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Dance with my father

The year was 2018.

The task, create a Father’s Day Campaign for Client X.

The brainstorm, heated!

See what happened was our team was torn between two angles of approach. Should we celebrate fathers for the heroes that we often feel they are, or should allow them to drop their capes and simply shed light on the vulnerabilities of fatherhood?

Now for sure, I’ll never be a father, however, I did grow up a daddy’s girl and when I reminisce about my time with my pops, both these aspects are evident. There were always two sides of the coin. Who was he to me, you ask? He was:

Provider & Protector

My father truly did his best. He took care of our basic needs but even more so, everything he did was in our best interests. The sacrifices he made to keep us comfortable, the hard decisions he knew would come to benefit us in the future, simply keeping it together when times were tough; I truly saw the hero in the human and the human in the hero.

Disciplinarian & Entertainer

… and the wahengaz did their thing when they said 'Spare the rod and spoil the child'. As kids we made a lot of mistakes – to err is human, isn’t it? Still, respect had to be learnt, instructions had to be obeyed, and discipline had to be enforced.

All this aside though, the laughs shared were just as many as the tears shed. Some of my greatest moments with my father were when my friends would visit and he’d take hours out of his day to narrate stories from his youthful years. He would have our ribs cracking all afternoon and as he left for his evening walk he’d chuckle and say, “I hope I didn’t embarrass you." - He never did.

Teacher & Friend

From basic Primary and High School subjects to general life skills, many lessons began with my father. There were times he’d be reading a newspaper article and without looking up, call me from whichever corner of the house I’d be. He’d hand me the newspaper and point out the article he’d want me to read. Half the time, I never knew what I was looking for. Sometimes, it was just an angle for me to learn a few facts, sometimes he’d quiz me, and sometimes he’d ask me to hand the paper back to him and proceed to circle all the grammatical errors. Breakfast was quite an event in our household.

Even though he taught my siblings and I a lot, he admitted that he could not teach us everything. He encouraged us to learn more from other people, mentors, couples and explore the world outside our home. I hold dearly the emails he sent me while I was in campus. They would be informal check-ins, words of encouragement and doses of humour. Those were good times.

These memories had me sitting on the fence as the brainstorm went on. Perhaps you guys can help make that choice. What angle would you choose to celebrate your fathers?

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