And finally, some happy father stories #Dadslovewhisky

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Dad, he’s something weirdly cool

BY JOAN KANYI

There are so many depressing stories about fathers, that a happy one seems not to pack a punch. I am glad and fortunate to have grown up in a functional home with a present dad, yet the interwebs this year seem to be so full of dead, bad, and absent fathers, that I wonder if I shouldn’t skimp on my dad’s goodness just to make a lunch-table friend.

My father is still alive. He lives with my mother, whom he has called “my dear” for as long as I can remember. He calls me “mum”. We talk a lot. Long, windy, conversations about death, Vera Sidika, and everything in between. We laugh. We hug. We take photos while grinning and holding hands. Next time I see him we will take selfies. My father walked me down the aisle, and there are no indications that he has overtly threatened my husband. My father tells me he loves me even when it is not my birthday.

My father is not perfect. Who is? But I fail to see what it is about him that isn’t perfect. To me – and I am old enough to see him for what he is – he is everything and a potato garnish. The effort he put in to give us a home address in a swanky neighborhood, an education in reputable schools, and to be there, present for my brother and I, more than negates any misjudgments he may have made in the process of being a dad. That’s rudimentary math.

Here is something weirdly cool. My face is a carbon print of my dad’s, from shiny forehead to double chin. But he is clearly masculine, and I am not a masculine female. Amaze-balls, eh?

I thank God that my father is alive, but I worry a lot about when he will die. I do not want my dad to suffer at all. I hope he doesn’t get senile and forget my name. Or plant his dentures in the garden near the chicken. Peeing in the shower is allowed though. My brother can’t have got it from nowhere. I pray that dad lives long enough to see his grandkids. I pray that he lives long enough for me to buy him a car. I want to buy him a small big car. A Rav4 perhaps. A white one that he and I shall secretly name after his last girlfriend before my mum. To make him even prouder of me than he seems to already be.

Dad, the private man

Father's Day
BY ALEYA KASSAM

I asked my dad what makes a great father. Deadpan, he said

“At the hospital, before they give you the crying, wrinkled, body fluid covered mini human being, they hand you a leather bound manual with detailed diagrams, instruction list and complete FAQ section. Wonder if they still do that, now with Uncle Google on the scene.”

“I tossed away the manual.”

Ah my dad. My worthy sparring partner in our endless battle of wits.

“Aleya, I always came home after work; I never went to the bar. It starts there.”

My father is a very principled man, but he also has mischief in him

Every Sunday a whisky bottle is opened and my dad presides with great drama over the making of his curry. The five hours it takes is filled with fantastical stories. He periodically stirs the sufuria, and tosses in random spices, guffawing loudly at his own jokes. He has the kind of laugh that bubbles over, infecting everybody around. It has mirth, his laugh. By the time the damn curry is ready, everyone is so inebriated, boiled cockroaches would taste good. We are wise to your ways, pops! You don’t need to get us drunk to cover up your suspect cooking.

The other day he was looking at a letter he found in his briefcase.

9th February 1990,

My deerest, darlingest, most handsumest papa

I hope you have a nice trip to Jermani. We will miss you so much.

Pleez bring for me pink shoos, with blak polka dots, a blue ribon on the front and 22 green seekwins all over.

You are the best pops ever.

Aleya

I used to slip notes into his briefcase when he travelled, for him to discover on the plane. I was very specific about my requests, and always a charmer. It didn’t work then, and it doesn’t work now. My dad doesn’t believe in that princess crap.  I never did get those shoes, but he kept my letter till now. He may not tell me that he loves me, and is allergic to hugs, but the truth lies hidden in the little details.

The last time we shared a bottle of whisky, I mustered up the courage to read him my blog. It was the first time I had shared my writing with him. My dad is a very private man. He does not approve of ‘BookFace’ or ‘Tweeter’, and I was nervous about his response.

He looked at me through bushy overgrown eyebrows,

“It’s good Aleya. When you start raking in the millions, don’t forget your old man.”

I got warm and fuzzy, and leapt over to hug him, at which point he said,

“Enough of that mushy stuff. Pour me another, and don’t be stingy.”

Pops, this Father’s Day, let’s open a bottle, throw away the cork, and toast to tossing away the manual.

Dad, everything I am spins from him

Father's Day
BY CLEO MAINA

I’m one of four daughters that my parents brought into this world. My dad has endured the rigorous life that goes with being the only man in the house. I am yet to meet anyone more patient, more giving, more understanding than dad. We talk every day; give each other pet names (he hates when I call him “old man” but likes “Gathee” or “Mr. Mwangi”) and when I’m in trouble he’s the first person I call. I can tell him anything. He made it okay to be passionate and gave me the confidence that I carry with me to date.

One of the benefits of receiving so much love from a father is you have a lot more love to give. And you learn how to give it unconditionally to everyone you meet, and that has earned me the ‘Mother Hen’ title by my friends. I am the ultimate cock blocker; you can’t take advantage of any of my friends. I also tend to take over people’s problems and make them my own.

My dad is the last born in a family of five. My grandparents died when I was very young and I never got to know them. Because my dad didn’t have any sons, custom dictates that he should not inherit any land from his parents. Sad, I know. But he would have none of that. My dad went to court and fought for us. It didn’t matter the amount of time, money and energy that it took but he did. His children were going to be taken care of even if it meant ruining his relationship with his siblings. Eventually he won. Dad is resilient.

I was born and raised in Nyeri and he worked in Nairobi. He would travel every Friday and we put on a show. We would all get on the table as kids and dance and sing and my dad would be the audience, cheering us on while my mum made us snacks before we went to sleep. That little show gave all of us confidence from a young age and a high self-esteem.

My dad has greatly influenced the men I date. I am the ultimate sapiosexual. I find it impossible to date a man who is not intelligent, I get bored. I find that I am attracted to a man who challenges my mind and makes me think, like dad does. He has greatly raised the bar for the men I choose to date. I also find myself dating men who are older and more mature than me. I like respectful men. Like dad.

He has also influenced the music I listen to. I grew up with a lot of Michael Bolton, Judy Boucher, Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton music. The songs from that era are synonymous with some of the happiest moments of my life growing up.

I am so lucky to have him. I know it. This Father’s Day I celebrate this man and all those dads who light up their daughter’s lives. Anyone can be a father but it takes a special breed to be a dad, like mine is.

Happy Father’s Day Mwas! I Love You!

Dad, he’s that guy

Father's Day
BY TANU KYANY’A

Cool, calm and collected, he will stand in front of a group and you will be able to pick him out. Not because of his tall, brown nature, but because he commands an aura of dominance yet also of humility. He might not talk much, but when he does, you will notice he did. Sounds like what everyone will say about their dads, right?

Having a diplomat for a mum meant we spent most of our time with our father. ‘We’ are the five kids of that house. Most of the things I learnt from this man. I learnt how to cook, how to tend to the flower garden we had, how to stand up for myself, how to shut up when need be and heck, how to tell jokes! I remember one time he was driving and I asked what ‘the water on the tarmac’ in front of us was and he told me that that was God’s way of making sure that the tarmac doesn’t melt. That that water is holy no wonder cars cannot run over it. I believed him. Smh…

There are moments when life isn’t all a bed roses and that man took them with all the humility and perseverance he could. There was a time he lost his job but we came to know about it years later. In front of us he remained strong. Then there was this time thieves decided to shake our household by shooting him.  I remember we watched him lose blood at the entrance of our house, but in his eyes we could see a fighter who wasn’t about to die before us. The only one time I’ve seen my father cry was at his father’s burial. He gripped my hand tighter and I looked at him and there it was; one, maybe two tears: An indication that even strong men are allowed to show emotion at times.

When I started my menses in school dad didn’t shy away from buying sanitary towels. We were his girls. He never missed a visiting in school and when he couldn’t make it, he sent my elder siblings. Of course they wouldn’t be as early as him, but they showed up. My father is that guy who always comes through.

My friends laugh at me when I tell them that I want a husband who’s like my dad. I look at the way he treats his wife and I want that too with someone like him.

If I’m half the person my Dad is, then by Jove, I’m ready to take on this world I think.

So thanks Dad for molding me into the kind of lady I am today.

Happy Father’s Day Dad,

Me.

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10 Comments
  1. These are heart warming pieces. I didn’t do a post about my dad but his story would definitely fall in the happy category. I was an only daughter for 9 and a half years and definitely was daddy’s girl. He was nicknamed brownie for being so brainy and I guess some of that trickled down to me. He has and will always be that happy quiet man who always came through for us even he lost his job and things took a spin. He drove me back to school, high school, most times and we wrote each other lots of letters. Still got them somewhere. They are treasured. Hats off to all men who take time to be good dads. Guess life has handed me the lucky baton twice; I have a husband who has all the good dad traits any little and not so little girl would desire.

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  2. Yes, Tanu,Thats a heart warming piece.Mhh, cool ,calm and collected, I couldnt have said it better.Even in a crisis, that’s him.In that calmness is an ‘iron will’ and a determination to see things through even in the most difficult of situations.Never losing focus, he smiles and trudges on.That Christlike humility is a bonus and a sign of the inner strength he has and interestingly very empowering.Very loving, never raising his voice beyond manageable limits, thats your Dad. To him, you are his girls, who can do anything including skiinning a goat for christmas. Who said girls cant do so? Not your Dad. I pray that you get as empowering a spouse as your Dad, one who wouldn’t stand on your way to achieving the best that God meant you to be,but instead encourage you to soar..And that one will earn not the title son- in-law but just Son in my eyes for that is what he would be.And thisifor all the other prospective and existing Sons.eheheh

    1. Indeed .. Well Said Tanu.. That Guy never cease to amaze me .. He is so cool and also starn… The first time I met him, he directed a question to me … My voice was shaky and wondered what kind of person have to tackle and live with in the coming years ahead. I have come to know how cool he is and very friendly.. At times when you (I) have nothing to say, he would throw in few comments to generate a story..I have always enjoyed my presence around him. From politics to History.. He always on top with info.

      Sometime back Mutheu called me from Kwale County and indicated they had a puncture in the middle of nowhere and the place had limited network. To make it worse, they were all ladies …I was troubled and my mind started racing on how I can get AAs contacts in Kwale for Rescue, I was trying to remember all the friends contacts I have in Kwale …

      To my utter surprise, she calmed me down and told me they have already sorted the issue. I pictured them paying a “Boda guy” to change the tyre.. I underestimated the power of this Lady.. She is the one who actually saved her colleagues!!!She changed the tyre!!! She actually called me not to report a problem but to check on me!!

      I once tried chicly avoiding going to the market to buy vegetables with a silly excuse that Men don’t do that… I have come to learn that it safe to go to the Market.. DAD has set standards !!!!

      Truly I have a Father and very loving strong sisters.. When I grow up.. I want to be like Him!!

      # “…one who wouldn’t stand on your way to achieving the best that God meant you to be,but instead encourage you to soar….” This statement was once said to me .. I respect it..

  3. Biko, i notice that all the good father stories are by ladies. Isn’t there a man who must have wrote in with a good father story?

  4. Am moved by this awesome and heart melting stories. Unfortunately I never quite enjoyed a father’s love but I have the most amazing mum who doubled up as a dad to me happy fathers day mum. You are the best kisses

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    1. I understand you Sheila..Mums who stood in papa’s place and made it look like we weren’t missing much by not having a daddy.