By the way, all I wanted was a daddy, to be like all the other kids in school who always told tales of how they got everything they asked for. I wanted a daddy who would buy me the latest Play Station and Nintendo game consoles and take me to Disneyland during the holidays. I wanted a daddy who would take me to fast food joints every weekend and give me large amounts of money as weekly allowance. I wanted a daddy who would send me to British International School and Babcock University and buy me a car at 18. I just wanted a daddy who would do everything I ever wanted.
I never got that daddy.
Instead I got a man who made me different from the other kids. I got a man who expected me to play scrabble and chess and monopoly. I got a man who gave me Laye and Achebe and Yeats for holidays and took me to church on Sundays and gave me N100 a week. I got a man who sent me to Igbobi College, where I still carry the marks of discipline on my body, and University of Lagos where, above all things, I finally surrendered to be found in Christ. I didn’t even get a bicycle from this man; let the family car suffice, he would say.
No, I didn’t get a daddy. I didn’t get someone who would do anything to please me and make me happy. I didn’t get a man who would do anything I wanted.
Instead I got a man who did everything I needed, most of which I didn’t want at the time, but for all of which I’m now eternally grateful to this man.
I didn’t get a daddy. No.
I got a father.
This loss; this departure of a man; this demise of a father is extremely painful. Yet, in dying he has taught me another great lesson: Daddies die, but fathers live on through their children.