Last weekend was a huge one for fathers. There was an overwhelming agreement that it was the official weekend for all fathers, fathers to be, and father figures. There was also a subtle hint that all mothers pulling double parenting duties in various forms should be celebrated alongside. I personally used it as an opportunity to encourage absentee fathers, serial deniers of pregnancy and all those that need some form of cajolement to provide upkeep, to improve their game in the parenting journey.
In the cause of the weekend, I took time out to attend an event in Gwagwalada, Abuja. The excitement I had in the buildup to the event was quite palpable. For one that has lived in Abuja for the past decade, visiting Gwagwalada has been a rare occurrence in my schedules. The two visits I have done in the past were as a headliner in two non-related youth-focused events at the University of Abuja. Coincidentally, the recent visit was also a youth-focused event and that has undeniably placed a marked connection between the city and young persons, in my thoughts. At the close of the event, I stopped by the roadside for some grocery shopping and this afforded me a most remarkable learning experience. I had the enthralling pleasure to behold a mother at work. Madam Hanatu has been on the same spot selling fruits, vegetables and some tuber crops for the past two decades. As one who was naturally curious, I engaged Hanatu in a brief but enriching conversation. She regaled me with stories of how she would carry her toddler as at that time to make her sales and today; the toddler is now in her final year in the University. I was quite impressed by the quality of conversation that Madam Hanatu held; she was more focused on the bigger picture which was that she had little to no education but from the profit from her trading, all her children are currently in school. She further gushed that her joy will be made full at the point where her six children graduate from the university. The youngest is still a toddler.
Several mothers like Madam Hanatu abound. The desire to give the best to their children despite being deeply beleaguered could easily by the daily drive of these remarkable women. They are heroes and words cannot possibly be enough to celebrate them for being excellent in thought and action. I once remixed a simple line in a song by the innuendo-embracing Chinedu Okoli popularly known as Flavour N’abania. In the song he was quite vocal about the struggles of manhood and he aptly stated ‘nwoke na ife’ which can be loosely translated to mean ‘it is not easy to be a man.’ I took the liberty to boldly state ‘nwanyi na ife’ meaning ‘it is not easy to be a woman.’ and I am still quite impressed with the flurry of conversation that followed. Suffice to say that the role women play in shaping the outcome of their children may never be completely appreciated. I celebrate every mother that has tirelessly sown effort, time and resources to parenting future adults. It is not easy to be a woman and as such even as we celebrate our fathers we should never stop celebrating our mothers. I dare say that every successful father who currently deserves to be celebrated was shaped rightly by the excellent thought and action of a mother.
Lest I forget, last weekend was made even more memorable with the outcome of the derby between FC Abuja and Teap FC. My favorite team took the shine with three solid goals which the Teap FC lads challenged with a whooping number of zero goals. The rains came with vengeance but that did not deter my team from excelling. Football is awesome but watching live football is super awesome.
This post was originally published for The Cable Nigeria in my brand new series, Blooming Blossom. Click here to read it on the platform.