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Father’s Day Feature: Moses Kemibaro, Hands-on Dad
As an annual tradition around Father’s day, MumsVillage reached out to the dads in our community to share their parenting experiences and tips as we #CelebrateDad. This is Moses Kemibaro’s story:
1. What childhood experiences shaped you the most? What did you learn from them?
There are so many! I think some that come to mind include sports. For some reason swimming became a family sport so to speak? We spent weekends swimming as a family and also competed a lot. There was an expectation that we would do well in that. It was interesting since I come from a family of six children with me being in the middle, so my parents would have to attend swimming galas to see all of us swimming and spend the whole day with us.
Another experience for me had to be going to boarding school? This for me was big in terms of making me more independent and learning who I was at a relatively young age? I think that experience is great as you start to move away from being so dependent on your parents and start to become your own person. I was also really into comic books as a child and that did wonders for my sense of imagination and possibilities? It made me think anything was possible if you could image, not to mention it kindled my love for writing and reading books as well.
2. How would people who knew you in school describe you?
It’s hard to say? Probably they would say I was a nice and shy guy? I was also really into my academics at one point and excelled in school. Excelling at sports came late and Rugby provided me with a platform to build lifelong friendships and self confidence that impact my life to this very day. Somewhere along the way, I really liked going out (partying) and having a good time.
3. How have you raised your children similarly to how you were raised? What have you tried to do differently?
I think I have a closer relationship with children than I did with my own parents? We talk about everything and I spend lots of time with them after work and on the weekends. We display love much more openly with lots of hugs and that sort of thing than my parents ever did. My parents were kind of traditional or old school from that perspective.
From a disciplining perspective, we only use the rod when its absolutely necessary unlike my parents? We talk to the children and make them see where they went wrong and how they can make amends. Disciplining is less physical and more emotional?
Another thing is when I was growing up we played a lot and did all sorts of outdoor activities, so we make a point of making sure the children do as much of that as possible and avoid the obsession kids these days have with TV and video games. They do get access to TV and video games though but its managed.
4. What traditions did your parents pass on to you that you passed on to your child/children?
Spending quality time as a family during important times of the year such as Christmas and Easter are events we are really keen on. We do all the typical family things that go with that. Mealtimes is a family affair as we try make sure everyone is there at the same time. We go to church regularly and have brought up our children in a Christian way. We feel this is really important for their values going forward, just as we too were brought up the same way as our Parents.
5. What three words would you say represents your approach to parenting and why?
Patience: Because children are growing and learning all the time and each one is a unique person with their own unique qualities so patience is so vital to give them room to come into their own.
Love: I believe unconditional love is essential to nurture your children well even when they stress you out or do things. Children forgive so easily compared to adults and their love is truly special. It’s important we do the same for them as parents.
Encouragement: I always look at ways to encourage my children even when they are down and out. An example of this is the names they have. They all have a special meaning and we often remind them what their names mean and encourage them to live up to the legend of their names – it’s potent stuff for a child!
6. What are some of the most rewarding (and/or challenging) aspects of being a parent for you?
Making time is one of them? Every day is hectic as I am involved in so many things, so I need to really juggle lots to make time for them. This means sometimes having to drop the ball in one part of your life to make room for you children.
Having children changed me in so many ways. I was quite self-centred before they came into my life and now everything I do is in one way or another focused on my children – I live for them, literally and figuratively. Children make life worth everything as they become the focal point of all things in your life.
In terms of the rewards of being a father to my children, there are too many to list here! But small things like seeing how your son wants to be like you or how much your daughter dotes on you is priceless! It’s truly a gift from God to have children that look up to you and it makes you go the extra mile to make their lives that much better in every respect!
7. What was the most rewarding (and/or hardest) period of your career journey?
Where do I start? Does it ever end? As a serial entrepreneur some of the hardest parts include losing clients or seeing your business failing even when you poured in your heart and soul to make it work. I have seen how the entrepreneurial journey can literally hurt your marriage or family. I know what it’s like to work 18 hour days every day non-stop and sustain oneself on a handful of hours of sleep daily. It can be really really tough!
On the other hand, I also know the elation of getting that amazing client to work with your business. I love the thrill of hunting for new clients and winning their confidence to do their work. I am a lifelong sales professional, so this is central to how I value my work and career. I am a firm believer you can make your own luck with God’s guidance and anything is possible – miracles happen in the workplace every day!
8. What are your thoughts about your current line of work?
I love what I do! Once upon a time I wanted to be a Doctor or work in some aspects of a medical profession – that’s was eons ago. I love technology and managed to find an exciting profession in digital marketing as a professional and as an entrepreneur. I still believe having done this for over 20 years or so we are still getting started since its such a new area and especially in the context of Africa where we are just getting lift off in terms of Internet access for the masses. Its challenging at times but very rewarding to be at the center of something so new and also something so global. I honestly believe that the Internet and digital channels in general provide an opportunity to level the playing field for African businesses and brands to achieve global notoriety and impact the bottom-line. This is quantum leap stuff we are dealing with and the script is still being written – the playbook is still work in progress. Its inspiring!
9. What do you think the world needs more of right now?
We need to return to the basics from a humanity perspective. The basics in terms of spirituality and family values. There is too much focus on the individual and not enough thinking that are all part and parcel of something so much bigger? We are all one. There is a reason that things seem to be falling apart everywhere thanks to corruption and other painful truths.
10. Is there something that you wish you had experienced that you haven’t yet experienced?
A few? Bungee jumping? Buying a brand-new car and/or motorcycle? Taking my family to Disneyland? Having a candid chat about life with my late parents about how to live, work and raise a family? Maybe even watching the World Cup in person one day? Things like that.
11. At this stage in your life, what are some of your best family memories?
There are moments. Priceless moments. Spending time with my family during the school holidays and travelling with them. We grew up in Mombasa so coming to Nairobi for a break was a big deal for us as we would pile into the family car and Dad would drive us all the way. Stuff like that.
12. What message would you like to share with your family?
That they are the best and most important thing that ever happened to me and that they are truly a blessing from God.
13. How would you like to be remembered?
Hmmm….Not sure to be honest? Its work in progress? I want to be remembered for being a great Dad and Husband who worked hard and succeeded, loved and provided for his family, followed God’s ways unselfishly and lived to high ethical standards.
Happy Father’s day!
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