Lessons From My Late Dad

“A literate person is not only a person that goes to formal school and get white-collar job alone, but also someone that can read and write with whatever means.”- Late Dad 

My dad was a man from a humble beginning, who never knew his parents, because he lost his both parents at infancy, to mysterious deaths. Consequently, he suffered a lot at the hands of his surrogates’ parents. Constantly, my poor dad was often pushed from one creditor’s farm to the other in payment of debts earlier owed. As a result, he could not afford four-walls of education in the early 20’s.

Meanwhile, he was undeterred to chart a course of his life. Being at the mercy of creditors’, he still maintained a virtue of high moral principle, though he was privy to business confidential matters of his masters, he never stole their money for himself. His integrity earned him reputation among his peers, as one of a kind.

This oftentimes sparks off bitter jealousy and hatred by his masters’ children, who saw my father as a rival.

Early in life he learnt trading and auto-mechanic work for livelihood.

However, while an adult illiterate, he couldn’t stand the presence of his learned friends, who often flaunted their spoken prowess in order to woo females’ lovers, as that was the norm way back. So, one day he talked to himself that “A literate person is not only a person that goes to formal school and get white-collar job alone, but also someone that can read and write with whatever means.”

So, my poor dad secured a short-term assistance of one his friends to teach him how to read and write. After a few months, he became better than what he used to be, a mere illiterate turned literate!

No sooner than he started, he began buying and reading national dailies. Afterward, this informed her choice to marry a semi-literate lady, who was also a self-taught in the art of reading and writing in the early 60’s. Eventually, the reading and writing culture was passed on to his children.

At a point, he diversified into farming to support his family when things were hard. Likewise, he picked up the art from his friends, who chose farming as occupations. Dad learnt the skills so well, no doubt, as he and his children were responsible for clearing, ridging, planting, and weeding the farm yard. Eventual harvesting the crops were done by us, the children when due.

In fact, during his early years we never lacked food crops, tubers, cereals and legumes, and corns at home. I’m proud of him in every way.

Among his many legacies is the unusual value of education for all his children. His maxim was “I would not fail in training any child to any level of education he/she so desired, except you choose not to.” He was a man of his words, as he eventually saw to sending all his 10 kids to schools.

Finally, “Remember the son of whom you’re,” was the utterance he always said when bidding us to school.

Adie father!

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