a poem by peninnah ng'ang'a, Kenya

Dear papaa,
18 yrs ago,you made a decision that changed both our lives forever.
You were barely 27 then,most famous bad boy in the hood,what could you possibly know about bringing up a 7year old girl?
You could have let grandma take me in,you could have let one of your big sisters take custody of me,instead,you adopted your sister's baby and ever since,you have been the greatest dad i know.Loving and spoiling me beyond crazy!

This is why my heart is hurting and bleeding so much.How can my happiness cause you such strife daddy?

Daddy remember when i 19 and i wanted to take a road trip to Rwanda but i was so scared?Remember what you said? "Be bold baby,follow your heart!And if anything happen,am just a call away!" So why are you so unhappy with the choice of my heart?
Isn't that what you taught me to do?

Its true,we do not choose who will fall in love with,but we choose the ones we say yes to.Yes,i chose to marry him knowing you do not approve of him,but i need you to understand;Knowing what i know now,if we could go back in time,papaa if he asked me again today,if he asked if i will have him,the answer will still be a yes.

I love you so much old man,I adore and worship you dad and i couldn't respect you more for being strong enough to walk me down the isle and for putting on a happy face on my big day even though it was killing you inside,but i need you to somehow make peace with all this.

I remember in that trip when i got to Rwanda,at one junction i was so stranded!I was looking right,left,right again and i couldn't decide which way or how to cross those smooth flowing roads of Kigali and i remember thinking,"Oh my old man packed everything,but he surely forgot to pack me a map!"
Papa i feel the same now.Am at a crossroads and i don't know which road to take.
Daddy marriage itself is a whole new world to me,what i need right now is for you to be my compass and direction,papaa i need you to be my guide not my judge.

One thing you have always taught me is to grow beyond the confines of society and the norm "Defy odds and logic" Remember? So why can't you abide to your own gospel?
So what if he is from a different religion!Different cultures,so what papaa!So what?Don't we all worship same God?Isn't love one of the fundamental principle in both Holy Books?
Why can't you find just a small space in your big heart for him?

Daddy i love my husband,i love him so much.He makes me happy and complete.He inspires and fulfills me.Isn't that what you always wanted for your little girl?

Am begging you paps,if you love me at all,you will love him too,you will have him on Sunday dinner,you will laugh at his jokes and you will treat him with respect!

On my 21st birthday when he first proposed,i remember you saying that night when you saw the ring "Its not the work of a parent to decide their children's fate,but it is a parent full time job to hold their kids throughout the path they choose." You have been there for me and with me every step of the way.In my biggest achievements and in the most stupid mistakes i have ever made,you have always held my hand.So am begging you now,daddy please don't go back on your word.

You are my family papaa,you are my whole world,you know that dad,but he is now my family too.
Daddy it breaks my heart to know you think my marriage is such a huge mistake;Yes him and i have did not always had a smooth run at it when we were dating,we were separated far too long,i know all that dad,its me who was dating him,remember?But marrying him is a risk i willing took and i pray that you find a way to share me with him,i pray you let him in daddy,because if you make me choose,if you make me choose between my husband and you,daddy you might lose your only daughter instead of gaining another son.

Don't make me let you go daddy,please,don't let go of me.
Am begging you.

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