There is a general consensus whenever I talk to fathers that the joy of fatherhood can’t be described and that it’s also a thankless job.

In celebration of upcoming father’s day, and curious about it being thankless, I asked a couple of people to share the memory of their dad that sticks out. Ngl, I shed a little tear while reading some.

Here’s what they said:

Well, I cried.

“The memory I have isn’t the ‘best.’

My dad had cancer and was out of a job. The cost of his treatment was quite high, and I remember that one day, after his surgery, he went for his appointment and was told he had to do some tests. The cost of everything was quite high; almost 100k back then. I also remember both of us standing in front of the hospital with tears in his eyes.

I didn’t see him cry when he got the diagnosis, or when he went for surgery. It was shocking to see him struggling with tears in front of me after beating the disease.

For some reason, this is my fondest memory of him.

I think it is because I saw him at his strongest and at his weakest at that point.

I had the money and although it was meant for something else, I gave it to him. We both stood there and I was reassuring him, telling him we’d get the tests done – It cost about 90k.”

My chest.

“Well, my dad has followed me for every external exam ever: Common Entrance, Quizzes, Post Utme. Anyway, I had an exam that was supposed to be by 9 am but both of us somehow thought it was by 10.

So, we stayed back at home to fry prawn crackers.

After we were done, we decided to walk to school instead of taking a cab – we were joking and gossiping all the way. By the time we got there, people were wondering why we were so late. I was rushing into the exam hall and the man still tossed my prawn crackers at me and said that he trusts that I’ll finish on time so I can eat.

I did. I came third and even got a scholarship – he was so proud and confident.”

Who’s cutting onions behind me?

“Well, it was a dancing competition and it was clear that I won. Rather than give me my gift, they gave it someone else. My dad was there life and direct when it happened.

I cried and cried and cried.

He told me to let them be. That the best person doesn’t need validation. The next day on his way back from work, he bought me the exact same gift.”

Daddy’s girl.

“I was sitting on his laps and picking at his beards when I was like say 7. It was ruined by my grandma sha, she came and saw me. She was like I’m too big to be doing that and I should get up. I was extremely sad when it happened.”


“I once played football with him as a child. Then, as a teenager, we played game one time on my play station; this was just a few months before he died.”

This is wholesome.

“My fondest memory involves hiding in the back seat of my dad’s car just to follow him out. And him pretending not to notice until we were far from the house.

I was really small so I could squeeze myself into that space between the front and back seat. You wouldn’t see me if you didn’t know where to look.

That’s how I ended in Okene one day wearing just my primary school sportswear (vest and shorts). For context, Okene was like 2 hours away from home.”

E for what?

“One time we went to renew my passport, one of the customs guys asked my dad “na your pikin be this? she’s very beautiful”. And he didn’t say thank you – he said “I know”.

Felt good like…my dad thinks I’m beautiful.”

Sweet father, I no go forget you.

“Well, my dad used to travel a lot. A whole lot. The only free time he had was when he’d get back from the trips early in the morning. So, he’d wake me up by 5:00 am to jog, stretch and do jumping jacks. It was not about the exercise but it was more of an opportunity for father and son bonding.

He’s old now and has lost a lot of that youthful agility. I am scared of time and how much it takes from us. What else is it going to take from him?”

I don’t even like kids like that but this made me reconsider.

“My dad is a girl dad – with three daughters, he always made sure he was there every step of the way. I believe it was his way of bonding with us. It was almost as if he didn’t want to miss any part of our growing up – it may have something to do with the fact that his dad died when he was very young and this may have been his way of compensation. I don’t know for sure.

Up until I was 18, my dad used to take me to the salon to get my hair done. One memory I’ll never forget was during Christmas when I was really young (definitely less than 10 years old). He took me to the salon and someone thought it cool to ask him why he was the one doing this (taking me to the salon, as against my mum doing it of course) and he shut her down immediately.

I was really young, but that moment is etched in my memory.”


“My dad has passed but when I remember him, I tend to hear his voice first before I picture his face.

I remember the nightly advice he used to give us. What I liked about him was his honesty – he talked about how many times he failed in life, his mistakes. How he treated my mum early on in the marriage. He said he wasn’t a good man then but he learned over time.

When he started his business, he talked about attaching yourself to the people who call the shots if you’re new to an industry. He talked about them taking you under their wings and how it worked for him.

Then he spoke about his history, his family – he loved history – he wanted us to know more about where we came from, he wanted us to go back to our hometown. He had plans but they never happened…

At the end of everything, he’d tell us ‘don’t be scared of anything, you have my blood.’ That was his anthem and we heard it almost every day.

Whenever I am scared, I still hear my dad’s voice telling me not to be afraid.”

This story was edited for clarity. Some details have been changed to protect the identity of the subject.

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