I am the last in a family of 6 kids. The age gap between my parents was significant as my father married late in life. He wasn’t the best example of a husband. On some occasions, he hit my mother. He was not one to run around with women, but he drank a lot. He made money, but we never got to enjoy it. My mother took care of the home with her salary as a civil servant.
I remember my father would try to pit us against my mother. He would side with his sisters against her. He was the only son and they were very protective of him. Once I was sent to live with my paternal aunt, so I could attend a great school in the city where she lived. My aunt and her husband transferred their dislike of my mother to me. One time my father visited and they told him I was a wizard. They believed I had been flying in the night for meetings – all that stuff. What hurt me was the way my father handled it. He didn’t defend me. He affirmed what was said. I still remember it was on a Sunday, on April 1st. I was never really the same child after that. It broke me and I left my aunt’s house.
In all these, I had my relationship with God. I learnt early to trust Him. I asked Him to change things in my family and he did. I started to notice changes in my father’s behaviour. He’d stock the house at Christmas. He’d bail me out when I needed a lump sum for school or support me when I needed to pursue my career. Things a father would do. He is my father, but my mother is still the most important person in my life.
The experience has made me conscious of certain things like responsibility. I want to be the best father to my children and the best husband to my wife. I also want to marry a woman who can step up to the plate, as my mother did. I want to know that no matter what happens, my children will always have someone that can run the home if I’m absent. I also want to raise children who love each other and can hold one another accountable. It’s something I never got to see between my father and his siblings and I don’t want that in my family.