My dad was a good man. Never talked much. From a very long time I can remember his conversations with my mother in the evenings when he came home from work. Mostly about a family friend he met in town and who sent greetings to my mum. My mum would then give a blow by blow narrative of her day.
My dad had his special seat which was a no-go zone to everyone else. Whenever he arrived from work he would hoot twice to alert us that he was outside. We all feared him, like a lion he exuded authority and respect. We all scampered from the living room to the bedroom. There was an unwritten rule of no TV during the night and on weekdays. But we still watched when he was away. He always knew that we had been watching the TV even though we covered it after switching it off. Of course it was still warm after hours of being on. My dad loved beef, and most night he would treat us with a kilo or two.
Raising eight children is no joke. My dad gave all of us an education and for that I shall forever be grateful and indebted to him. He educated all of us including my sisters without discriminating. My dad never raised a finger or a fist for that matter against my mum, for that I shall forever be grateful. But he did discipline me, even though the ratio of discipline between my dad and mum was 80:20 to my mom’s favor.
The few times that my dad disciplined me are unforgettable, and for that I shall be forever grateful.
One day when I was still a boy and living in my father’s house, I sleep walked. I don’t know whether this was caused by the sumptuous meal we took that night or it was just a bad dream. We had just finished eating and retired to bed. After an hour or so I was in deep slumber but strangely very awake. I rose from my bed and fumbled in the dark. I found the door knob and opened the bedroom door without switching on the lights. I fumbled like a blind man along the corridor that led to the main door. I opened the main door and found myself outside. It was a chilly night lit by ta full moon. The soft wind that was blowing caused the door to bang itself softly. The lock on the door was made such that if banged it automatically locks. I made a few steps away from the door and gazed like a zombie at the familiar surroundings.
Suddenly, I woke up from my deep conscious slumber and realized that I was outside the house in the middle of the night. Fear gripped me. In a frenzy, I tried to open the door and let myself in. It was locked. I knocked thrice and waited. My mum was the first to call out, ‘who is it’? I said ‘its me mum, please open’
When she opened, my dad was standing by her side enraged at me. Where are you coming from, Dan? He asked. I was still in a daze and mumbled something incoherently. My mum quickly noticed that I had been sleep Walking and was able to cool my dad’s temper. She led me to my bed and as is usual with her, she prayed.
From that day onward, our main door was locked with a key which my dad guarded very tightly at night.
I miss him
Dad I knew you for quite sometime. Though we didn’t talk much you imparted something in me. You taught me how to drive a manual car, like a man should. You taught me that there is a God and introduced me to church. You gave me an education. Rest in peace, sir! Rest in peace papa!