Father is the mirror

We have a handful of soulful songs that celebrate mothers, I have always wondered why we don’t have the same for our fathers, it would have come handy on a day like this.

Or Perhaps it was me who didn’t know many, would love to learn.

…Baba ni dingi (Father is the mirror), Mirror? I suppose it’s a metaphor for something deep.

By the time I was a teenager, my father didn’t talk much about anything, he was still very active in the village affairs, he’d wake up every morning at 5am to ring the church bell for morning prayers,  alerting people they only have half hour left before service commenced.

Oh this hymn – “Opin ti mo n lepa ni Olorun, kii se bikun nikan, a f’Olorun…” (The end that I am after is God, not only blessings but God). How are people not bored listening to the same song every morning?

I felt like I didn’t know my father at all. He was more interested in writing his diary than sharing his thoughts with anyone.

Years passed.

One day at work minding my business, I looked up to see Moomi. I was lost for words “What are you doing here?” “Is everything okay?” I asked my mother.

She arrived in town that morning and was there to say my father was at the local clinic, since I was the only one around so she thought she’d better stop by to let me know.

I officially ran out of luck – the joy of being the one around.

“Moomi, I can’t leave work now, I’ll find my boss and be home in the evening” I told my mother.

My mother looked at me, not very convinced. She thought I’d chickened out of my responsibility to step up and give back to the father who chose to send me to school rather than build a house or had endless family parties.

He was severely dehydrated so was put was on an intravenous drip. He had malaria, that was not treated properly, also his bulging hernia is growing by the day – that was due for removal 6 years prior.

“Okay, Ode, tell me something, is daddy going to survive this time?” I asked the nurse.

The nurse was positive my father would live but we had A, B and C to be dealt with in the first instance.

Getting clearer, so it is hopelessness that’s killing my old man this instance?

Looking at my father where he laid, the little story I knew of him flashed before my eye. His own father and older brother both died around the same age in their early 60s after a brief illness  of something that could have been easily treated.

Rural farmers sending children to school often rely on their help in old age. Some people are lucky, their ‘investment’ would pay off, others not so much.

My father was given a second chance in life. Almost 80 years old now. He is full of life, anytime is a good time to ask him any questions and now my father is not as boring anymore. I am glad to have daddy of my childhood back.

To him and fathers around the world – I wish you all a very good one.

Categories: Nigeria


13 replies

  1. A little insight into the ‘Male mind’, ladies. (Something you may all have already noticed)
    Note that I am not defending a trend but only stating it as it is….

    All through history, men are really not particular about being praised by all those younger than them or dependant on them or beneath them, because everybody is alway beneath men. But women tend to be particular about being exhalted & can go on & on about respect & age & status, for a life time. This is mainly because they always need to make a case for higher positioning.

    Example…. Typically, the slightly older young African man doesn’t mind what the slightly younger relative calls him. But don’t call the slightly older lady ‘Aunty’ & you go know she be senior ‘lady’…

    Bottom line…. there are a lot fewer songs of praise for the men folk because they aren’t particular about such trifles.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Baba Yas! I agree with this statement “because everybody is always beneath men” – this sums it all up.

      Talking about the way things used to be – in Yoruba there is a saying that ‘a father is for plenty of people whereas a mother has a few’ this notion supports polygamy which Yoruba regardless of religion favour. This I believe is one of the reasons children tend to relate with their mothers emotionally rather than fathers.

      And of course, things are changing for our own good I believe.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I will burst your bubble a tiny bit….. I don’t know how well your history is but this isn’t the first time the larger world has marginally experienced such advancement in women. I worry that it will not be the last time either. ….Get it?

        I just posted something about the resiliance of the women folk …. https://yasniger.wordpress.com/2015/06/24/the-woman-triumphs-still/

        The identity of sexes is mainly and utterly sexual in nature. And as long as that doesn’t ever change, the status quo will falter & stutter but will always resusitate its spade of inequality and the man will remain unfairly dominant. It is just human nature. And with the growing popularity of the lesbian & Gay communities, the place of the woman as equal to her man suffers, without firmly establishing itself.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Here to learn Aboki, never mind bursting my bubble.

          One thing that is different this time around compared to the ’60s is the ease of information all around us mainly from everyday folks. Women are benefitting more now learning they are not alone and are gaining more confidence from people close by and far away.

          One tiny step forward is improvement.

          Take for example the case of Wasila, a 14 year old forced to marry someone more than twice her age – poisoning her husband would have granted her easy death by stoning – but luckily, the changing world heard her case out. I don’t condone killing as a revenge, but you get my point, abi?

          Well, talking about identity of sexes being sexual – have you heard about the reverse rape trend in south Africa where women gang raped men? This is a country with one of the highest case of sexual violence per year (500k), usually justice is not done and victims blamed – I wonder what the government will do now, perhaps blame it on the guys walking alone?


          • You got a point with the wide spread of information now… That really has made a huge difference. I heard about the South African gist & really as a guy, I think the idea that a woman can rape a guy (By force) is very funny… Pardon my ‘french’ but putting it bluntly… ‘If he has a hard on, he is willing & not being raped’.. Period. LOL

            Liked by 1 person

            • Only that in this recent case drugs was forced down his throat before the ‘act’.
              And apart from that if one has to participate with gun held to the head, hard not to comply to safe ones life.

              See women all over are finding ways to say enough is enough. It shouldn’t have to be that extreme.

              Liked by 1 person

  2. This is so sweet! I actually discusse with King yesterday that I wonder why they don’t have songs like Nico Mbaga’s Sweet Mother for Fathers. I’m glad Dad is still strong and you are enjoying every moment. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for sharing Fola. You were so lucky to have a second chance to bond with your father.

    Liked by 1 person

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