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The Drunkard’s Daughter

Its Father's day, people are celebrating their Father's, what do you have to say about your father today? Here is what I have to say...

Dada Bruno

About 15 years ago, my mother sent me to go and buy some ingredients to add to what she had. She was preparing our evening meal. Our meal that night was going to be rice and a sauce. We rarely eat rice so I was besides myself with happiness, and with excitement, I walked quickly so I could get back home early. As usual, people had gathered under the ebony tree to buy pork from the man who sells there, the meat would be accompanied with pito from the woman who brewed it just across the road. I greeted them as I walked to the market. When I was almost past them,  one of them called and  asked who I was, but before I could reply, someone chimed in ‘helpfully’, ‘That’s Bruno the drunkard’s daughter’. It was said so loudly that everyone heard it, and they laughed. I was a child then so the laughs meant nothing to me, and I marched purposefully to finish my errand.

He was jolly in his sober moment

Years later, the incident had become one of the hazy memories we tug at but only remember incompletely, and in my case, it was just how much I had stuffed myself that evening. I had come home from university (I was one of the few who had finished SHS and got lucky) during a holiday, one of the few moments I spend at home, with my family. I went to town and on my way home, I passed by a drinking spot. My dad was sitting with some of his friends under a mango tree and I stopped by to say hello. One of them asked who I was and my father proudly said, ‘She’s my daughter’ but the man laughed over it and said he should stop telling lies. I told him it was true but he said how could my father have such a beautiful, grown-up daughter like me. He nearly said more things but I think he checked himself because of the look I had on my face. Fast forward, my father passed away in 2018 and at the funeral when my brother and I went to read a tribute in memory of him, people were shocked that he had such grown children. A lot of them have seen my father in his worst state; when he is hopelessly drunk. They never expected anything good to come from him. To them, he didn’t  look like a responsible man who could have a family yet there were his children, whom he had taken care of, put through SHS, and one eventually got a master’s degree.

The Drunkard’s Daughter bagged her Master’s degree,

I used to feel embarrassed any time people talk like that about my father, but now, after reflecting over it I have accepted that this is who I am, the drunkard’s daughter! and I decided that the drunkard’s daughter will not follow in the steps of the drunkard. She has seen the mistakes of the drunkard and she has taken lessons from them. So she resolved on that day when she was referred to as the drunkard’s daughter, to make her family, especially her father proud and shock everyone, especially those who tagged her the drunkard’s daughter. And she did exactly that, though he wasn’t alive to  see her graduate from her master’s programme, he  used to proudly tell everyone his daughter was a master’s degree. He would call me time and again to ask what programme I was reading, and what programme I studied for first degree, and I would answer him and smile after every call, feeling glad that he was already proud of me. Anytime he called to ask such questions, you would know he is telling the people in his company that his daughter is a karekye (a learned person). It’s rather unfortunate  things didn’t go as I wished but I know he is still proud of me.

There are many ways people could have used to describe my father, he was a plumber, he was an evangelist, he had a place of work, he had a hometown, he had a wife, he had family members that were/are popular and so on but people chose to describe him using his weakness. Yes, that is how a lot of people look at others, always highlighting their weaknesses and saying negative things about them. Some do it deliberately, others just don’t know. Or let me say that is what they know, they don’t know how to say nice things about others other than criticising, and their criticisms are not constructive.

The Drunkard’s Daughter is a Mentor to many young people

That is what happens around us, people will not focus on your positive attitude and good deeds. Your negatives and bad deeds, even if it is just one will always overshadow and outshine whatever good thing there is about you. It is even worse when we do this to ourselves. As individuals it is very important to think positively of ourselves, not to say you should forget the negatives, but think of how you can address the negatives. Negatives are not so bad, but don’t let them drag you down. Being called the drunkard’s daughter was heartbreaking and discouraging. I felt that was all I could be – a drunkard’s daughter. A drunkard’s daughter! But today, I think I am more that the drunkard’s daughter from years ago.  I am beautiful, I am intelligent, I am smart, I am blissful, I am confident, I am a strong woman, I am important. But most importantly I am a role model and a mentor to many young people in my community.

Dada trying to pose like me

Many of us may be embarrassed by some of the things our parents do but we don’t always have to let those things get at us. Rather, we should let them be the reasons why we want to be better people. Maybe, without the critics and negative opinions from people, we will not want to become better versions of ourselves. Maybe if people had said something like ‘that’s Bruno’s daughter’ other than ‘the drunkard’s daughter’, I might have been content with the recognition. Calling me a drunkard’s daughter got me feeling bad and embarrassed, hence my resolve to be better and at least get someone to refer to my father as the ‘Master’s student’s father’. If you have ever looked at someone and judged them because of their parents’ conditions, know that you may just have discouraged and killed their dream. Not everyone will look at these things and want to work on them. Those description of me as the  drunkard’s daughter made me feel that nothing good can come out of me because even if I do my best, people already have their opinions about me. I do not hold anything against those people, I just decided to let that remind me of how society sees me and how I can change society’s perceptions about me.

He was also  romantic

If you say things that will not help people learn and improve their lives, then you may as well just keep quiet and let them be. If you can’t keep quiet about it, then try to rephrase what you want to say. That way you can easily get the person to think about it and work with it. For example, if someone keeps doing something wrong and you want them to stop doing it, you don’t just tell them, ‘The way you’re doing this is wrong’, rather, try saying something like this, ‘Have you thought of doing what you’re doing this way or that way?’. You will most likely hurt their ego in the first instance and they will not be willing to accept your corrections. The latter manner will be met with gratitude; that you didn’t put them in any situation that might be embarrassing to them and also, you have pointed them to other possibilities. Think about it

Happy Father’s Day my Hero

As we mark Father’s day, I am celebrating this great man who was referred to as a drunkard and who was seen as a useless person, I am also celebrating all the men who are seen as “useless” and are not regarded with respect in society. You may not know their worth but most of them are specialists in their fields. If you don’t believe ask me, my father was one of the best plumbers in Wa, weeks after his death, people were still calling his phone to come and fix their pipes for them. To all these unsung heroes and stars who are struggling to shine, I say Ye garebanye (congratulations)! The judgements we pass on them weigh them down that they get even more addicted to their bad habits. Some of them just need to encourage them to become better people but no, we would rather not. And after all the drunkard went through, you’re reading his story written by the drunkard’s daughter. CHEERS‼!

 

 

 

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103 Comments

  1. my strongest mummy…you are really a mentor…
    the good thing is that, humans are not God neither do their shallow opinions and perceptions matter..

  2. My sister from another mother… These are very true words indeed. I always appreciate your work but today, you bring tears to my face… Keep doing you and you’ll go places. 👍🌹

  3. This was really heart touching. Thank you Sugar for this heartfelt piece and continue to shine always. You will always be more than just a drunkard’s daughter and you have shown your father was more than a drunkard. Happy father’s day to him.💪🏽💞

      1. I knew you were different the very first day I saw you when you came to interview some women in Busa, where I was teaching 8 years ago. I have never regretted knowing you and being one of your best friends. Your sense of humor, love for everyone, positive mindedness and your strong resilience to the many challenges that you have already mentioned are some of the few glaring attributes that anyone would easily spot upon getting close to you. The stories you are sharing aren’t yours alone, but also of many others who aren’t brave enough like you. My BERTHY, as I always call you, the sky is your starting point!!! God bless your hustle!

  4. Our fathers drunk beer/ pito not because they were poor or wrecked but because they could afford to be drunk everyday. I don’t regret for the kind of dad I had because he gave me everything I needed and more importantly imparted in me wisdom for life. Those responsible men who saw only the negatives of your father, where are their children today?

  5. I deed if humanbeings were God, I don’t know what would have happen to some us Incredible story Sugar more Grace to soar higher.

    1. Sugar, your story is very touching.
      What I like about your writings is that, they are usually real life stories and some are even personal. People can easily relate.
      Keep it up.

  6. This story touched my heart deeply
    Your Dad was a Hero and I know he’s always proud of you and Berry.
    Go Harder and Higher Big sis

  7. I have been monitoring your stuffs closely and i really admire you a lot. You are one the ladies that inspire me each and everyday.
    I have also dreamed of meeting you one on one but being on the same WhatsApp platform(kumasi konnect 3 #bcksi) I will just PM you.

  8. I remember Bruno the drunkard but I honestly didn’t know you were his daughter until recently. As you rightfully put he was the best plumber in his hay days and my dad wouldn’t hesitate calling him whenever we had leakages or major plumbing work at home. I remember all the times he came round to fix our plumbing issues at home. Very jovial and will always deliver to expectation. I’m glad knowing you didn’t let him down. He will be super proud of you girl. Kudos to a beautiful and thoughtful write up

  9. Wao ! Dear, you have a strong heart wao 🙏🙏 it’s so beautiful!! To God be the glory n may he rest in peace Happy father’s day my datch

  10. Hmm……..I felt so emotional reading this fantastic piece, I wish everyone could read this especially those that criticizes over our weaknesses and family weaknesses. That is very great
    I’m proud of you Dagabie😍😍God bless you 🙏🙏

  11. …at this juncture, can I please have your finger. I love to have lady with beauty and brains wedded .
    This piece is one that can transform the behavior of many ppl who aren’t proud of what or who their families are today. I loved every part of it . Wow

  12. May God keep daddy’s gentle soul in peace. And God bless him for giving us you. Joyful for being on the winning team. Thanks mum.

  13. This was heartbreaking, uplifting and an emotional ride. I know your dad will be the most proud man in heaven reading this. God bless him wherever he is. We as readers of your blog are so proud of you. Glad the negativity only spurred you on to achieve many great things and many more to come. Cheers, Sugar.

  14. You got me tearing uncontroably. You really are strong and confident and I also took this bold step you took when I was in JHS to use my weakness as my strength so my father will be proud of me so will his friends at work respect him. Sis Sugar you really inspire, cheer, educate and encourage. Thumbs up and God guide and shower more wisdom and graces on you.

  15. The stories will never end.
    He was also a great Gardner.
    I enjoyed from his garden.
    Oh Betty, you made me drop a tear.
    May you never get tired of inspiring us and may his soul rest in peace.

  16. Sis.,
    Such is life … But they’re greater pieces constitute part of motive that keep pushing us to fight relentlessly

  17. I think I enjoyed this story. It’s always the case but one thing I remember I was told by my late Dad. Gold is dug from where it’s least expected.

  18. We like to drink, we like drinking, we enjoy drinking, and we do respond to our names in it. Do we take sole responsibility for our acts? Yes. We do not intend to extend it to our progeny. It’s our act and ours alone.
    Sorry for bearing acts that we enjoyed alone.
    And thanks for priding in it now.

  19. At the end of the article, you seem to have reproduced the discussion that characterized the very condition that generated the ideas for the article – drunkard is perhaps the dominant word and there is a solidarity for you by many.
    I should say I agree largely with the content of your piece but I also think you missed the context and you fell in to the guilt of the detractors.
    You failed to understand that your dad went through different faces of life, he had a history, he is my “God father” – that historic process of his growth and the conditions that produced him in whatever form was missing in your writing-it is a very dangerous way to write about people because you eliminate what makes them who they are and treat them as isolated beings.
    I end it here.

    1. Great piece Sugar. There are so many moral lessons people can learn from your writeup. Your dad must be happy in his grave. Keep it up!!!

  20. Wooww… such confidence!! This piece is everything.. I believe it was all part of the process and no wonder you shine whereever you go… i got to know you for only a year.. and whenever your name pops up.. its all smiles.. Kudos!!

  21. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. Your positive mindedness is one in a million and I’m glad to have met you. Keep inspiring and shine on girl! Daddy is proud of you!

  22. Sugar you said it all beautiful intelligent inspirational and a role model and down to earth passionate of your root. I love you for that I have turned a lot of negative attitude even in my family to positive action to push those behind me up.

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