T H E B E N I N L I O N
To my brilliant dad; Happy Father’s Day
Meet my father, a typical African dad, both extremely loving and dominating. A combination of extremes that have dictated our relationship.
My dad grew up in Benin City, Nigeria and came to London with my mother in the 80’s. They had plans to return to Nigeria shortly after, but alas my sister was born in 1989. So, they made a life here in the U.K.
My dad and I have always had an interesting relationship. His upbringing in a polygamous household moulded him into a quite fierce and strict man. I think myself, being a more loving type of child, we clashed often.
I was accustomed to life in the U.K having being born here, whereas he carried the traditions and morals of a Nigerian man that I was expected to uphold. I struggled and tended to be too ‘British’ in my thinking.
My dad’s favourite phrases, clearly showed the divulgence in upbringing:
When I was younger…
I could NEVER speak to my parents like that…
So you want to insult me abi?
Nevertheless, my amazing dad has always been there for me. He has done his best to support me in everything that I do, when I told him about my blog he bought me my very first camera encouraging me to explore my new found passion!
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learnt to understand my dad much more. That his overbearingness is his way of showing love. That he will never stop having strict dad tendencies. And that he only wants the best for me, even if he struggles to express it.
Daddy, thank you for being there, for all our fussing and fighting, you are one in a million.