Have you ever considered writing a love letter to your dad?
How would you want for the letter to turn out?
I mean, is it a re-connection? A reminder? Is it a regret?
When and if writing a love letter to your dad, don’t remind him of his failures.
Remind your dad of his greatness.
Nobody wants to be told of how bad they were and after all, we all make mistakes.
There’s no parent who has a parental manual which they refer to at any point of their life.
Also, write away make you dad feel appreciated, loved and considered.
Make your dad feel ”guilty”, good guilt I mean.
Don’t make him feel bad guilty that he wasn’t present or something.
I decided to write letters this valentines day because, well, Letter Writing is an Art which people say is lost yet it’s an art very personal.
Notable people and Kings even have used letters to express their dire love for their loved ones, why not us?
After a decade of incommunicado between my father and I, I feel mature enough and even bold to address him again.
He was a very passionate man: education, life and making money.
He believed that girls don’t need men, we need to be independent and love will follow us.
He believed that a woman could do her best when she pushed her limits.
In all, he believed his daughters could be the best they have ever wanted to be.
And even him, he loved to write letters to address us or confront his feelings.
I relish those moments when my father and I used to smile, cook and do carpentry.
He taught us how to drive because he believed that an all-rounded woman is what the world was coming to.
Now imagine that and the closed-mindedness of African men!
As with all fathers he had his flaws but we said, ”Only the Positive” today.
I hope you enjoy reading this letter, find inspiration to write to your father or step-dad or any man who has been pivotal of being where you’re as a woman, lady.
We can only chant feminism when we appreciate the men in our lives, my father would say.
I know this will come as a shock to you dad, but there’s no shock than the silence we have bored in each other’s life for a decade.
A decade is a time long enough for any mortal to realise that time flies and doesn’t look back.
A time to look at all the mistakes we made together and even appreciate time.
Because time has made me reflect, mature and realise that all that happened between us is a test of our love.
Dad, do you remember how you’d envisioned a life where I’d take the world by storm by being an activist?
Those days where I’d cry that I want to be a doctor then one day you came home saying, ”Akinyi, I don’t think you can ever be a doctor”.
And I was in shock then you kept on, ” You know someone thinks they know their child until they don’t.
I thought you were a quiet naive to be bullied girl no wonder I taught you carpentry and other manual jobs as you would call them.
”Those are skills”, I recall you saying.
You’re a very vocal person who loves to educate, be an activist.
But in order for you to earn respect as an activist, you have to become a teacher.
Now I know you don’t like teaching but think big.
You even went on to buy for me the book, Think Big by Ben Carson.
Or work in the Human Resource Field or in Strategic Planning because you’re a great organiser good with humans and service.
I’m not entirely dispelling your ambition for cabin crew jobs I know you love to serve but you need to think big, think wide”.
You know what dad?
I love the fact that you saw what was ahead of me.
You saw that in the field of Medicine I’d be miserable working long hours and not supporting my desire to debate.
Do you remember suggesting about Human Rights Lawyer!.
I had a tunnel vision yet you had an eagle’s view.
They say, ”What an elder can see laying down, flat on the ground, a child standing on the tallest mountain will strive to see in vain”.
Dad, now I see your reality.
I struggled at first, to even think you were right made me mad at myself even more.
I regretted sometimes for not paying attention.
But guess what dad?
I became exactly that, a teacher: educating women on how to make money online, become independent, educating people to make good, great of themselves, encouraging curiousity.
You made me see what was in me dad.
I really and sincerely love you for that.
I became an activist championing for the less privileged to get good education and not see their dreams come to pass.
You always told me that education was everything and not book education, well-rounded education and you encouraged that in my sister and I.
Nowadays, I stand for the LGBTQ+ community and stand firmly and solidly behind them as you said, ”Don’t give a damn what they say after you believe in something”.
”That kind of ignorance is needed when you are fighting for a new thing”, you’d say.
I can certainly hear you saying, ”Akinyi, fight for them they need a strong voice like yours. A non-fighting voice but which is louder”.
I can hear you saying, ”Push the boundaries harder I want to see you in that trouser suit talking the talk”.
And you see that voice that I hear in my mind talking to me, your voice, is the voice that makes me move forward.
I’ll be truthful, I regret not having all your wisdom for a decade.
They say a girl needs her father, they don’t kid dad. They don’t.
As I pen these memories from my heart, I’d love for you to realise how impacting you have been to me.
I never forgot you.
Though at first I regretted that English course in the University, now, it helps me pen my ideas.
I even started a blog.
I was afraid of shining when I started the blog, sharing my wisdom with the world but I kept hearing you, ”Akinyi, go, go, go”.
I finally summed the courage to educate with my words.
I can remember those composition lessons you’d give me.
How you’d tell me to write in a language that all can understand even a small child.
To just write my heart away.
You encouraged me to keep my journal.
And from my journal which I kept hidden, I have started to unveil all dad.
I even have a page called Quotes From My Father which I solely dedicate to you.
I laugh at all the words.
I don’t ever regret anything, I just am happy that I’ve managed to learn.
Now the only thing I pray for, is we rekindle, reunite and look forward from today.
I’m sorry for everything my dear daddy.
I love you so so very much and looking forward for you to reading this piece one of these days because, I cannot bear another decade without you.
I know one thing, though I’m nervous, I’m certain you’ll welcome me in open arms.
And even ask ignorantly, ”Akinyi, why did you wait for this long? You’re truly the bulldozer but all bulldozers need a refuel”. I know how you talk dad.
I love love love you so much.
To my handsomely dad, daddy,
From lovely Akinyi.
I focused my dad’s prodigal lost daughter letter on the positive and reminded him of the greatness he has instilled in my life.
Boost your loved ones ego this Valentines.
No matter how bad that father was, I’m sure he regrets everything because, age makes people realise unless they were sociopaths or suffered from some mental illness and cannot remember or think it was right.
I believe you can reconnect a family with love and my journey to reconnect with my father has just started through this letter.
Would you love to read the African Feminist Man, a Memoir?