Father’s Day Kenyan Style


All families have that one member who tickles the living daylights out of everyone. A grandpa, a dad, an uncle or an aunt, it’s usually one very senior relative who is considered the life of the party. In one of the many family gatherings I have attended, while addressing the ‘young guys’, one hilarious uncle said “you people need to let us love you the way we know how. I want to visit you randomly, joke around in mother tongue and have a good loud laugh like a mshamba, instead of Whatsapping, Tweeting, Facebooking, Instagramming, snapchatting and all those internetting things!” We laughed our intestines out, perhaps it was in the absurdity of the statement or simply because of his comical nature even during serious discussions.

That was a cool way of breaking ice and while most of us may have forgotten as soon as the event ended, for some reason, those words kept itching at my mind.

Father’s day is fast approaching. On June 19, most of us will be busy executing our plans to celebrate dads, while those who will have forgotten or will be ‘unavailable’, will quickly send a sweet poetic text. Others will however put up lengthy status updates and posts on social media which may never be read by their anti-internet fathers.

While social media has proven to be a great way of keeping in touch, most of our older generation are not so into it all. So it is rather awkward when we choose to express our flowery sentiments over platforms that our old school dads do not access all in a bid to gain likes from audiences that really don’t care.

It is like buying a gift for your friend based on your own preferences or taking them out to a destination that you like without a care as to what they would prefer. Being totally inconsiderate of the other person’s wishes when gifting them is quite nasty.  So this father’s day, how about asking your dad how he would like to spend it or get him a gift based on a need you clearly sees he needs or simply spend some quality time with him instead of posting words and selfies online that will never truly show him just how much you appreciate him.

fathers day
For all the things he has done for you treat your dad like a King this Father’s Day. Image from https://in.pinterest.com

For all dads; the biological father, step father, half father, adopted father and father figures, Father’s day simply exists to remind everyone that dads are great and it is celebrated worldwide in various ways. This is the one day that all fathers who have worked hard to provide, protect and stand up for their families should get to relax and have some fun in their own unique way. Here are a few considerations for some types of Kenyan dads;

The foodie dad – Most Kenyan dads land in this category. If he loves nyama choma and beer, how about you sponsor him for a day out with his boys? At an all you can eat meat joint or even at his favourite watering hole.

Petrol head dad – Fathers are usually the ones who take care of the car problems at home. On this special day, you can sign him up for a training where he gets to learn a new skill in car mechanics, buy him a new set of tyres, or hire his dream car and take him for a drive in it. Alternatively, help him fix something that he hasn’t been able to, by working together or paying a professional mechanic to do it.

Mr. Sporty – He will enjoy a day out playing his favourite game and probably showing you how it’s done, or that new upgraded sports kit he has been eyeing.

Mr. Fix it – Handy man dads will always appreciate an addition to their tool box so you can get him a gift voucher from a good hardware shop.

Mr. Bookworm – Help him arrange his home library and repair some of the old rugged books which he reads over and over again. Also, you can get him a gift voucher from his favourite book store or simply spend quality time tapping into his wealth of knowledge by listening to his lengthy and somehow boring narrations.

Fashion dad – Fathers often spend so much on their families that they forego their own wants especially when it comes to clothing, hence those ill-fitting clothes. On this special day, have your fundi take his measurements and design a fitting suit for him or better yet, take a walk around town together and help him pick out some nice clothes and accessories on your tab.

Wannabe-Tech dad – Some dads actually enjoy social media and all although they may not grasp things as fast. So how about helping him update his software and teach him the ropes in setting up and using his social media accounts. This way at least he will like your Father’s day post and upload that lovely selfie you took together.

Happy Father’s Day!

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Mwende Maritim is a budding freelance writer based in Nairobi, Kenya. She has always had a passion for well written content but began writing professionally in 2014. Her writing mainly covers lifestyle issues and anything to inspire people especially the teenagers she mentors.