Who is my Dad? My father is Chief (DR) Akpophiowhobo Alfred Akporobomemerere. An officer and gentleman, retired from the Nigerian Army Education Corps. He was born into the Royal Family of Agbarha-Otor, in Ughelli, Delta State. He was an only child of his Mum and his father who was also an only child, died at an early age of 5. His grandfather the king at the time, was deported to Calabar for human trafficking then. Expectedly, with no help as a young man, he took it upon himself to get education as a sure way of reaching that point in life he desired. That journey led him through working as rubber tapper, farmer and a commodity (palm nuts and rubber)trader. He was later to reevaluate his strength, capacity and his goal in life. Leading him to take his studies more seriously. Thus, he became a teacher and had a part time "chemist"(drug store) business that supplemented the family.
After a teacher training certificate he became a school headmaster, vice principal and later on principal. He was to transfer his service to the the Nigerian Army in the mid 70s. During his days in the army, he acquired a degree from UNILAG... Thank God! And his education was funded partly by the army and his salary. He again transferred his service to the Federal ministry of Labour, Employment and Productivity back then and move back to Warri in 1981.
He retired from public service to join the private sector as General Manager of Olo Cold Drinks and Sparkling Breweries in Benin, from where he went into full retirement. Oh by the way, he tried to be the governor of Bendel State under NAP. He did not succeed.
My Dad, was a disciplinarian. He believed 60% in flogging as a tool of correction and training. 20% in slaps and konks. 10% of my training was in one on one talks. One way talk I mean. The last 10% was... "shouldn't common sense teach you?"
My Dad is a core traditional African man. The man is the head of the home all he says goes kinda man. My Mum recognised and obeyed this, like a lot of mothers of that era. He was not a romantic. He hardly said he loved anything. He left you to figure that out by yourself.
Education was key. Reading, comprehension, writing, research, listening and asking questions. And ultimately, proving that all that process and experience makes a difference in your life. He believed that having a good handwriting made thoughts flow better. He always joked that when your handwriting is nothing to write home about, the brain is always reluctant in using it as a channel of communication. He once said, if you can READ! RITE! REASON! & RESEARCH! There is hardly anything you can't do. I will not promise to leave anything for you in a will, but you can be sure you will get educated, My father always said.
It's amazing how some reason behind why our fathers wanted the best for us begin to make sense when we become fathers ourselves. Like when they insist we study professional courses. It's not that they want to brag that that my son is a lawyer, doctor, architect or accountant.. NO! They actually want to protect them from being responsible for your children and responsibilities besides being able o come to you when there is need to. I had a talk with my Dad sometime back and it is very clear that given the amount of resources back then... We were lucky to get hat we got as children. Bet another thing that I found out about my Dad is that he made sacrifices when he would rather have said... ABEG ABEG ABEG
Back then, my father always said women are not like men. Their lives are more complicated than a man's own. That they needed to be checked or else, any an who is caught in their complication hardly untangles himself. He told me a woman can compare you to someone who is doing well. But will not want you to be like the same person when you point out that same person's bad side. He told me my Mum used to tell my Dad that a certain friend of the family back then had done this and that for his wife. They would have a quarrel about the comparison. One day, the man took a second wife, my Dad was first to know. So he told my mum, he was ready to be like that family friend. My mUm smiled and said "Oho! You now know ABI?" when she found out, she asked my Dad if he heard what that useless Mr Ajayi did? I'm Following in his footsteps.
The fathers at large
Get a good job
Let no woman care for you
The gun is power... The pen isn't mightier
Education is key
Reading enhances the mind and informs your thoughts
Flogging is correctional