Celebrating Our Real Heros - Our Fathers

“A father’s smile has been known to light up a child’s entire day.” —Susan Gale

10 Things younger fathers can learn from a Veteran Dad

They say that a “Dad is a son’s first hero and a daughter’s first love.”

Nothing could be truer in my life. I am a daddy’s girl by all means, yet I was born of a father that dotes on all his children in a way I have not seen in lots of men. This of course is not to say I know lots of men, so we will maintain my research knowledge to the people in my cycles, including in Novels and Movies! (seriously this is on a light note!)

Growing up my father worked away from home, we saw him once every one or two months. This was quite natural for most employed fathers then. Not a day I imagined that there was anything wrong with this arrangement. My mother on the other side might have struggled to be a mother and father during those periods, but never once did I hear her complain. Growing up in the countryside meant that we had probably 12 other fathers in the form of Uncles, Grandfathers, neighbors  etc I grew up supported by strong men that valued women and encouraged them to be empowered

I remember with lots of fondness the sound of Dad’s 1100cc Vox wagon beetle engine as it used all its power to climb the Ntharagwene hills, We called it gatukutuku because of the tukutuku sound it made. Sometimes gatukutuku made it and sometimes we would gladly have to run down the hill to help push it up. Us and a myriad of other family embers. As kids, my two brothers and I assumed our combined 0.02 horsepower is exactly what the beetle needed to get home! For each trip, Dad would come home with something, An African drum, Tilapia that we had never eaten, another new toy, and sometimes something as big as a tractor!

Dad in His absence did everything to make sure he was present

During holidays he would come the week before exams because education was everything to him. He was among the first set of people around him to receive an education in post-colonial Kenya courtesy of His Grandfather. So if He had to shove literature and math down our throats, and the throats of everyone around him he would, As His children, we had no choice. Being creative I hated the routine of a classroom and preferred doing more exciting things like playing Catie and hide and seek. So I would spend my 80 minutes of a double math lesson fantasizing about the incoming break time! Were it not that I had a tough school teacher mum and a father who never gave us a chance to fail, I would have been something else.

A father of 5 extremely hyperactive children, Dad called us “Chatter Boxes” A man of quiet demeanor that I have never really seen lose his cool in an argument, He would ensure we had everything we needed to pass our exams, He then would reward us to a holiday trip to the place that the Ministry of Lands would have posted him that season. he moved a lot. My love of adventure was born from the holidays in Nakuru, Naivasha, Nyahururu, and Gilgil,…..I could go on. Over the weekends his little beetle would find its way to National Parks, Museums, and Geographical attractions…and for a man earning less than 100 USD per month, that was ALOT!

Dad was raised by an absent father, not by choice but by Colonial order. My grandfather was either in prison or in the Forest as a Mau’Mau Militia for all of Dad’s childhood! yet He turned out a great Father because in Africa a child is raised by the community and because He made a deliberate choice to pull His family out of poverty.

So allow me this wonderful Saturday in Celebrating Fathers’ Day to share 10 things that younger men can learn about being a father, from a man who has been an exemplary Dad for over 46 years

1Abraham Lincoln once said,The best thing a man can do for his children is to love their mother.” Being married myself today I know that children drive a great sense of security from their parents union. Growing up, I never ever heard my parents argue. To the point that I imagined that they never differed in opinion. Only to grow and realize that just like any other couple these two had their differences and that they chose to resolve them away from us. Now we are older and we can handle that fact but I am grateful as a child I didn’t have to deal with that emotional burden. By providing for Mom, taking care of all her needs, never raising His voice even when upset, and having a united front on how we were raised we got to grow as healthy and balanced children.

2. Train up a child in the way he should go,” so that “even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6 Dad had no chills when it came to using His Kiboko. I am proud to announce that not even once did he ever use it on me. Probably because He was away a lot when I was growing up, but more because I was so afraid of being punished that I was always super obedient. But allow me to speak for my two naughty brothers. I tell you those ones received beatings in all sorts of designs. Lying on the table, standing, running after.. Dad is up to date and operates with a lot of orders, and those orders had to be implemented day to day whether he was home or remotely. Mom ensured that

3. A dad is a protector. I remember my siblings and I sneaking under our parent’s bed to check out his sword, spear, and I think a zapper or something This guy was ready, if thieves came in they would see fire. Thankfully no thief ever came so we didn’t get to see His war skills tested

4. A motivator. Dad was and still is our greatest helper counselor and coach, There are many times my siblings and I have been caught in the web of life: be it university supplementary, being thrown out of school, losing a job, failed business, or relationship, He will travel from wherever He is to come to help detangle our thoughts and give His ultimate wisdom: At our younger age we felt He was too much, but we are so glad today that He always poked his nose into our businesses!

5. Dad is the first and greatest priest in our lives. Up to date He always speaks life to us. Especially at our lowest. A few weeks ago while down at heavens gate I woke up to his message. He had sent it at exactly 5.:37 am ” Good morning Mom. I had a dream, a very clear one. You becoming a renowned gospel singer”

The power of a dad in a child’s life is unmatched.” —Justin Ricklef

6. One of the strongest aspects of Dad is that He never just said, he did. The Bible says in Romans 2: 21-24

“You then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law. For, as it is written, ‘The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.’”

Children learn by observing and copying: and if as a Father you drink and tell your children not to drink, they will follow what you do not what you say. A very principled Man, Dad decided one day in his early 30s that He didn’t like the addiction He had to Sugar and just stopped taking it up to date.

As children, we have known Him to do what He says and to say what he does

7. Fatherhood doesn’t stop when your children grow. I have seen Dad  effectively parent my Husband, In-laws, Children, Nephews, and Nieces with the same commitment He had when we were growing up. A grandpa of 16 now, all our Children dote on Him.. He will travel all the way for their birthdays and in His absence send them each a gift. And that’s a lot of birthdays to remember.

All our spouse’s joy in knowing they have a father in Him!

8. “It is a wise father that knows his own child.” —William Shakespeare

Dad ensured that all five of us were educated to the highest level of education that we could. But as soon as we were done, Our Loving Father would throw us to the Lions: Like Literally!. He did not expect us to rally home and enjoy our after-exam blues. We were out by ourselves. I remember living in a 5USD wooden house in the cold of mount Kenya because that’s what my first job as a management trainee could afford me! I never for one minute thought that there was anything wrong with that arrangement. Today, I owe him most of my successes

“Behind every great daughter is a truly amazing father.” 

9. This is to the Fathers of girls. How you relate to your girls will determine a lot of how they are going to relate to men all their lives. We have grown with a firm Dad, dedicated, committed, Loving, and Present. In that, my sister and I naturally do not expect anything less from our spouses. Which is a tall order to be honest

He has  raised independent girls that He totally believed and made believe that we can be anything we ever would want to be. If you know the two of us, you will not be surprised where we got our confidence from.

But even though he prodded us to our destinies, Dad always treated us like flowers, His princesses. he wouldn’t even let us drive as early as the boys. Girls are meant to be taken care of you know, He raised us understand that we were precious before God and His own sight and we must not allow anyone to treat us any less. 

He is a Man that mastered the art of balancing tenderness and firmness in Raising us girls


10.   Girls regard dads as their first role model for the opposite gender while boys look to dads for how to behave. says Steve Biddulp

I know I said my Dad has been amazing at lots of stuff, but allow me to tell you where he wins the prize, where He gets the crown. I totally believe that my brothers AND their sons are who they are today because they were raised to be strong men by a strong man.

I have seen Him drive the boys to the wall as soon as they hit teenage, I saw my brother travel by himself, sometimes by foot Kilometers away to pay Farm workers before he was even weaned off adolescence.

Dads sons were taught responsibility at such an early age they did not know any other way. 

Its something that’s getting extinct in boys nowadays. 

If you are a Father of a Boy, Its important to know that you are raising someone’s husband, A Father, a leader and its critical you mold their Character and behavior this early.

Intentionally put aside the time to be with your sons,  focus on them,, talk to them and to play together as much as you can, We must change this generation one son at a time. 

. “A father is someone you look up to no matter how tall you grow”

Finally let me conclude that the role of father originated with God himself, our Heavenly Father, and is a divine role and calling. Becoming a father is an opportunity to become like God, to love and care for children and their extensions as God loves and cares for us.

I hope this gets one more Man to stand up for the Divine role He was given to raise a strong future generation. 

Author . Musician . Blogger
Caroline nkirote-Bongo


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