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DAD STORIES: I'd give anything to hear my father's voice again

By NJERI NJUGUNA

It has been 16 years since my beloved daddy Peter Njuguna died. He was the best thing that ever happened to me. As the first born child, I spent much more time with him than my younger siblings.

June 1, 2003 was nightmarish for me. Daddy had to go to work even though it was a holiday. It was the last time we saw him alive.

I remember asking him why he had to go to work on a holiday and he simply said: “Baby, I have to”. He worked as a pump attendant at a petrol station in Nakuru town.

He was shot dead by thugs that evening while at work. We heard the gunshots from home which was quite close to his workplace.

I was in Class Four at the time and did not understand why anyone would want to render us fatherless. My last born brother Edwin Njuguna had not even started school yet but I thank God that he is now in Form Four and preparing to sit his KCSE exams. I wish him all the best.

I curse those who killed him.

People always say there is a reason for everything. That time will heal. But neither reason nor time can change the way I feel about my daddy being gone.

The days we used to share may be gone but in my heart, he’s always there. These words of comfort guide me and keep me moving.

Daddy was one of a kind. Tall, kind, caring, hardworking and responsible. He was a role model and uncle to many as he was the last born in his family.

He was compassionate too and very loving towards my mum. They were a perfect match.  

My daddy was an early riser. He was very punctual and always wanted things to go right. He avoided anything that could anger his clients. This always made me feel proud of him. He was that protective man who never wanted to see his children punished or harassed.

PROTECTIVE

I once snuck out of school. I ran to my dad’s workplace which was right next to the school and lied to him that I’d been sent home by because I had school fees arrears .

Knowing that he had paid in advance, he simply asked if I was hungry, gave me food and took me back to school. He asked the head teacher not to punish me. Said that I’d learnt my lesson. That’s how protective daddy was.

If I was asked to choose any dad in the world, I would still pick mine.

Sometimes, especially when mum is unwell, I ask myself what I would give to say “Hello, Dad” like I used to. I used to smile whenever I heard his voice.

But such thoughts drive me to tears because I know I will never hear his voice again. Daddy, the gates of memory remain open and I will always remember you. I love you and miss you every day.

Till we meet again.

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What would you like your dad to know this Father’s Day? Can you say it in 800 words? Email: [email protected]