The One Thing My Nigerian Dad Taught Me

June 17, 2022

Let’s be honest — many people don’t even know it’s Father’s Day until it’s that day or a day before. More often than not, global attention focuses on all the Mother’s Days in the year, with little love for the men in our lives. To fix this, we spoke to different Nigerians about their relationship with their dads and the most important thing they’ve learnt from them. 

If you haven’t bought your Father’s Day gift yet, please fix it ASAP!

“My dad taught me how to accept friendship break-ups.”

 — Joyce 

My dad and I have almost nothing in common. But despite the glaring differences between us, I’ve learnt a lot from him over the years. He used to tell me, “Ten friends can never be together for ten years”, and honestly, I didn’t get it at first. In my head, I believed that my friends would be in my life forever. However, the older I got, the more I understood what he was trying to say. While it’s true that ten friends might not end up being friends forever, it’s not the end of the world. So these days, I take every friendship loss in good stride — we had our good times and bounced. It’s life. 

Fun fact, my dad also gave me my first sip of alcohol. He doesn’t know I’m a huge drinker now, but he unleashed a demon that day. 

“My dad taught me it’s wicked to owe someone money and not pay it back.” 

— Bertram 

Even though my dad had about 16 children, he made sure he had a close relationship with all of us. One major lesson he passed down to us was learning how to live within our means. My dad hated owing people. He didn’t want to lay awake at night, scared that someone would start knocking on his door demanding their money. 

He also taught me the importance of leaving a good legacy behind. Almost 20 years have passed since he died, but people still offer to help me whenever I introduce myself as his son.

“My dad taught me not to limit myself because I’m a woman.” 

— Chiazagom 

My dad was special to me because he was my friend. Not everyone can say that their dad is their friend, but mine was. My dad taught me to dream big and not let society hold me back because I’m a woman. He was my life and my confidant, and losing him was the most painful thing ever. It hurts to speak of him in the past tense, but I know he’d want me to celebrate him. He deserves an award for overall best in fatherhood.

RECOMMENDED: The Very Nigerian Ways Nigerian Fathers Say “I Love You”

“My dad taught me the importance of sacrifice.” 

— Rita 

My dad grumbles all the time, but one thing about him, he will come through. He has a scar on his index finger from when he used it as a wedge between my teeth when I was convulsing as a child. I had been playing outside with my other siblings when it started. Typically, wooden spoons or other hard objects work to prevent the teeth from closing and cause a locked jaw, but without thinking, he used his fingers until we got to the hospital. 

Many more things my dad has done for me bring tears to my eyes. But that moment was the definition of putting your loved one first for me. 

“My dad taught me not to be fazed by money or the soft life.” 

— Linda 

I’m close to my dad, and he’s my favourite person after God. My dad likes to act like a tough guy, but he’s a big baby. I like to call him my sugar daddy because he spoils my siblings and me. He once took the family out to Radisson Blu for lunch, and I remember him telling us that he did all these things because he didn’t want one boy to come with a flashy lifestyle and take advantage of us. He said, “I’ll spoil my girls before any other man comes along.”

Because of him, I’m content and can hold my head high because he has already treated me to the good life. 

“My dad has shown me what it means to be a hero” 

— Bolu

My relationship with my dad has its ups and downs, but overall, I’ll say he’s a good man. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realised that he’s imperfect and human. But during this period, I’ve also seen him as a hero in my life. I especially like how he carried #EndSARS on his head in 2020. He was even present for the memorial march. Even though I feel like I’m not meeting his expectations because I’m more laid back about life than he is, I still love and respect him. He’s also not the type of parent to hold back an apology when he’s wrong, which is rare. 

“My dad taught me the importance of valuing the people around me”

— Ify

My relationship with my dad has taken many forms. As a kid, before I recognised him as “my dad”, he was my best friend. As a teenager, he took the dad thing seriously, and now as an adult, I see him as a human with flaws who tries his hardest to do right by those he loves. 

He’s taught me a lot but the best thing I’ll say I learnt from him is how to value people. It’s something he unconsciously taught me. As a kid, I noticed that he just somehow knew everyone. Everyone was his friend and I mean EVERYONE from “important people” right down to the security, the plumber, the mechanic, the people the world pretends not to see. He always treated everyone like family and they treated him/us like family too. He makes a conscious effort to make everyone feel seen and really in this stressful life, isn’t that all we ask for? 

“My dad always showed up”

— Peter

During Jamb and post jamb, my dad followed me to the exam venues. When I was given Admission, he printed my Admission letters and important documents. Not only that, he joined all my school facebook groups just so I wouldn’t miss out on anything. He also did the same for my sisters. When I was in school, he was always calling to ask after my welfare. I found him overprotective, but I realised he just cared so much about my welfare.

ALSO READ: 5 Nigerian Fathers on How they Fell in Love With Their Babies


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