Nigerian fathers are great and sweet, but if there’s one thing they struggle with, it’s opening their mouths to express themselves — you will sleep there if you’re waiting for them to say words of affirmation. Instead of saying, “I love you,” they’ll rather do these things instead.

They randomly buy you gifts 

Once in a while, when they go out, they come back home with one or two gifts for you. The gift could be anything from clothes to school supplies.. They’ll say, “I saw you eating an orange the other day, so I thought you’d like everything orange-flavoured.”

They brag about you to their friends 

Nothing says “I love you” more than a Nigerian father bragging about you to a friend of his. All of a sudden, you’re the best child in the world. You’ll be hearing, “I knew Amaka would be an excellent child from the day she was born. My girl just graduated with a first-class.” 

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They call you to tell you random gist 

Has your father ever called you to his living room to give you gist? You can be trying to take a nap or just chilling in your room and he’ll call you to tell you about how one of his friends did something-something, or about that something-something that he saw on the road. 

Beg on your behalf when you’re scolded 

Whenever your father takes your side when your mother is scolding you, just know that he’s just said he loves you. Your mother will be shouting at you and your father will say, “Please, don’t beat him. He’s very foolish for what he did, but forgive him.” There’s an invisible “I love you” moment there.

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They give you their old clothes 

They’ll bring out some of their old clothes and say, “Check if it’s your size.” Daddy, bring it, it’s my size dear. 

They send you funny videos 

This frustrates every Nigerian child, but unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do. Video that you saw 3 years ago on TikTok, your father will forward it to you on WhatsApp and be expecting you to laugh. 

They’re invested in your life 

If your father asks questions that go beyond “How are you?” and “How was school/work?” it’s serious love o. They’re trying to actively be involved in your life. 

They call you to join them when eating 

It doesn’t matter whether you like the food or not, or whether you’re hungry or not. If your father calls you to “come and taste”, you go. If he gives you one of his ten pieces of meat, you’ve unlocked a new level of love in his heart.  No need to even hear the “I love you” spelt out because this behaviour slaps. 

They send you money 

The number one way a Nigerian man tells you he loves you is by sending you money unprovoked. He just felt like dropping some cash in your account. Next thing, you’ll see a text saying “I sent you some money. Check if you’ve gotten it.” Tell me that’s not love. 

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