Over the weekend, I was speaking in a Fathers’ meeting at Loreto Msongari. That the hall was full to capacity was a very sublime experience in my public speaking career. While I have facilitated hundreds of motivational sessions, the Fathers’ Seminar last Saturday had many parallels with one I facilitated at State House Girls way back in 2009. One thing, however, stood out for me at Loreto. The Speaker of the Senate, Hon. Ekwe Ethuro, attended the meeting without looking for any recognition at all. He came in his private capacity as a responsible father of his daughter which was the subject of the day.
While the Honourable Speaker is in many ways like any other father, there is no denying the fact that he has a busy diary. In addition, truth be told, many a senior people are ‘too busy’ for ‘not-so-important’ meetings. That Hon. Ethuro defied norms, defies description. I’ll never forget a girl who broke down at my feet during a parental meeting that I was facilitating because her father never once showed up at school in any occasion despite being a University Professor. No one would have expected from a respected don to send his driver to play the role of his daughter’s father for four years in a row.
Among other lessons fathers far and wide may want to learn from the Honourable Speaker is that parental responsibilities are not delegate-able. You cannot parent by remote control. Money cannot substitute your presence. Your child needs presence not presents. The growth of a child is irreversible – it won’t wait until you gain fame and gather fortunes – then you pick it up from where you left. Stop outsourcing parental responsibilities. Children interpret love = time. You have ample time for what you value. You can never be too busy for your child. Learn to separate ‘good pursuits’ from ‘best practice’. A father’s influence goes to the fourth generation after him. You have the divine responsibility of shaping the next generation.
Dr. Kinyanjui Nganga, PhD
Author, Corporate Trainer and Motivational Speaker