Fathers aren’t usually in the news for good things. From buying the wrong diaper sizes to forgetting birthdays, some men clearly need to do better as fathers. Still, there are some solid fathers out there, doing the work, both as men and as fathers. I spoke to 11 women about the best things their dads have done for them.
My dad has been dead a while so I have no real adult memories of him. However, one memory that stands out was him making deals with me. If I scored above a particular mark, he’d buy me a thing that I want. In JSS 3, he knew I wanted my own laptop so he said if I made all A’s, he’d buy me one. Needless to say, I studied really hard.
On the day results came in, I excitedly opened the envelope only to find out I had gotten A’s in all subjects but one. He said, “Too bad. We had a deal.” While I was dejected, he asked me to get him something from my room, only for me to find the laptop there. He had bought it way before I even wrote my exams. It was never conditional and he would have bought it for me anyway.
As a 7-year-old, I preferred toy cars to dolls. I’d break the cars into pieces and try to put them together and my father would get mad every time I did that. When I didn’t stop, he noticed the trend and decided to try another method.
He bought a set of screwdrivers, sat me down and taught me how to look for screws and clips. He showed me how to use screwdrivers and how to carefully remove parts and put them back together again. That education propelled me to learn to repair anything that has a screw in it — from phones and TVs to laptops and microwave ovens. I’m forever grateful for my dad.
I live in the UK while my parents live in Nigeria. At the beginning of my second year of uni, I was dealing with depression. Suicidal, I sent a goodbye note and recording to my Dad’s email, knowing he won’t see it on time. Luckily, my Dad saw it and began to frantically call the police in the city I lived in and the one I travelled to. They searched till they found me, took me home and got me the help I needed. He’s been there for me ever since, gives me space when I need it and doesn’t judge me. I love him so much.
When I was still in secondary school in 2013, I was beaten and sent home by my class teacher because I hadn’t paid my end-of-the-year party fee. The beating I received gave me a bleeding cut on my thumb. My dad was so furious when he saw the injury that he changed into his military uniform, took me back to school and asked me to point out the teacher.
He went to the man, held him up by his trousers and said, “I’ve risked my life to protect and serve this country and I won’t have a civilian do this to my child.” He beat the shit out of him till people came to plead on his behalf. He then made the teacher call back all the students he sent home. I know what he did wasn’t ideal but I love him for doing that for me.
Everything my dad has done for me is the best. He literally sacrifices his wants for our happiness. If I were to be more specific though, I would say being there for us as kids. He would always play games like Monopoly and Scrabble with us and take us to parks and game reserves and for me. Buying me my blue Raleigh mountain bike (that I still have today) was the icing on top of the cake. My dad is just amazing.
My Dad has done a lot of things I can’t even remember. The one I do remember was when I was supposed to travel back to school. The bus park was crowded and there were very few buses. One finally arrived and it was a physical struggle to get in. My father, without minding his pride or his clothes, struggled with the other passengers to get me a seat in the bus. It really touched my heart and I will never forget it. I will do anything for that man.
His ever-constant presence is the best thing about him. He’s always just a phone call away to fix any of my problems. He does cute stuff like randomly bringing me foodstuff to emptying his wallet for me whenever we run into each other in town.
The best thing he’s ever done for me has to be when I was supposed to travel to the Philippines for my masters. The agent who handled my admission process made an error and got me the wrong course. I complained about this but the agent said I could change the course when I arrived there. My father saw how sceptical and scared I was of being stranded in the wrong course in a strange country so he told me I didn’t have to go if I didn’t want to. He didn’t mind forfeiting all the money he had spent on the process. Overall best guy.
My dad always sacrifices his needs for my siblings and I, even if it means he has to borrow. The best thing he’s ever done for me was staying with me in the isolation center when I had COVID-19. He had come all the way from Ibadan to Abuja where I schooled. He risked catching COVID and dying just to make sure his baby girl was fine.
He always remembers to buy me Ribena. It’s a big thing for me because most of the time it feels like he only cares about my education. I like that he noticed my favourite drink and keeps getting it for me
My dad introduced me to books and cultivated my love for literature. His library was my library and there was no book to big for his baby to read. He’d take his time to teach us math after work. It’s all because of him I love math.
Most importantly, he introduced me to music. He listened to a wide variety of genres and that helped me appreciate music. Lastly, he taught me that there was nothing wrong with being soft even though he’s the toughest man I know.
He went to Ife to process my admission. At the time, admissions were processed manually. He took all my documents to ensure they were submitted properly. I love that man.
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