Father’s Day

Short story.

I found it very interesting in respect of all fathers to have a special day that dedicates to them only. It is a day that the family would gather together and appreciating the value of having a father in the house. The value that out- numbered the presents that are brought before them.

What does the word father means to you? In my own judgment it means the head, resource, rock, pillar and provider. A father is an important figure in the family, but how many people  recognise this day and give thanks or show appreciation to their fathers . To some it is like an ordinary day that goes without being noticed.

It was 21st of June when I was at Bowlers Car Boot sale in Trafford Park when it clicked to me that it was father’s day. Then, I realised that I haven’t seen my father for more than two decades. My father had passed away when I was very young at the age of 11. He had fallen ill and unfortunately his body was too weak to  fight the battle and also age contributed to his final rest. He died aged 88 and I was the last born in a family of 29 children. He was a polygamist and blessed with four wives. My mum was the fourth wife.  In Africa a wealthy man goes hand in hand with polygamy. It is the eye that catches a lot of women and unknowingly they found themselves woven into it. As for men the wealth becomes the pulling factor or a weapon to let women draw closer to them. My father had accumulated a vast  wealth over the years. He had a large heads of cattle, goats, pigs and also a number of servants. I had grown to love him and with time I became his closest friend and I could reveal my secrets and wishes knowing he would never breach any of my trust.

At times he would gently touch my nose and lifted it up a little higher in a straight line. “Let it be like that of a white man’s nose,” said my father with a posh voice.  I would laugh with joy and felt superior because my father had likened my nose to that of white man’s. In those primitive times,  the majority of black people or  in Africa thought a white was superior when compared to them and some had taken extra mile to worship him rather to worship a true God. I knew that my father wasn’t that primitive to think a white man was better than him but he only wanted to see me smiling since in those days it was prestigious to be linked or connected to a white man especially in young children’s minds.

I was always proud of my father. In his early days he was a teacher, a business man and a farmer. In the early 80s he was appointed as a chief. Sometimes I would play around with the words and said to him “Father, you are not only a chief who rules his own people but you are also a chief breeder,” I would say it out with a squeaking naughty voice and I would see him exploding his lungs with laughter. “Oh! You daughter of mine, I tell you one day you will be in England. The Queen’s land. You are very intelligent,” commented my father. I would giggle with laughter that would only stop when interrupted by my other little cousin who always wanted to know what was going between us.

I cherished that little time that I had with my father and unfortunately the great two enemies known as illness and death came in our lives and stole my beloved father. He got ill for a long time and sadly we failed to say farewell to each other not because it was our wish but due to geographical distance. By the time he died, I was living in a different place where my elder sisters were looking after me. I heard stories from my mum and our closest relatives that at his deathbed my father was always calling my name and he was desperate to see me. My mum sent some money to my sisters asking us to visit our father before he passed away but  unfortunately my sisters refused to travel claiming that the money that mum had sent was not sufficient for the journey. I requested one of my elder sisters to give me the money so that I could travel on my own since I knew the place but she refused claiming that I could get lost. I was extremely disappointed that I went for days without touching any food that they offered me and for a long time whenever deep emotions troubled me I grieved for my father.

Fatherhood is very important. Fathers love your children!

Children have quality time with your fathers whilst you have the time!

Mothers continue to support your husbands and encourage your children to cement relationships with their fathers!

Maintain your relationships and have a fewer quarrels as they can ruin a good relationship!

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