Nairobi Man Reunites With Father, 30 Years Later

I have only had my mother stand by me and look after me until I was stable enough to stand on my own two feet.

Nairobi Man Reunites With Father, 30 Years Later
A man and his father. /iSTOCK

If I told you that I knew my father well, I’m lying to you now. I don’t know him at all and for the past 30 years, all I’ve ever known about him is how he left us when I was joining Form One.

I have only had my mother stand by me and look after me until I was stable enough to stand on my own two feet. She had to really work hard to push me through college…trust me, that is no easy feat without a breadwinner.

Despite everything going well for me; my grades were up, my finances were good (with her help of course), I had managed to start a side hustle of selling outfits to all the girls and boys on my campus and later secured a job at one of the top companies in Kenya, I felt as though something was missing.

Fathers Day on Sunday was weird for me. I was a 44-year-old with a stable family and a loving wife, and I was scrolling through tons of Facebook and Instagram posts of friends and colleagues sharing lovey-dovey posts of their fathers and thought ‘maybe I should be among them, with a photo of my father alongside me’

A man who is sad. /CAPITAL GROUP

I tried the curious idea of using the last photograph I had with my father in the multiple posts I shared that day…the other was for myself and my two boys as I had lived through five years of becoming a parent to my sons who will grow up to great men capable of reversing the status quo the rogue feminism was unleashing across the planet…where men used to be valued and treated like kings.

You must be wondering, why would a successful man who is among the men raised by single mothers to the kind of success you’d see among the likes of Maina Kageni (raised by a single mother as well), worry about his father, 30 years on? He’s not dead, that I’m sure…otherwise, news of his passing would have reached me first.

Eric Amunga (popularly called Amerix) always posts about how important a father figure is to men. They’re more important than ever now, especially in a world where women are becoming more empowered than ever before, but our fathers are so good at abandoning us and not breaking a sweat in it; that’s what he did…left me when I needed him to handle the crazy women we have at the moment.

Anywho, I was busy at work and lunchtime was approaching. Just as I was going down the elevator to head out to the nearest kibandaski, I received a phone call from an unorthodox number…not even Truecaller could help me recount who was trying to call and more importantly, how this person got my number.

“Duncan? Is that your voice?” a deep voice boomed over the phone.

“Who is this?”

“It’s your father Duncan…I’m calling you because you are my son.”

“My father left me 30 years ago without a word and has never ever bothered to reach out to me, how could you call me saying that you are him?”

I was almost cutting the call but the man kept persisting before he dropped the final attempt to get me to listen.

“I’ll send you a pin on the map, where we can meet. I’m at the place trying to sort out something and I wanted to meet you before I get back to work,” the voice said, cut the call and did exactly what he promised…send a live location of where he was.

Suddenly my solo kibandaski date was diverted to a drive down Thika Road to end at Roasters. The pin led me to Mountain Mall and before I climbed out of my car, I received an SMS from the same number that called me earlier, which read “I’m outside Nyota Njema Real Estate offices”.

A real estate company? How could this man I had no idea who he was ask to meet me at a real estate company along a major highway leading up to residential areas for the ordinary working Kenyan?

I stepped out of the lift to find him waiting and that is when it hit me. It was my father, who left me 30 years ago.

My first instinct was to instantly turn away from him and head back to the car, but he was remorseful and began admitting his mistake bit by bit.

“I know I wasn't the best father to you, that’s why I had to leave. You wouldn’t have liked what I became, a man who lost meaning and who would put his family in danger. I can’t let you be like me, so I’m repaying the lost years we should have shared together.

“I was here because someone told me that there was an investment opportunity in land, especially in Nanyuki. I already have my retirement home, so this is for you,” he said, presenting to me a title deed that was in my name.

Not only was my old man reuniting me after 30 years, but he also had in his hands one of the best gifts a man could ask for. 

“Happy Belated Fathers Day,” he said as a group of Nyota Njema staff stepped out of their usual hustle in the office and gave the two of us rousing cheers and claps that froze activities across the whole mall, whose staff and shoppers soon joined in. You could tell this was planned for several weeks.

I was even shocked to find out that he had paid for the whole thing! With his money! All Ksh250,000 in cash was paid by my father as a way of apologizing for leaving my mother and me in the cold.

An advert for a plot of land on sale. /NYOTA NJEMA REAL ESTATE 

“Here, this is for your mother, I want you to buy land for her so that she can build her house next to you,” he said, handing me a crumpled envelope heavy with bundles of cash.

“My mother and I would like to see the site first. My family as well,” I said, also addressing the same to the CEO he had paid a visit to, who led me to his office.

After that fruitful meeting, I gave instructions to my wife which included calling 0728 694916 anytime she had more questions about the land my father just bought for us all.