MEMOIRS OF A LOVING DAD — PART 1

Allow me rent some space and time to briefly share with you some true stories and object lessons from personal experiences with my late father, as I reflect on his death 9 days on.

1. He was a Noble Businessman

I recall how my dad strategically persuaded me to sometimes man his shop for him through an incentivized mechanism. He proposed a commission after reaching a sales target which I agreed to. The ‘old boy’ knew it was the only way I would budge, since I was too preoccupied with my ambitions of reading Science and later becoming a Medical Doctor.

Thus, I didn’t wanna have anything to do with business. So for starters, Daddy gave me a ream of A4 sheets to sell at school to my colleagues back then, as we offered a subject called Pre-Technical Skills. The deal was to return the sales on 400 sold sheets, and retain the 100 as my cut. O boy, it made me RICH back then amongst my peers and I enjoyed it too cos it was good business!

This is one of many things both my dad and later my mom made me do. For the records, I didn’t just sit in a store to sell provisions and stationeries, but had spells to sell charcoal, kerosene etc. Unbelievable, isn’t it? Cos I don’t look like one whose hands have been dirty before right? O yes I did!

Anyways, this is the catch point: through this, I was able to hone my negotiation and marketing skills without even knowing; an attribute I owe to my Father.

In the same token, you’ll have to pay for any item once it’s on the shelf and not designated as ‘free’. My Dad always had this principle which he stuck to, even to his dying day: ”Friends and Family will COLLAPSE your business if you don’t put a RESTRAINT on them.” In my family, we know this rule guide and we all respect our Dad for it.

It is little wonder that even the current Bible I use as well as all others from the past except two (i.e. my first Bible when I turned 12, and another one as a gift on my 30th birthday — a Bible Concordance with 4 Versions), were bought from him. By the way, need I tell you that my Dad was a long-standing member of the Bible Society of Ghana and so, he sold Bibles as well. He was known by many as the “Bible Man”.

2. He was Principled, but also Friendly

My Dad had a disposition that amazes me so much: he was outspoken, outgoing, very hospitable and tolerable, so much so that it was easy to get along with him, but once you got closer, you also instinctively knew that there were boundaries one needed to respect. He was a stickler to “Law and Order”!

3. A Loving Husband and an even Amazing Father

If there’s something I learned from my Dad, it was how he treated our Mom in the way he cared for her, talked to her, cracked jokes with her, called her by a pet name and his conflict resolution strategy. His favorite pet name was “Pee” and vice-versa, apparently because both had their names beginning with a “P” as my mom is ‘Patience’ and my dad ‘Peter’. It was the voice and the tone with which he called her that has made a lasting impression on my mind.

On conflict resolution, hardly did I witness any rifts between dad and mom except for one instance on my account. It’s a story I’ve shared before, but I guess I’d have to share it one more time for the sake of my new friends.

It happened in 2002 when I was about to select schools for Senior High, my Dad objected to me choosing Presec, Legon. It was a choice we had both agreed, knowing full well my obsession for the school and the quest to be part of the ‘brilla squad’ for Presec and to win it, which they did in 2006 anyways.

So I got upset when he said ‘No’ without any tangible reason and my mom who got wind of it quickly leapt to my defense as most mothers will do… Lol. My dad said nothing, and quietly left the house and only returned when I was asleep. Next morning, the issue was resolved—HOW? Till this day, I still don’t know!

But the point is this: whatever went on ‘behind closed doors’ which made my mom to have a paradigm shift overnight must have been persuasive and reasonable. This taught me some valuable lessons even at that tender age:

  1. My Dad never traded words with my mom in our presence.
  2. He didn’t physically, verbally nor emotionally abuse her in anyway.
  3. Daddy always remained ‘CALM’ even at ‘boiling point.’
  4. They always settled their disputes no matter what!
  5. The bond they shared together was much stronger than us (i.e. the children). Nevertheless, they exhibited much love and affection and I was in no doubt of their love for us.

To be continued…

Enoch Akoto (Prof.) writes,

©️PEAR REVIEW 2021

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