I was eight years old when I discovered my father didn’t know everything, I asked him when rapture would take place and he said “I don’t know”, I have barely gotten over that shock. He knew so much, like how many grains of rice was in a spoonful, the day the Berlin wall came down…
When I was growing up, I used to read a lot of novels and was always encountering new words, I’d always ask him for their meaning and his answer was invariably “bring the dictionary and look it up” that answer annoyed me to no end, this man went to school to study English language and he’d been teaching the same English language longer than I’d been alive, yet he wouldn’t tell me the meaning of anything. Now I’m glad he made me learn to search for answers myself and not wait to be spoon fed.
Today’s Father’s Day and I ponder on the many ways my dad has shaped my life, he taught me how to think logically, how not to take decisions based on emotional persuasions and how to see all the angles, I may not have been the best student but I had the “bestest” teacher.
As the eldest child he always tried to instill a sense of responsibility for my younger brothers in my actions, at the time it was annoying. Now I’m glad that my brothers and I are extremely close and they can come to me when they need a listening ear. he also insisted we share everything, right down to a bottle of coke.
My father was and is a storyteller per excellence, he told the most interesting stories. When he talked about history you can all but stretch your hand and touch the era in question. His stories about being a soldier in the civil war were so vivid that it took his both parents and my mum to jointly tell us my dad was too young to have fought in the war, yet a part of me still believes he saw battle. His stories about his university days while causing my brothers and I to roll our eyes at his description of how frugal he was, but his stories also make me weep for Nigeria.