What She Said: I Am My Dad’s Favourite Child, But We Have A Strained Relationship

July 7, 2021

The subject of this week’s What She Said is a 24-year-old woman who is a middle child. She talks about seeking attention growing up, and her strained relationship with her father.

 What’s your earliest memory of your childhood?

I crashed my older sister’s birthday. I was in Primary One, and it was December. I told my parents that I wanted to celebrate my birthday the same day my sister was celebrating hers. I threw a tantrum until they got me my own cake and gifts on that day. 

In January, which is my birth month, I wanted them to celebrate my birthday again. They ignored me. 

Why did you do that, and wasn’t your sister angry?

I was being dramatic for attention. I thought my sisters were more awesome than I was. I love them and they’re my best friends in the world, but I felt I needed to stand out in some way. 

My big sister was trying to be good, so she just accommodated me. 

Does this mean you were constantly getting your way as a child?

I won’t say I was getting my way all the time. My parents realised that if I wanted something, I would throw a tantrum, so my mum started ignoring me. It was harder for my dad to do so because, unfortunately, I am his favourite.

Why is it unfortunate?

My dad and I don’t see eye to eye on a lot of things like feminism, charity work, mental health issues. All of those things are a big part of who I am and who I am becoming. Being his favourite child is like mixing two separate things together. 

He’s on the African dad side of things. Like on mental health, he believes that if there is nothing physically wrong with you, then you are absolutely fine. There was a time he took me out on a drive. I don’t know how to drive, and when you put me behind the wheel, I get panic attacks. I kept trying to communicate with him that I couldn’t do it because of my anxiety, but he told me to stop speaking “big big English”.  When my breathing became laboured, he said to “stop that nonsense” and just drive. 

The moment he said that, I couldn’t breathe anymore. That was how I was till I got home. 

Doesn’t this affect your relationship? 

It does. I don’t feel like I can come to him when I am not mentally sound. I have had a lot of panic attacks recently, and I wanted to ask him to please pay for therapy for me, but he wouldn’t do that. 

I think he notices the strain in our relationship, but he doesn’t know how to address it. Instead, he goes out and buys me my favourite snacks. It has been like that since I was a child. When I was sad, he would buy me food I liked. It was also his olive branch. 

However, as I’ve grown older, I’ve realised that things are different. Our relationship is getting to a point where it wouldn’t survive if I become financially independent. I don’t want it to be that way because since we lost our mum, he’s the only one my sisters and I have. 

I am so sorry. Do you want to talk about that? 


I understand. How did that affect your relationship with your dad?

While my mum was alive, she used to be the buffer between my dad and my sisters. She never allowed us to feel the full range of the emotions he carried and his behaviour. 

When she died, we were exposed to all of those feelings, and it was hard. It still is. 

Do you ever think your sisters were jealous of your relationship with your dad?

I won’t say they were jealous. They were just aware of the situation. I mean, I get away with a whole lot more than my older sister. Also, they were the ones that pointed out I was dad’s favourite before I even realised and accepted it. 

My sisters and I are very close. They know everything about me, and I know everything about them. We back each other up. If I didn’t have other friends in the world, and it was just my sisters and I, I would be fine. 

What do you think will make your relationship with your dad better?

I think moving away. If I move away and start to make a living, I can insulate myself enough to accept him the way he is without it affecting my life and well being. Therapy might also help as well.

For more stories like this, check out our #WhatSheSaid and for more women like content, click here

Zikoko Donation Banner

Help Zikoko keep making the content you love

More than ever, people are turning to Zikoko for stories that matter and content they love. But still, we, like many media organisations, are feeling the financial heat of these times. If you find us valuable, please make a contribution to help keep Zikoko zikoko-ing.

Thank you for your support.

We are also cool with Crypto.

Donation Close
Zikoko Logo

Complete Your Commitment

Donation confirm

Your Contribution is confirmed! Amount

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

March 11, 2021

So, if you thought pregnancy cravings were the funniest things about being pregnant, then you definitely have not heard of the pregnancy myths. With the help of Zikoko WhatsApp groups 2 and 3, I compiled a list of some of the funniest pregnancy myths ever. 1) If you dip your hand into your husband’s pocket […]

A boy and a girl sitting and talking
June 29, 2021

Friendships provide some of the support required for us to bloom in life. In this article, seven Nigerian women talk about their platonic friendships with men.  Funmi, 22  I have a lot of platonic male friends. I find friendship with them therapeutic and less competitive than the ones I have with women. Also, men judge […]


Now on Zikoko

May 21, 2022

The subject of today’s Sex Life is a 27-year-old man who masturbated for the first time when he was 22. He talks about the transition from saving himself for marriage to just enjoying sex, and why he never considered masturbation till he started having sex.

Recommended Quizzes

November 12, 2019

Are you a single pringle, stuck in a complicated situationship or happily married to the love of your life? This quiz is here to guess your current relationship status, and as you know, Zikoko quizzes are incredibly accurate (don’t quote us). So, give a shot:

November 4, 2019

After successfully predicting when y’all are getting married (please, email any complaints to noneofourbusiness@nayousabi.com), we are back to tell you how much is currently in your account. How, you might ask? By using your taste in Nollywood, of course. Shhh. No questions. Just take it already:

March 24, 2020

While we know that a lot of the best Nigerian artists deservedly have fans across generations, that won’t stop us from attempting to guess how old you are based on your taste in Nigerian music. So, take this quiz to see if we got it right:

November 30, 2019

With No Nut November FINALLY coming to an end, we’ve decided to mark the torturous month with some more horny content. After quizzes that guessed how many people you’ve slept with, how good you are in bed and who you’ll sleep with next, this one will guess when next you’ll get lucky. Take it to […]

More from Her

May 11, 2022

Today’s subject on #Zikokowhatshesaid is @fehinlean, a 30-year-old Nigerian woman. She talks about her childhood love for motorcycles, why she waited until she was 28 to ride one and handling the stares when people realise she isn’t a man, on her biking trips across the country.

May 7, 2022

“I have gone from believing in the possibility that God exists to questioning the reality of that chance.”

In this essay, Mariam talks about her journey with religion over the years and what influences her lack of faith.

Read here:


Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.