“Respect All, Fear No One”. This was one of the lessons from dad as I grew older
Every time there was an altercation and no one wanted to speak up, he would say this repeatedly. One day, I turned it on him
My dad refused for my sisters to wear shorts, I didn’t think that was okay as other kids wore shorts to the beach and we had to wear skirts. Also, it was cute and I liked to wear cute things. So when I was 14 and could save enough money to go to Katangora to buy “trending clothes”, I bought a denim short and a blue top with shoulder pads and ruffles.
During environmental sanitation which was observed on the last Saturday of the month, everyone on the street stepped out of their compounds to jointly clean the drainage. On one of those days, I also stepped out in my shorts and blue top
It was time to ‘pepper’ everyone on the street and also to make a statement to my dad
I remember him standing by the drainage resting on the rake, watching me walk up to him. Forcing a smile and twirling, “do you like my shorts?” I asked him. Even though I was shaking inside, I presented a bold front. He said calmly, “what did I tell you about wearing shorts?” “You told my sisters, not me. I’ve been saving up for a long time to buy this” I said to him…
At this point, my bravado was waning. “So you’re not afraid to walk up to me like this?” He said, now adjusting his stance, the rake on one hand and his other hand firmly on his hips. “But daddy you said we should fear no one” At this time, my voice was already shaking and I was about to cry. Even though he didn’t smile, as I write this I can still see the twinkle in his eyes as he looked at me, paused for a bit and said “Go and take it off so it won’t get dirty, you can wear it after environmental”
I could have hugged him if we had that kind of relationship. Instead, I ran straight to my sisters to brag. They were so jealous
I am the fearless woman I am today, because my dad taught me and then led by example
What lessons did you learn from your dad?