In a world where values are fast eroding, Loretta seeks to share her unique experience growing up in Benin, Nigeria, with her Father, a man who had a lot to teach.
My Father’s Daughter is a true inspirational story of the experiences of a little girl, a young lady and a grown woman, seeing the world as it could be, through her daddy’s eyes, experiencing the world as it is after he was no more, the betrayals, the hardships, the resolute resolve, and finally, a tale of love, of a woman accomplished, drawing from the strength of character instilled in her by her loving father, so many years ago.
My Father’s Daughter is a timely guide, a recollection of old age values that are still relevant for success today in family life as well as at work or in business.Read The Prologue
The rain poured down from the heavens like a hole had suddenly come unplugged by the creator, from where huge unending drums of water poured onto the red earth associated with Benin City.
Benin, the ancient city of the Ogisos, the land of the Obas, home to a people of heritage so rich in culture that their tales of splendour abound on the internet and in history books. The relics of their civilization grace our galleries as well as the museums of other countries across the world – treasures taken without the consent of the original Benin owners. Suffice it to say we shall come back to the matter of heritage. Let us focus on the father and his daughter who are at the center of this narrative for now.
Through that rain and the red muddy flood it created, waded a man with grey hair determined to get to the school. The taxi he came in was unable to navigate the flooded road, a few meters before the school gate. Nothing was going to stop him!
When he set out on this journey, his car had broken down, but he was not deterred as he was on a mission to pick his children from school. They would be waiting and he was not one to let his children down. So he got his long time taxi driver friend at an added cost to ferry him to the school. He had picked the two younger children and was yet to pick the oldest of the three. The flood could not deter him as he jumped out of the taxi and made his way through the muddy road to the school gate. That was my father: Richard Harold Osaroguiwa Ogboro. In empathy with the readers of this book, who will consider his name a tongue twister of which we his children are proud, I will stick to Pa. Richard when not calling him daddy or father henceforth.
I was sitting in my classroom with my classmates who had the look of uncertainty plastered on their faces. Due to the adverse weather condition, they wondered when they would eventually get to their individual homes, considering that the rain was not abating. I remained un-flustered and calm; an onlooker might even have mistaken my look to be a happy one!
The forlorn look on the face of our class teacher who had given up the task of trying to predict when she would get to the comfort of her home was now obvious for all of us to see. She was bothered because she was only going to be able to leave after every single child had been picked up by their parents or guardians. Her sober look did not bother me either. I remained happy and expectant to the amazement of others around me. The reason for my annoying joy was the simple fact I knew my father would come. Even if the world was coming to an end, daddy was going to come. He never failed me, not once and what is more? Daddy kept his words; his word was his bond. He had told me earlier that morning he would pick me up. Even the heaviest tears of nature would not deter my father from keeping his promise. Of that I was certain, for he taught me how to keep my word against all odds. At every slight opportunity he had, he found a way to show me how important it is to maintain one’s integrity even when that was the road least traveled. He also taught me how not to seek external validation and pander to the influences of others at the expense of my own beliefs.
I knew my daddy would come. My daddy came. In the rain! He defied the flood. He was allowed into the classroom since we were not able to go outside. Ever the gentleman, Pa. Richard greeted the entire class and the teacher, remarking that the weather would get better and more parents would soon turn up. His words of encouragement cheered them up while I picked my school bag and hurried out with my daddy with a smug smile of satisfaction plastered on my face – I knew Pa. Richard would come, and he came!
I find it remarkable that I have a recollection of my Nursery and Primary school events until date. The first challenge I encountered when I decided it was time to put down the chronicles of my life in print was the sheer volume of information that rushed at me from my years of sojourn on earth. The ultimate question was, how do write it all down? For many years I struggled with this inertia while carrying about volumes in my mind until the day I decided to do it. It is only fair that in today’s world where many find it hard to get a role model and positive influence, those of us who had one should be kind enough to share our experiences.
There is no such thing as a perfect life or a perfect upbringing. However, in hind sight, I have come to realize that the appreciation of what one has, is the measure of perfection and not the other way round. I appreciate the parents who raised me and looking back, I have not turned out badly. It is my prayer that everyone who interacts with this piece of work finds something within it that ministers to their needs, answers their questions or inadequacies and that they become better after reading it. I am my father’s daughter. I am unapologetic about it.