s responsible. She prays. She listens to her mother. She’s not fussy. She’s isn’t the brightest in her class (neither was I, not by a long shot) but she works hard when she’s not being careless. (Like me.) She’s temperamental. (Like me).  Moody. (Like me). She’s sloppy. (Like me.) She’s a fast reader. (Unlike me.) She loves sweet things. (Unlike me.)

She’s my baby. I know her magic. She’s ice. And ice is hot.

***

Ps. Have you registered for Bikozulu Writing Masterclass? Please do; info@199.192.19.46. Few slots left.

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157 Comments
    1. Oh my,, me too!! Biko adores Tamms. Reminds me of my dad and I. We had this deep relationship. People tell me am so him-my personality, wit, love for people, height, nails, smile, everyyyything,well except my face. There I am my mother’s daughter!! RIP papa. I love you so much for loving me. I wish heaven could wait but it’s OK. You still live in my heart❤❤❤❤❤

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  1. As a father to a nine year old girl myself, I read about Tamms and wondered whether I am doing it right with my Njoki. But I console myself that being an average family with an average income, I cannot possibly buy her clothes from abroad, cannot pick her from school and her school may not have those swimming contests. But I pride myself on that I am doing my best. They observe to much, and mine asks questions I sometimes are embarrassed to answer because it’s not a manly thing to do. Like if I can hit her mother if she gets me angry, or if I am doing what I went to college to train on. She cannot cook, but she is tall, and slender, so much so it makes her think about the shoes she is wearing on Sunday.

    But fatherhood is exciting. And sweet.

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    1. Biko,did she manage to call pizza( pizza )and not pissa
      I am happy for you for the love you share with Tamms…ladies date their fathers(character and personality)so worry not Tamms will be very lucky if she gets to date someone like her father

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    2. Take pride in doing your best, we will love you and appreciate you for it ( speaking as a daughter). In class 6, I had this deskmate who’s dad was a matatu driver, she was really proud of him and constantly talked about my daddy this, my daddy that. From small things he did like bringing them those kenol kobil exercise books, damn it mad her so happy. That’s what we appreciate it, care. It doesn’t matter if it’s from the street or you’re Bruce Wayne, trust. I hope you tell her to choose the shoes that she feels pretty in/ the ones she wants and not want to take her height down. I hope you tell her she’s tall and that makes her beautiful and she’s gorgeous like that. Happy father’s Day ( because it should be everyday that you’re celebrated ❣️)

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    3. There’s really no manual for parenthood. Me thinks your presence as daddy is first and foremost the greatest gift, you’ll hack it.

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    4. Do what you think you should do as a dad and tell her what she needs to be told by a father at this age. That is just about all that impact is after all

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    5. Ultimately, what matters is not the ‘insufficiency’ in us adults but the simple little things we do with them. Play with mud, carry them ‘horse’, get silly, smell the flowers and go barefoot to wherever they will be fine. You are a great dad!.

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    6. From a daughter who had what i call the most amazing dad in the world, you are doing enough even without picking her from school or buying her clothes abroad. I always remember my dad fondly, not for the things he bought me, but for the many times he has been there for me. I read Kikuyu coz my dad taught me. I ask questions coz my dad let me ask questions. I push the bar coz my dad taught me not to settle. I am so many things coz my dad was there. I grew up in an average home with what i needed but not privilege but i treasure the fact that my old man has always been there for me, even as an adult. Keep going. It is the small things that matter

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    7. The only thing Njoki needs from you is to be the best version of yourself. The best man you can be. Love her mother fiercely as she is watching very keenly. Girls don’t care what you tell them they watch how you treat their mothers. Be a man of your word, Encourage her, tell her she is beautiful. Take it from a daughter who grew up with little (financially) but my father gave me everything I need to navigate this life.

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  2. You describe her so lovely. I hope she grows up to do what she is passionate about and a lady who won’t settle for less-it is important

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  3. If I ever could write about my daughter, this is how I wish I would do it.

    PS: mine has on several occasions given Tams a run for your money in the pool. Ebu muulize when she is in the mood to talk to you

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  4. I noticed two things from this;

    You definitely took Outliers to heart in the hope of shaping our young ones. Everyday, I strive to do this by for the young ones I interact with and for the ones I hope to birth one day!

    You’ve taken your stand as a father and that is admirable ❣️.

    May she find and fall in love with her artistic side.

    Best believe, your words stick by her always. I remember my dad always telling me how confident and “this one doesn’t take bullshit from people, be careful with her”, so often, I grew into that. It molded me into saying no at discomfort and not having to bend over backwards in pleasing people, and as an adult, I realise how much of a privilege this actually is.

    So much love and life to you Tamms❣️

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  5. If I don’t have anything to say I won’t open my mouth. People shouldn’t just speak because their voices work….yeees!!!

    She’s very proud. She will not beg. She’s a walker, like me. I suspect that she won’t think twice about walking away from things and people at the drop of a hat. I love that. I hope it means she won’t suffer foolish boyfriends. That she will tell boys, “See this bar? This is how I want to be treated, if you fall below this bar, I’m out.” …woooow!!!!I just wish that many young girls and even older ones would be able to walk from things that don’t add value to them…
    I like her and you are raising her well..She is ice..#IceIsHot

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  6. This one struck a chord in my heart and brought tears to my eyes. The tender way you write about your daughter is so telling of your wonderful relationship. I got a daughter 19 days ago and this is closer home more than it would have been.

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  7. Fathers come in all forms. Most importantly, show up for your daughters. I know how much my dad being there meant regardless of anything. Now that he ain’t around, I still remember what it feels like to be loved and having someone show up for you.

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  8. First of all, I had no idea until today that Tamms is actually a Tamisha, Tamisha Biko. I like it better. Tamms, I am not sure how I feel about it but it is not a solid feeling, it crumbles. I hope Tamisha keeps baking sweet things even alongside pots, we both like sweet things.
    Let her go to East Timor (I clapped my hands like an excited kid reading that part), for some reason I love the name of that country, also Srilanka and one day, I might meet Tamisha in a Black’s Bakery along one of the smaller streets.
    I must admit I’m feeling more like an elder Tamisha here. We don’t smile easy. Because ice is hot!

    https://reshonlineblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/04/my-dear-mama/

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  9. “She’s my baby. I know her magic. She’s ice. And ice is hot.”

    Such a heartwarming beautiful post on Tamms. Father-daughter relationships are indeed important. Kids mostly watch what a parent does more than what they say.
    I think with kids there always are phases, and each phase comes with it’s own unravelling as the chubby little ones morph into tweens.
    Now sometimes I feel a little scared when my girl chooses to hang out with her friends instead of coming with me to the hairdresser. It’s like ‘Where did time go?’
    Good thing is that she’s a talker. She tells me everything, asks me anything. I truly hope that never changes.

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  10. So if it’s three items for the boy, it’s three items for the girl. (A sock counts as one piece.)
    This arithmetic is superb!
    When I was young, I never thought socks were a good gift but now I realize I was so very wrong. Socks are awesome. Warm feet are awesome.

    This is a lovely post, Biko.
    Shout out to Tamms and all the phlegmatics. Only don’t shout… Maybe give a thumbs up… And do it with your eyes.

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  11. My imaginary ovaries are yearning for a daughter… Good on you Biko, she’s set up alright. No Tom and Harry (Dick won’t even register) will mess up with her with the foundation you setting…

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  12. This is amazing Biko… May she grow up with all the favours from the Lord…and of course for you to be there to witness every step.

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  13. Awwwwwwwww!!! Am so proud of such dad-daughter relationships, especially now that they are few dads left. This sooo much reflects me and my old man (he should never know I call him that least I loose my Surname! Lol). The difference however is we both talked. A lot. I only silenced much later and only talk when necessary now, lol. But having my dad in my life was the greatest gift I ever got, he taught me to speak out and be un-apologetically me. Dads give daughters a sense of belonging, security, support and reliance.
    For that reason am sharing this story with him, no captions, I just want to see his response. Live long all worthwhile dads! And may your days be happy ones capped with lots of good health.

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  14. Oh My God! This is an incredibly beautiful piece. Awwwww. What a father?(That Jeff Koinange’s voice of describing something beautiful)

    That daddy-daughter bond and love melts my heart. Tamms is blessed to have you as a father.

    And in a world where nobody bloody notices your new shirt, that always comes with such warm feeling. She’s very proud. She will not beg. She’s a walker, like me. I suspect that she won’t think twice about walking away from things and people at the drop of a hat. I love that. I hope it means she won’t suffer foolish boyfriends. That she will tell boys, “See this bar? This is how I want to be treated, if you fall below this bar, I’m out.” She is getting to love reading, only she reads faster than I do.

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  15. This post is so beautiful!! Father – daughter relationship goals!

    She remains a lovely kid that I’m immensely proud of. She listens. She says sorry. She says thank you. She cares for her little brother. She’s responsible. She prays. She listens to her mother. She’s not fussy.

    Phlegmatics keep winning. Us those!!

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  16. Great piece it is. And…
    “If I don’t have anything to say I won’t open my mouth. People shouldn’t just speak because their voices work.”
    That’s me.

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  17. god dang it!!!
    got me crying at work wishing i had a baby girl after my example, now i’m going on pinterest to view baby pictures and father daughter moments!!! DANG IT!!! DANG IT, I SAY!!!

  18. I smiled throughout this post .i hope more fathers even mothers will have the intention not just to love and provide but to get to KNOW their children. Biko you are an amazing dad!

  19. Hope she gets to read this post.
    You are all a father should be, and more.
    She’s a lucky girl to have you for a father.
    You are both winning.

    Write about Kim, sometime.

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  20. Dads are an amazing lot. Well done Biko.

    Write an aspect of mothers with big boys who have refused to be Men.

    When i think of my 7 year old boy, i want to attend all the seminars that teach mothers to let their boys be men.
    Kuzaa sio kazi, kazi ni kulea….( wish it read Kujifngua sio kazi……..)

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  21. As I read I was thinking, what if I didn’t have a dad and do not know how a daughter should be loved. So I’m hoping my future husband know how exactly how he will treat our daughter.
    If I knew him I’d probably send him a text “Kindly check out bikozulu’s Ice is hot” then call him in the evening to confirm he actually read the article. It then dawns on me that he might not be rich enough to afford to pick our daughter from school, or buy her clothes from abroad, or even take her to the kind of schools where they have swimming competitions. This only leaves me with one option, pray and hope God brings me the best.

    That was a nice article biko.

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  22. The hopes and dreams of a parent for their child. They grow up too fast. I can feel the love that you two share in your words. wow..

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  23. I am that kimbelembele parent who runs alongside my daughter. I even swim alongside her; in fact, the best thing that happened to me was to be appointed as a baord member in their school so I take the front seat in every occasion and take the best photos. She’s another me; won’t sing until she sees me waving at her in those school events where taking your kid’s pictures is the main event. She introduces me to everyone including the watchman. Her younger sister is like your Tamms – she minds her business. I know she likes me deep inside but won’t show it. When I pick her up from school all she wants is to go pass by Naivas, buy chewing gum and go home.

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  24. Beautiful…very beautiful. The way you have described her, it is like I know her already. I like her temperament. I also love silence, I hate crowds, and talking for the sake of talking. This is the best piece ever. More ink to your pen.

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  25. “What do you think of them?” I asked.

    “They are nice.”

    Nice. Oh, boy. I wasn’t going for nice.
    Ha-ha I feel you. Nice usually feels like “it wasn’t good enough.” Whenever someone reads my blog and says it was nice i feel a lump on my chest (just give it to me straight) but then i think . . its a free world, everyone is entitled to an opinion, some might like it others might not. (that clears off the lump)

  26. “And I trust them. I also know that the other girls don’t stand a chance. Even those boys………..”

    She will read this..one day…and know that her daddy is the best!!!!!!!

  27. Wow!
    That Tamms if yours is sooo, like my daughter, when she was younger…
    Aging, changes them a bit…
    But our babies, will always be *’ OUR BABIES’*.

  28. In an album rappers will often dedicate one song to someone special. “This one goes out to my momma…”. They will then pour out heartfelt messages in witty lines. Always a nice gesture for the culture. No rap album, in my book, is complete without that one song.

    I feel like you did that in this post. One for the family. A show of love. When Tams is all grown and reading these posts for nostalgia’s sake, she might re-read this one. Maybe more than once.

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  29. I was just telling my sister how your articles about Tamms and Kim are captivating( She is a new fan). Guess she will have to read this one too. How you write about them is always fascinating. I pray and wish that I would also be a good father in years to come.

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  30. I recently got a girl pregnant. It wasn’t planned for as such. We had only started dating.. Doctor said it’s 17 weeks now. I hope someday I’ll write (or at least think) of such words to describe my child.. and be responsible enough to do what I said I will do at the time I said I will do it.

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  31. Wow was a nice read, almost felt like a bad mum for a while but then! I remembered(like father like daughter) (read Askari here) so in my house we salute

  32. Awwww, i love it, coz my dad is bad even today he still bad, how i wish my future daughter to have a father like u n all great dads out there…..

  33. One can easily tell that you words are streaming with pride for your daughter. When a father is as observant, caring, nurturing as you are, Tamasha Biko will turn out great. I am sure she notices how much alike you are. You are both blessed to have her.

    And God will continue to bless you because when fathers are good to their children, they mirror God’s image.

    Just wish some of us didn’t hae to have our hearts broken by the men who should have protected us.

    Take care, Biko.

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  34. Its amazing that you have taken your time to understand and know your daughter, and also understand that she may change overtime as she evolves. Not to put shade on parents but i think that’s whats lacking particularly in African parenting. Our children deserve parents who intentionally take time to know their children that way you can guide them to know who they are and in turn they will be able to live their best lives. Not an imitation of what they see or what they are told to be but who they were born to be and thrive as.

    Money shouldn’t be a deterrent, we can all find ways to help our children discover their inborn talents and once we do nurturing them will come easy.

    Thank you Biko, you always refresh my soul with your words and Tamm will soon fully appreciate the pottery you make with your words.

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  35. “She’s very proud. She will not beg. She’s a walker, like me. I suspect that she won’t think twice about walking away from things and people at the drop of a hat.”
    Slightly confused here, these are supposed to be positive attributes?

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  36. That was so beautifully written.. I feel we share a lot of similarities m images also comfortable in silence..and love to walk.
    I feel like you should continue to write about her and Kim ,not necessarily for public viewing, maybe a private journal of sorts..The kids will treasure it when older. Can even make it digital so they each have a copy… Just a thought..

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  37. This is beautiful. My dads words guided me to be the woman I am today. I’d work hard so as to not disappoint him… he showed up for every school meeting and I was always grateful for that. Keep being a great dad and let her know you’re proud of her. It goes a long way.

  38. She’s very proud. She will not beg. She’s a walker, like me. I suspect that she won’t think twice about walking away from things and people at the drop of a hat. I love that. I hope it means she won’t suffer foolish boyfriends. That she will tell boys, “See this bar? This is how I want to be treated, if you fall below this bar, I’m out.”

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  39. This is amazing! Don’t forget humble. Humility goes a longer way than pride. My father emphasizes this to us and all our children.

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  40. Aaaaw soon expecting to get a baby girl but I won’t name her Tamms but I want 10yrs down the line I will be able to say all these and much more that she will be my friend and I will have wisdoms as she transit from my lil girl to a young woman…
    Thanks sir for this article.. always a nice read
    She is Ice & Ice is hot……

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  41. If I was a daughter,i would like a father like Biko and a personality like Tamms..maybe I would even be a potter and sell imported groceries on the side.. 🙂

  42. Biko…..You spoke for Dads with daughters. I am blessed with two and everyday and grateful for their love…whether spoken or unspoken.

    May we live to their expectations.

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  43. “We are slowly embarking on that part of father-daughter relationship where what I do and what I say will greatly impact her life because I’m told that it’s fathers who eventually ruin their daughters”.
    It’s true what mothers and fathers do impact their lives. As a mum I try very much to do what right so that my daughter can emulate it. Love the relationship you have with Tamms and pray that all fathers can be like that with their children.

  44. Wow! I have 2 beautiful daughters I don’t get to see them every day but I am proud of them and that they are their person with their own aspirations, when we are finally reunited. They will grow further in this distant land. Then they will be be able to understand the sacrifice I have made to go and work in foreign land.

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    1. Kindly make sure they understand your sacrifices now, and make sure u don’t lose them trying to earn them their financial requirements. The greatest wrecker of proper child bringing is absenteeism. Keep in mind that you are not just a provider, u are a mentor, guider, protector, and light to your children.

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  45. “She’s ice. And ice is hot.”

    Very nice of you Biko to understand your daughter. I hope when I one day get a daughter, I’ll be in a position to understand her. Her needs, her emotions, her feelings.

    Great read as always.

  46. I hope my son’s father would be half the dad you are…our son’s need this kind of fathering otherwise they take girls like Tamms and the results are no good

    On a light note (and because I have a thing for initialing names), Tamms is TB…any other names we should know of?

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  47. Bittersweet read. I’ve never met my father. Didn’t have a father figure growing up. If I’d ever had even half the care and attention you give your daughter, it would have done me some good.

  48. This is the most beautiful article I have read yet. If more fathers were this involved in their daughter’s lives, we wouldn’t have so many girls with daddy issues. Kudos Biko for being an ACTIVE father.

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  49. Aaaaaw…good job Biko. If only all fathers could be like you to their daughters the world could be a totally different place because it is the absence of both parents especially fathers(exception of parents who’ve passed on) that’s causing most if not all the ills in the world.

  50. My daughter will be turning two next month. I look forward to going home just to be with her. There is a way she calls me daddy and it warms my heart. If she is holding sausage and you hand her popcorns, she will drop the sausage for popcorns. She calls meat manya manya. I took her to church on Sunday. She can count to 5. She dances to every tune. She cries when you shout at her or point her. I am learning the art of being a father. So far so good. I look forward to such a father daughter relationship.

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  51. This father-daughter relationship is amazing. Fathers shape their daughters’ life in a big way. Tams is quite lucky to have you.

  52. “She is ice. And ice is hot”.
    Tamms is so lucky to have a writer for a dad or maybe you are the lucky one.
    This is so beautiful and hilarious and all things warm.

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  53. We are slowly embarking on that part of father-daughter relationship where what I do and what I say will greatly impact her life because I’m told that it’s fathers who eventually ruin their daughters. – The fact that you know this Biko serves and will serve you well as a father. Also the fact that you actually say sorry when you do wrong is quite something considering you are an African father. I couldn’t help but almost cry reading this post. You and Tamms will be just fine because you are making an investment in time and effort to raise and guide Tamms through life.

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  54. There is a reason I always make sure I grab a copy of the Satmag…Biko and Joan Thatiah always keep me glued to the paper. I’m also a writer. I know I’ll gain great readership like you do, Biko. Always looking forward to read the next piece. Keep up

  55. I love this post – it’s amazing and I love reading about good daughter-daddy relationships and I wish Tamm all the best. However, it bothers me a lot when people refer to 10-year-old girl children as young women!!!

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  56. that part she comes out of the pool and you say you knew she would win….. That is epic….. Sounds like a general who sits back knowing his foot soldiers will crush the opponents

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  57. I like this “Walk straight, walk proudly, let the world crane its neck to see you, never stoop for the world to see you. If the world wants to see you, the world will see you”

    and I completely enjoyed watching the adaptation of your work by Back to Basics over the weekend at Alliance Francaise. I look forward to more shows like those – you laugh, you cry and get a voice

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  58. It’s like reading a super nice poem. Feels like letting a gentle warm breeze drift you through a field of flowers and butterflies.

    All I am trying to say is, it is beautiful. Can’t wait to have my own babies and teaching them love themselves and hold their heads high through life.

  59. its a beautiful post about parenthood,,,,,,,its a beautiful relationship you have there with your daughter. this post teaches me a lot on how am going to parent my boy. just let him be dont pressure him,provide an environment for him to be him discover his greatness and ail be there to support them,understand him and give him oportunities to know he is his own person…………..Thanks Biko for this article am gonna borrow these words all along the parenthood.

  60. Thank you for sharing your family with us and your everyday walk with them. Keep listening to her, talking to her, spending time with her, just like you have always done, she will be fine. You are a great dad and a wonderful human being. I celebrate you.

  61. You are right, I think Tamisha is the daddy’s persona. More so the smile that does not come easy. You are doing a great job as a daddy. As a mother to a 10 year old girl I am very encouraged to read this. I sometimes worry that she keeps to herself too much but she is also very forthright and will say it as it is. I think they want to have “their space” she once told me.

  62. Dads and their little girls!For a moment there I wondered, ‘ will he have the courage to hand her over to her man one day?’I am hoping for a baby girl though sometimes I have insecurities about raising her. Growing up, we admired the cinderellas and princess Sophia’s, who were very beautiful and almost faultless. I sometimes wonder about the expectations of the girl child sometimes beyond her control ( like looks) and wonder if my girl will measure up or if she will have the courage to stand up for herself..
    Beautiful fatherhood piece as always.

  63. Wow wow wow!!! I’m in love with your piece. A great read that was. I’d definitely love to be part of the master class. Kindly reach me via my email. Thank you.

  64. Aaaaaawwwww . . . . . . Biko this is so sweet, words of a proud father indeed. Am sure if my dad was a writer he would say the same about me, unfortunately for me 🙁 he doesn’t but am cool(see what i did there:-)