YES, I WILL BE A MAN: An open letter to my dad this Father’s Day

Dear Dad,

“Son, as you venture into the big city – a totally unfamiliar territory – always be wary of two things:

1. Illegally acquired wealth; it’s counterproductive in the long run.

2. A law enforcement officer on duty; he/she is vexatious to the spirit.”

Those were your golden words to me six years ago as I left our rural village home of Difathas, Kirinyaga County to chase my dreams.

Being the ever cautious dad that you have always been, you could not have allowed Yours Truly to leave home without warning me that Nairobi is a crazy place.

In your own words, ” Nairobi confuses even the grown-ups.”

Fast forward 2017, your words make sense to me more each passing day than the previous one.

And I now know why we have always disagreed in the past.

When I was young and stupid, I thought that you are the most authoritarian soul in the world. You have never entertained mediocrity. But today, I acknowledge that I was totally wrong back then.

I now fully understand that, those daily strokes of cane that I never missed, those numerous lectures that characterized my later teenage years when you could no longer use the cane, were all out of love.

You did it all because deep in your heart, you could conceptualize the man I was supposed to become.

I can now confidently confess that you have been the best dad I could ever have. Were it not for you, I could not be who I am today.

You have always been that rare fuse which regulates my rather adventurous character; when needed most.

Therefore, as the world celebrates another Fathers Day, I wish to renew my pledge to you and confirm that indeed, I will be that man.

Yes. I will do all that I can to make sure I don’t disappoint you.

After all, you have paid enough price by mentoring other people’s sons in the course of your illustrious four decade teaching career.

You also deserve to have a son who you are proud of.

Dad, celebrate this Father’s Day a proud man. You are a hero.

Nairobi, Kenya
18th June, 2017