Man Crush Monday (A celebration of my dad)
If I have the opportunity to choose my father again, I’ll choose him over and over again.
Epitome of Godliness, perfect example of awesomeness. The best definition of responsible. Dutiful can’t describe him better, caring, loving, and attentive are his uniqueness.
Though strict but tender. A disciplinarian extra ordinaire. Super duper fantastic. Lover of children, protector of grandchildren.
Words fail me, if not I want to write a 10000 words article to celebrate my transporter to this world.
He’s a special being that friends, family, neighbors, acquitances can testify to his goodness. As his child I am a living testimony to the fact that the word immaculate is his perfect example.
Eulogy can’t bring out his identity enough because he’s unaguably an angel that walks on the earth surface.
Blessed with eight girls and some boys. Allah couldn’t have chosen a better being at this time to be blessed with plenty girls owing to the fragility of girls upbringing. Baba ‘Abigirl’ sure did a marvelous job.
He is overly protective. Always on the look out for us all day everyday. Had his eyes on us always like a mother hen who is ever watchful of the hawk.
He’s as vigilant as the mother hen who’s afraid the hawk could come down and steal his chickens. He raised us as dignified women instilling necessary values in us.
My father’s kind of parenting is envied and applauded in our neighborhood. Father of eight girls and none is wayward. We grew in a neighborhood where teenage pregnancy was rampant. Right, left, front and back, there are girls who defied the bed and got shameful pregnancy but my dad has always had a successful parenting story. He was strict but tender. This is how he did it and Allah assisted him.
1.Our routine was from school back home and madrasah back home. We were not allowed to visit friends. I visited a friend one day and I nearly saw my ancestors through beatings.
2. My dad is not an Alfa, in fact, he only know suratul fatiah and some short surahs for the purpose of solat but he’s so passionate about Islam. In my house, wearing of trousers for female is strictly prohibited. Before the issue of relaxer became controversial, relaxing the hair is strictly prohibited in my house. You only go with your natural hair. Dad isn’t an Alfa so we were not using hijab but no provocative wears is allowed. Modesty is always our watch word both in speech and dressing.
3. My dad is so passionate about Islam. If you tell him Allah and his messenger say this and that and you’re able to proof it then my dad is ready to die for that cause. When we came with the issue of hijab and then Niqab (We started using Niqab before marriage) My dad accepted the idea with open arms. He asked us ‘shebi’ it’s the commandment of Allah and we said yes, he gave his support and even dolled out his money to us to go shopping for hijab. I was in awe because I’ve heard series of woe stories where parents disallowed hijab, burnt their daughters hijab, give them house arrest, disgrace them in public, arrest or beat up the Amirs of their daughters institutions to mention a few. Having a smooth ride with this incredulous father of mine is worth thanking Allah for.
How awesome can a dad be. He disallowed waywardness and embraced modesty for his children. He knows being scantily clad can promote waywardness and he forbade it. He’s sure being in hijab depicts modesty and he permitted it. Good father, lover of deen, my crush everyday. Those parents who admired his style of parenting didn’t emulate him, their children walks the street naked yet they want them to be chaste like the Jumah girls, it’s not possible. You can’t eat your cake and have it.
4. My father instilled the fear of Allah in us. Wallahi in my house failure to observe solat is a sin that attracts serious beating. My dad will always say that a morning without solat is not a good morning. He instilled the consciousness of solat in us such that we feel empty if we haven’t prayed and when dad is not at home we remind one another about solat and the available son becomes the imam(Our large sitting room is our mosque) Outside home, we pray too because it has become our second nature courtesy of dad’s constant reminder. My dad is a good educator too and a prayer warrior. After solat every morning, he has a unique anthem-like prayers that he recite in Yoruba which has become a routine and even till now I haven’t forgot them.
5. My dad is a very responsible man, financially, emotionally and physically. My dad is super caring and a ‘chief welfare officer’ If he sees a missed call on his phone with a strange number, he calls back immediately with the thought that it may be any of us. My dad is very accommodating and our house is filled with extended family members living with us. He loves what his children loves and our darlings became his darlings.
Dad defiled the norm that Ibadan men are not always responsible. Nobility can’t be bought with money. My dad is a noble man. Being responsible for him is not eating while his children are hungry. My dad don’t eat alone, my dad don’t lock the door and enjoy a special food alone. When he eats pounded yam we all eat pounded yam. When he soaks garri we all soaks garri. He has many girls and he knows how to take care of our needs. From undies to menstrual pads to snacks and all that. My dad can over pamper his children with snacks. Tell me who can entice us with goodies outside? Children of responsible parents rarely becomes wayward and this helps us a lot.
6. A disciplinarian extra ordinaire. My dad can be very severe in punishment. A no nonsense man. He believes once you spare the rod, you spoil the child. He groomed us through less beating and more of friendliness. My father can tell story for Africa. He tells us stories and we’re very free with him. There was never a dull moment with my dad. My sister Aisha Jumah inherited her talkativeness and good leadership trait from father. My dad settles dispute within the family, within the neighborhood and amongst friends.
His wisdom, knowledge and sense of judgement is fabulous. Every now and then we have visitors in our house who brings dispute for settlement. Everyone drinks from dad’s ocean of wisdom and his judgement is always respected and acted upon without regrets. My father speaks with proverbs and every child of his is rich in proverb. Everyday he blesses our ears with Nigerian history, family history and history of the world at large. My dad is well informed because he’s a news person and I think I inherited the love of news from him.
Everyday my dad will buy the daily news paper, Nigerian Tribune to be precise. He reads from page to page till he finishes the whole paper then gives us to read. My dad groomed the writer in me without knowing.
I read the daily everyday and my love for news and writing was born. It informs my studying mass communication and I never regretted it. Before releasing the news paper to the rest of my siblings I must have read from page 1 to the last page. I grew so passionate about reading that I always expect my dad to bring another paper everyday.
Even when I’m away in school, I count the number of days I was away then upon my return I read all the dailies that I missed. There’s a corner in my dad’s room where he store the papers, I just go there and pick from the day I left the house to the day I return and read up.
One day while reading The Nigerian tribune, that was 1999 if I’m not mistaken, I came across a true life story. There’s a column on Nigerian Tribune then that goes with the title ‘Ask aunty Taiwo’ true life stories are always shared on this column and aunty Taiwo will give advice. While reading this column, I came across a story of a girl whose mother has three children for three different fathers and who was maltreated and later sent out by her mother simply because her own father wasn’t responsible. The story touched a nerve in me, or better put, it touched me to the bone marrow and there and then the idea of one of my stories ‘ THE SORROW BEHIND MY SMILE’ was conceived. I nurtured the dream till I was able to put the story in black and white Alhamdulillah. My dad triggered the love of writing in me and I am indebted to him.
My father also put the love of polygamy in me. He has two wives and he’s an excellent polygamist. You can’t tell the children of the first wife from the second. We eat from the same pot and we love one another courtesy of dads fair play and the bond he created amongst us.
Though there’re storms but the storms are not too huge to cause hatred, enmity and catastrophe. My dad is a good manager of conflict and I doff my heart for his intelligence and good heart.
When my dad read my book ‘The Incompatible’ he asked me: Can you behave like khadijah in your book should your husband decides to take another wife? My dad is lovely like that.
When my sister’s husband took a second wife, my dad travelled down from Lagos to give her words of admonition. He advised her to hang on and not misbehave. He advised her to look back on her background and behave sensibly and Alhamdulillah, I haven’t heard a bad tale from my sisters family since then. My dad is amiable in all ramifications.
My dad is close to seventy now and he still cares for his wives like a young man, this is what spurs my writing this afternoon. He cares for them like never before, he never forsook them even in bad health and this brought tears to my eyes.
Oh Allah continue to spare this man’s life upon goodness and let him stay around a little more to reap the fruit of his labour both on wives and children. Nothing is too good for this man, oh Allah enrich me and my siblings to treat him better than we’re already doing.
My man crush not only on Monday but everyday. He is super duper awesome. Mosudi Ajibade omo Okunade, Okunade omo jimoh. I have crazy love for you. May Allah reward you abundantly for your goodness and make you die as a Muslim.
You’re my hero and the values you instil in me are still guiding my steps.. When I look back at the kind of father I have, I’m always afraid to misbehave especially in my matrimony. Your goodness is my weakness dad. I don’t want to incure any insult upon you, may Allah assist me.
Because you raised eight girls rightly, May this weigh hugely on your scale of good deeds and become a path to Jannah for you. May Allah make the rest of your life the best of your life and not take your life unless he’s pleased with you. Aamin Ya Rabil’Aalamin.
LATEEFAH ADEWUNMI JUMAH