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 20, 2020

Depending on the kind of person you are, staying in one relationship for a long time could be easy and fulfilling or torturous and unsatisfying. So, we’ve created a quiz that can guess the longest relationship you’ve ever been in. Take to find out:


Now on Zikoko

Recommended Quizzes

November 14, 2019

The fourth season of Big Brother Naija came to an end over a month ago, but the conversation surrounding the housemates is far from over. So, in a bid to keep the fire burning, we decided to create a quiz that tells you which famous member of the ‘Pepper Dem’ gang is your soulmate. Take […]

December 29, 2021

A new year is right around the corner. Before we go into 2022, enjoy some of our top quizzes from this year. 1. QUIZ: Only Nigerian Gen Z’ers Can Make It To The End Of This Musicians Quiz Forget about your age. If you can make it to the end of this quiz, you’re definitely […]

November 20, 2019

Last month, we thoughtfully made a quiz telling you guys exactly when you’ll marry, but some of you claimed that your spouse was nowhere to be found. Well, now we’ve created one that’ll tell you exactly who you’ll be dragging down that aisle. Take and start planning that wedding: 11 Quizzes For Nigerians Who Are […]

October 30, 2019

Kemi Adetiba’s King of Boys movie got a lot of things right, especially casting, so yes, it was a monster hit. Now, we know you may not have put much thought to this, but the personalities of some of the characters closely match yours, and we would like to help you find the perfect match. […]

More from Her

September 25, 2022

Simi and Taofeeqat became best friends in SS2. Before adulthood came between them, they gave each other cheesy love letters and long hugs. In this #LettertoHER, Simi wants Taofeeqat to know she misses her.

September 20, 2022

If your partner spent so much time in your home that it felt like they lived there, moving on can be tougher. So what happens when you can’t afford to move out to move on from the memories of your partner? 7 Nigerians who’ve been heartbroken shared their experience.

What She Said: I’ll Run For Office in 2027
September 14, 2022

Nafisa Atiku-Adejuwon talks about experiencing politics in secondary school, choosing public service over a legal career and finding purpose in helping young women enter politics through “Girls Just Want to Run”.

September 11, 2022

“In everything I wanted to do, my grandma always told me to go for it, even if I wanted to fly to the moon. She never made any of my dreams seem unachievable.”

In this personal essay, Dammy talks about her grandmother, who was also her best friend. #GrandparentsDay

What She Said: Feminism Led Me to Atheism
August 31, 2022

This week’s #ZikokoWhatSheSaid subject is a 23-year-old Nigerian woman. She tells us about discovering her feminism, pansexuality and atheism through books while living with her close-knit conservative family.


Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

September 13, 2022
Vs The World is a Zikoko original video series that follows best friends Astor and Hassan as they take on the world.
August 23, 2022
Zikoko Ships is a Zikoko Original series where we invite two people who share a relationship to play the Zikoko card games
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.

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.