Father’s Day Tribute to Papa
Papa, was seen as the strict disciplinarian.
When mama felt her scolding did not suffice she handed you over to him. After a discipline session I would sit and think, why is papa so mean? Why is Dad so mad at me? Why did he have me if he does not love me? Years went by and the scolding turned into advice. Into life’s lessons. Some lessons he would let the world teach me, on some the course was offered beforehand. It’s sad as I look back that even when I was in deepest of pain or lonely in boarding school, I always cried out for mama but now as a father I come to appreciate life’s lessons through my father’s eyes.
God granted me the gift of being a second time father 2 years back.
I remember when my first born son came to the world. The moment I saw him I felt weak and afraid. I remember rushing out of the delivery room and falling to my knees. Begging the Creator to give me the strength and wisdom needed to raise a devout, independent and respectful man. That day my life changed. I now had someone who would look to me for advice and guidance on how to grow up to be a good man. Not only emotional and spiritual guidance would be required of me, but financial too.
My Papa was a hardworking man, still is.
I would not have asked for more than what he worked hard to provide for his 3 boys. This is the key principle behind anything he required of me as a young man. He constantly told me of a world where there is constant competition for what you feel you want or need. How else will you get it unless you work harder than the next man? Another key aspect he continues to speak about is responsibility.
A real man is responsible and real begets real. Be responsible for your actions, over and above that respect your responsibilities. Your responsibilities as a father which is taking care of your family and loved ones. He did not only educate us, he educated several others. He did not only house and clothe us, there is not one moment I recall just the five of us living in our house. All this he did with his head held high.
He may have not been overly religious but his actions and speech were evident of a man who keeps faith through the highs and lows in life.
Whenever we struggled and got him a gift for his birthday he would always say, God bless. Dare you try and miss attending the weekly services with mama, he would put the fear of God in you through the look he would give. His reason for not going to church though? He said people stare at you in church. Lol. He was respectful to his wife and others. He would converse with the regular Joes in the neighborhood. From the shamba boys to the newspaper vendors to the mechanics. I guess that is why so many people respected him too. I desired to have that respect as I grew up.
Gradually I harnessed each and every one of these qualities.
Unbeknown to me, I would be required to apply these same principles 28 years into my life. I may not have said enough Thank Yous to Papa and may never hear the same number of Thank Yous from my sons either. But we walk with our heads held high, knowing that there will be generations of great men driven by the principles educated by Mr. Ndeda, not in class but effortlessly through life’s lessons.
Thank You Papa and Happy Father’s Day.
I am working hard to be better than you were, but if I manage to be even half as good, I will be happy and I hope you will be proud.