Category Archives: Fatherhood

So what did you get your dad?

Appreciating fathers- Father’s Day special

This is a celebration honoring fathers and celebrating fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society. It was introduced in the early 20th century in the United States, to complement Mother’s Day in celebrating fatherhood and male parenting.

The first observance of a “Father’s Day” was held on July 5, 1908, in Fairmont, West Virginia. Grace Golden Clayton was mourning the loss of her father, in December 1907, after the Monongah Mining Disaster killed 361 men, 250 of them fathers, leaving around a thousand fatherless children. Clayton suggested her pastor Robert Thomas Webb to honor all those fathers, hence the genesis of this celebration.

The day is celebrated widely in many countries, on the third Sunday of June but also on other dates in different countries. For instance, in Australia, Father’s Day is celebrated on the first Sunday of September, and is not a public holiday. In Canada, Father’s Day typically involves spending time with one’s father or the father figures in one’s life and is celebrated on the third Sunday of June. Small family gatherings and the giving of gifts may be part of the festivities organized for Father’s Day.

Kenya was not left out on the celebrations which was on Sunday 21, 2015. It is not a public holiday and many Kenyans are probably not aware of it. Or maybe I might be wrong, judging from the buzz on social media. Now that we have delved into the history, let us think of the reason for the celebration. Honoring the father figures in our lives is more meaningful when they are alive. Though the origins of this day were to honor fathers who had perished in a mining disaster, we who still have living fathers or father figures should take advantage and express our appreciation.

Dads are expected to be providers, protectors, problem solvers you name it. Most innocent children believe there’s nothing their fathers cannot do. He is a “superman” of sorts. For example, it is a common thing for Kenyan toddlers to shout “gari ya dadi” (Daddy’s vehicle), whenever they see a posh vehicle on the road. This is the kind of shout that can embarrass you when you are just about to board a matatu with a toddler in your arms. People hearing your child shouting “gari ya daddy” may be thinking that the baby’s daddy must be a mean person to let you use the matatu while he has such a car.

It’s the thought behind the gift

Now in the same spirit of childish innocence and affection, it is a good thing to celebrate our dads with a gift that suits them. However this may be advise that is a little late, but it’s always a heads up for next year. The week is still young, so a belated gift won’t hurt. There are several gift ideas that fit different pockets.

A warm sweater as the cold July weather approaches would be a good idea. This will be appreciated by any father or grandfather. It may be accompanied by a scarf or trendy shoes to fit dad’s fashion taste.
Now if your dad is like mine, who loves his hot beverage, you would know the importance of a good coffee or tea mug. Now I am not talking of just any ordinary mug. There has to be a sentimental value to it to make it special. You may consult some branding experts in town who custom anything with a nice message.

There are lots of phones on offer at jumia which may put a smile on the tech dad’s face. You could also find tablets, watches, cameras, laptops and a whole list of electronics including the new Microsoft Lumia- Lumia540.
We have the dad category who keeps fit and wouldn’t mind if you surprised them with a gym subscription, or several sport items. They can even be jogging shoes. The possibilities are endless for this type of dad.
Last but not least on my list of suggestions would be a fruit basket with an accompanying card. Who said dads don’t like beautifully arranged gifts? You would be surprised.

Above all my suggestions, just take time to spend time with your dad or father figure. If you are far from them, call, text or email and let them know you appreciate them. We need to do some of these things when we still have time, while the people that matter to us are still with us.

Nice question, what did I get my Dad?

I Got him a nice white shirt, so he may wear it to my graduation this Saturday. My old man felt really appreciated and happy. That was the day he received the most text messages from his children. Interestingly, I did not send a text this time round. I did not fancy the loud silence I got last year. I steered clear from social media too because my dad does not have a twitter or Facebook account, what’s the point of writing a message he’ll never read?
This time I changed my tactic to face to face and it worked wonders.

I know my dad is silently feeling proud of me, as my graduation approaches. I will post the photos to prove it. See you then with updates from my not so late graduation.


Let’s stop and celebrate fathers

There is so much negativity on the air about Absentee fathers of late. Sauti Sol’s Nerea was just a trigger to the pent up emotions of women who have struggled to raise their children single handedly. The Kenyan father has his image tainted due to the many negative cases that have caught our attention. This is the reason why I would like to focus on the positives today and celebrate our dads.

Image courtesy of

Father’s day is a completely foreign phenomenon to the Kenyan mind. Mother’s day, valentines, Christmas and Easter could be enjoying much publicity in the Kenyan sphere. It usually is celebrated on the third Sunday of June. This year, it falls on June 21, 2015. Father’s day however is not as famous, as was evident from the brief argument we had on Sunday when a friend wished his father a happy father’s day, with a hug, albeit prematurely. The bone of contention was the date, the gesture was sentimental though.

There is even a Facebook account called Dead Beat Kenya used to shame parents who have abandoned their parenting roles. The number of men being shamed on this platform surpasses the ladies. Good news is that there is an upcoming page celebrating fathers and parents in general. The Facebook page is Alive Beat Kenya. Unfortunately, there is not much posted on the page to counter the negative narrative.
Recently I was involved in the Global Dialogues Jury process that was organized by HIVOS for the third time. The same narrative exists among young people below 25 years. The essays from primary school on domestic violence were alarming. They centered on women who were powerless and had either drunken husbands who were violent or fathers who were totally out of the picture. The situation was the same last year; I asked myself for the umpteenth time whether these children had been coached on what to write.
In as much as they may have done some things that left a bitter taste to our tongues, they are still our dads or dads to our children. Dads often feel left out as we celebrate all other seemingly “important people”. This father’s day let’s take time to celebrate fathers who have sacrificed their lives to raise children on their own. I know for a fact that they exist because my friend, with whom we had an “argument” about the date of father’s day, is an 18 year old boy being raised by a single father. I happen to have a few other friends who are single dads.
This reminds me of my dad. I think I have done so poorly on appreciating him just for being my dad. That’s an important role he has played in my life. Now I’m thinking of a gift that would put a smile on his face. May be a Microsoft Lumia 540 Dual SIM would just do the trick.
Apart from any gift, just telling him you love and appreciate him would do wonders. He may never respond to your text, because he is probably not used to that kind of talk. This is the same response I got last year when I sent a father’s day text to my dad- loud silence. Nonetheless, I will not give up. I will still send a message and probably accompany it with the Microsoft Lumia phone. The footprints that you will have left in the sands of the island of his heart would be remembered for a long time.