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DAD STORIES: My father's death broke my heart

By Margaret Maina
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There’s something like a line of gold thread running through a man’s words when he talks to his daughter, and gradually over the years it gets to be long enough for you to pick up in your hands and weave into a cloth that feels like love itself. John Gregory Brown.

Naomi Wangari’s father Ibrahim Kinyanjui Gachobe died unexpectedly at 55 from pancreatic cancer a year ago.

The 19-year-old Naomi says she will forever be thankful for his love and guidance.

“I come from a very humble background. We were lucky to at least have bread on our table every day, a chance not every child can get. We did not at any point sleep hungry and also we always have good clothes to wear and shoes too which we never took that for granted.”

Her father was a business man at Nakuru town where he owned a shop known as Thrasher General Merchant. His hard work and determination enabled him to effortlessly provide for his family and saw them through school, which he was very strict about.


“He did not at any point fail to pay any of my academic fee nor did he not provide anything that was essential in school. He always made me feel motivated to put effort in my studies so as to make him proud and also achieve my dreams.”

Naomi recalls how her dad was a man of the people, how easily he blended and socialised with everyone at his workplace and at home.

“My father did not like seeking recognition or being known by everyone but he strived to help people around him and also shared his business ideas with people to ensure they grew financially.”

Her father gave them all they needed but never spoilt them. Naomi never asked for what wasn’t essential.

But his life was cut short by cancer.

“In 2017 September, I was a first year student at Chuka University when my dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, I didn’t know it was cancer until he passed on this year on April. Everyone just told me he was sickly and I didn’t take it so seriously because I used to talk to him every day.

But one day he could not talk because his health was deteriorating very fast.”

Ibrahim underwent a six-month  chemotherapy sessions in Nakuru and a nutritional home to put his diet on check. His relatives and friends were there to foot the huge bill and unfortunately he passed on a week before Naomi sat for her end of semester exams.


Naomi says her father’s memories are very fresh in her mind and becomes more traumatising whenever her friends talk about their dads. As much as her mother is fully supportive of her, she misses her dad.

“He was such a loving dad who left our family heartbroken and who we would have wished to have had more days together. It is always difficult to say farewell to a Dad, but we will always remain thankful for the guidance that he passed on to us.”

Naomi wishes everyone would appreciate their parents while they are still alive and never take them for granted.

Follow #DadStoriesKE for more stories like these or visit this Father’s Day 2018 link.

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