To celebrate father’s day, Chinedum Akiti-Diego -author of the devotional “Raising daughters in a changing world“- has written a beautiful letter to her father. It’s a must read for all fathers! Read the letter below.
16th June 2018
To: A.V.M Victor Chukwukamadu Akiti (Rtd.)
From: Chinedum Akiti-Diego
Happy Father’s Day!!
Funny, I don’t remember celebrating fathers’ day when you were alive but this year 2018, eleven years after your departure from the earth, I realize that I can still celebrate you even though you are not physically present with us anymore; you are still here-in my heart and living through my four brothers: John, Chiedoziem, Junior and Chibuzor. You are still here. Your voice in my head, your eyes- warm and approving, your laughter- booming and reckless. You’re alive really, so wishing you happy father’s day is not out of place.
First, I must say thank you. How do I thank you enough for the many gifts you gave that at the time I took for granted but now know, that not every father does these things! No, only a special few! Thank you for listening to my endless chatter, thank you for believing in me and saying so.
Thank you for showing me I had a voice and should use it. Thank you for asking for my opinion and respecting it. Thank you for showing me love, the kind that did not shift regardless. Thank you for attending PTA meetings, speech & prize giving days. Thank you for doing homework and enjoying doing it (I still remember struggling with simultaneous equations and you made it seem so easy!)
Thank you for sitting with me through all the many competitions I entered, the many sets of corrections to get it ‘just right’. Thank you for teaching us to love Nigeria-taking us North, South, East & West and making me see that there were good and bad people everywhere.
Thank you for teaching me to value people because they were people, not for what they had or didn’t have. Thank you for showing me contentment- you related with poor and rich alike. Nobody chose their parents you said, so they shouldn’t be judged by them. Thank you for always speaking well of everyone, making me call drivers and house helps ‘oga’ not just by their names.
Thank you for teaching me to read and write because you read and wrote! And thanks for allowing me ‘destroy’ your library in the process (You’ll be glad to know that my current library is bursting at the seams, one room can’t seem to take my books anymore). So now I’m thinking of gifting some schools with some or even start a public Library- you always did show me by example that I ought to do some ‘Fela’-be socially conscious.
You always did say I could do and be anything. To be honest, I thought you were somewhat ‘crazy’ but now I am becoming just as crazy as you…
Thank you for giving me room to be, for disciplining me- your own special brand-‘the talk’ that was sometimes worse than a cane. Thanks for loving me, taking me out, just us-and building up my self esteem such that even though in recent times it took quite a bashing, it’s now back and better. Indeed, I’m beautiful, I’m smart and I thrive at whatever I choose to do and anyone that can’t see that, simply hasn’t got eyes (wink! Wink!!)
Best of all, thank you for loving my Mum and standing up for her regardless of whose ox was gored. Thank you for minimizing her weaknesses and maximizing her strengths. Thank you for valuing her even though she was so different from you. Thank you for not intervening when she wielded the stick.
Thank you for holding her hands in public, kissing her in my presence and coming into the kitchen to steal hugs. I can never put into words how secure that made me feel and how much of a deterrent it was against premarital sex. It was much stronger than all the fear of hell for indeed, rare is the man who could love like you loved my mum! Thanks for allowing mum introduce Jesus to me, even when you didn’t know Him yourself. I love you, I can’t lie and I’m grateful I carry your genes. I’m proud to be called your daughter for life!!
Love and plenty kisses,
From your one and only, ‘Adamadu’.
And for fathers, past, present and future: this isn’t just a letter to my Dad, it’s my letter to you too. To say even though we don’t always show it, we value you, we see all your hard work and we are grateful, God bless you, now and always! And if you haven’t been such a great father, it’s not too late to start, start today! HAPPY FATHERS DAY!!