RE: THE PART YOU FORGOT
As I begin my piece, I’ve got this urgency and tag weighing down my heart that I wonder if I should salute y’all or go straight to the point. But for the purposes of formality, it’s me -your daughter. The one you empowered.
How I wish this was a happy report. But my mood is a bit somber as I pen this. To start it off lightly though, I did make it. The fire that lit up in me still burns to date. I stand out in this outer world you prepared me for.
I pause to thank you, society for empowering my mama. You gave that woman a chance to be in chamas and learn investment. Those same virtues, she passed them down to me. She made me the fayah mamii. And I am in charge of her finances.
I thank you also, serikal. You made it possible for me, a young naive girl, to get educated. You put springs on my feet. You called it ’empower the girl child’ .You indeed gave me a fair ground to compete with my male counterparts. You unleashed the intellectual giant within me, a heroine.
I thank you, pastor. You told me that being the biblical Deborah in my generation is what I was predestined to be. You taught me to choose ‘if I perish I perish’. You taught me to never take no for an answer. To be as wise as Esther since as a firstborn daughter, I carry the weight of the new generation. I listened, and look at me now! The girl you empowered is making power moves in the land.
In light of all that, I beg to remind you that my mood is somber, lest you forget. Besides my gratefulness I have things I inculpate y’all for. As for you society, you forgot something. As you gave mama the platforms to learn about savings and investments, you did not give papa equal opportunities. Papa had no chama. Forget the occasional men goat eating sprees on Christmas only. He did not get equal opportunities.
I have somewhat an accusation against you also, government. You raised the taxes every financial year. You imposed taxation on almost everything. As a result, papa had to work harder. He always came home tired, late in the evening. Too tired to afford quality family time. Work robbed him from us.
You, government, thrust me into the education system before I could hang around Papa’s laps for long. His love language towards me changed to provision. And he always demanded results. And so my love language to him was only results. Good results.
Time has passed and I’m off to conquer the world, the one he couldn’t. The one for all those years he toiled so that I could conquer. Now, he no longer has to provide and I no longer have to give results. How do we love now? The love language is no more and the daughter is too grown to learn a new one.
I call you to attention, man of cloth. For you spent much time calling mama to submission. But you had little to say to husbands. There was little to be taught about fatherhood. You forgot to tell papa a little more often that he ought to be a mirror, the image of the God you so passionately teach. You forgot to show him how. You often emphasized on what he ought to do – provide – that you may not liken him to an infidel. And so he did his best in that but he forgot to be the head, as Christ is to the church.
I indeed had the blessing of the presence of papa, I bless God for that. But he ironically was like a statue. One that we can see and touch but very absent in feeling. He was drowned by the cares and responsibilities of provision. We eventually even lost the touch-and-see the moment he expressed an interest in the beautiful light skin girl from the village.
Today, I saunter into board rooms, my heels echoing a click- one calling to attention those in myriad of activity. As the tinge of my designer fragrance fills the air for those undisturbed by the click of my feet; the newbies admire the silky wig on my head and the designer trouser suit that hugs my body figure as if it was sewn with this very body. They mutter under their breath, ‘she is such a power momah’.
But within, I sigh. I sigh since though I call the shots in the male dominated board room, I wonder whether to compete or complement. I know nothing else besides the competition serikal taught me in class. I desire companionship but my aura of control leaves my prospects tails between their feet. I know how to rule and dominate. There is a desire yes to be led but on my terms. Don’t judge me, I talked little to papa so I know not how to talk to his kind. I know not what to look for in his kind. He had no time to show me the fear of God in a man is crucial. I have only heard of it, I don’t know how it is in a man.
I slump on my seat as they talk about this and that, occasionally chipping in with nods. I am oddly quiet for indeed i have a void within. A void only a father can fill. One that is a little too late to fill.
So I write to you society not for me but for my sisters the young ones, please give papa equal opportunities. Give him a chance to express himself, including his deepest pains and fears. Teach him to learn and be taught. I beg you, society, listen to papa often so that he doesn’t have to bottle things up.
For my sisters, be kind tell them, serikal, that they don’t need to competitively prove themselves. Unleash the giant in them but don’t train it to devour men. Do not thrust them into a very intense system that they just wake up one morning and they know not family. Have mercy on papa please. Enough with the taxes, enough with the high cost of living. Give him a break, let him raise his daughters. Allow him to be present on their birthdays. On first day of period cramp, let him equally explain it to them.
And finally, pastor. Please tell papa he is the first man to the daughters. Please show him how to be a good father. He is new to it so don’t assume he knows, or he’ll find his way around it. Emphasise provision yes but also help him mirror God to the children. Guide him on how to be the head, as he was meant to be. Its only in that, that you can all mold the ideal, strong, unstoppable empowered girl.
As for me, I am molded clay but a breaking pot already. I can only be rebuilt. The error has its roots deep that need digging out. Worry not about me though. Attend to my sisters.
The girl you empowered.
CREDIT: This amazing writing is brought to us courtesy of Lilian Muigai.