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 Jisas Lemasagarai’s story:
1. What childhood experiences shaped you the most? What did you learn from them?
I was raised in a pastoralist environment in Samburu County by loving parents amid joy, laughter and extraordinary human resilience. Pastoralism is a life of hard work characterized by constant adaptation to the climate. This lifestyle taught me that he who works hard wins. As a last born in a family of seven, I also had role models in my brothers and sisters. My eldest brother was especially inspirational to me in the way he strived to excel both in school and work.
2. How would people who knew you in school describe you?
Differently, depending on the stage of life. I have forged very close relationships right across my school journey from primary school to university.
3. How have you raised your children similarly to how you were raised? What have you tried to do differently?
My first born is currently 2 years and 4 months old. As young parents, it has been a bit of a steep learning curve. We keep learning about parenting on the go and we also keep improvising. I would say that it is still early days to raise our daughter the way we were raised because the two lifestyles are very different. Still, we would like to impart the best values that we learnt from our parents to our children as they grow.
4. What traditions did your parents pass on to you that you passed on to your child/children?
My parents were big believers in staying grounded and working hard. This is something that I would like to pass on to my children. Similarly, I would like them to identify with their cultural heritage in some way. I have followed most of my community’s traditions, almost to the letter. So it would be great if my kids can grow with some understanding of where their parents started or came from.
5. What three words would you say represents your approach to parenting and why?
Learning; Loving; Listening
6. What are some of the most rewarding (and/or challenging) aspects of being a parent for you?
My daughter, young as she is, is already very inquisitive. I find it quite challenging to find a way to explain things to her in a way that would make sense to her. My wife and I are trying to learn and develop our own understanding of how to explain the world to her in the most suitable way.
7. What was the most rewarding (and/or hardest) period of your career journey?
I think I am right in the middle of it at the moment! I travel quite a lot for work and while keeping in touch with family through video calls helps, it is not quite the same as being present. While I enjoy all the new experiences that work brings for me, striking a balance with being with the family is something that I need to continually develop.
8. What are your thoughts about your current line of work?
Right now, I am in the mobile for development space working across Africa and I am loving it!
9. What do you think the world needs more of right now?
The world needs more openness and collaboration. In Africa for example, we are faced with similar challenges, and we could all learn with more sharing of ideas and collaboration. We need to open our borders to ensure more flow of people and ideas.
10. Is there something that you wish you had experienced that you haven’t yet experienced?
I am striving to develop myself be better at family and work responsibilities. As such, I need to immerse myself in all the experiences that can give me more understanding.
11. At this stage in your life, what are some of your best family memories?
Getting married to my amazing and beautiful wife, and raising our young daughter.
12. What message would you like to share with your family?
That I love them and I will always be there for them.
13. How would you like to be remembered?
As a loving father and husband and as someone who had a positive impact in others’ lives.
Happy Father’s day!
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