Every father was once a boy. How well or badly the boy child is groomed will determine the kind of father he becomes. Fathers are men who have been threre for us when we need support and advice. They teach, they love, they support, they pick us up when we fall and give us the encouragement we need. Behind every happy family, there’s a father. The family as the smallest unit of every society isn’t complete without the father figure, fathers are like a rope that ties the family together in unity, peace and sustainability.

The word father may mean different things for different people. To some it may bring the picture of love, laughter, respect, power, authority etc. To others it may mean fear, rejection, disappointment and failure.I don’t get exact words to describe father, he is everything in an individual’s life.

Fathers are the unsung heroes of every household, the head of the family, controlling the affairs to ensure order, putting everything in place, sacrificing their all for their family to be genuinely happy and satisfied. Show me a happy family and I will show you a stressed out father, working painstakingly to earn enough for the family’s sustenance. Though exhausted, he dreads quitting. He cannot complain, even if he gets overwhelmed, even if he gets worn & torn like a consistently moving mechanical gears, he works harder because he knows is very much aware of the consequences of not catering for the needs of the family. A father is:

  • F-Forever loving
  • A-At my side when I need him
  • T-Talks and listens to me
  • H-Hears my cries & happiness
  • E-Easy-going and fun
  • R-Risks anything to please our family.

A true father will get down to the level of his children; engaging in “their” world with a heart full of love, care and concern not for what they do, but because they are his own; a gift given to him by almighty. He exercises patience in times of rebellion and yet spurs his children on to become who they are called to be; what they are capable of becoming in their life.

Fathers are inarguably the reinforcement of the family. The sacrifice of a father can never be overemphasized. They custodian of morality and doctrinal principles, passing ethical value, cultural standard and acceptable trait from one generation to another.They have taken it upon themselves to lead their offsprings, guide and protect them from external attacks or influence. It takes a king to groom a king and it takes a lot to see and bring out the king in someone. They put family first before any other thing, they are selfless.It’s their duty and they do it with so much alacrity, and without much ado. Fathers deserve to be celebrated everyday.

I am privileged to have a father who, in my sister Oluchi Anyatonwu‘s words, is a mentor, model and minister. Permit me to add master to the triun qualities.


Dad has the patience of a cocoon slowly morphing to a beautiful butterfly. He mentored us, siblings and I, not with cuss words and commands like an army general orders his battalion, but as a gentle shepherd leads his sheep to lush pastures. He is not that ‘i will tell your daddy and he will spank you’ kinda dad.

No, mum needed not threaten us with such scary words because dad rarely spanks. With words, he speaks sense into the heads of nitwits. Mum is the disciplinarian. Methinks I took after dad.


I love to write. I love to read. Same can be said of my siblings. Dad is the reason. A book lover he is. When other father’s return home from a long journey with eatables, drinkables and toys, dad arrives home with books. Plenty of books. He encouraged us to read. To learn. To unlearrn. To relearn. Dad was our model of brilliance, bookworm, knowledge freak.

What more can I say about poetry, and story writing, and music? Himself being a ‘retired poet’, an amazing storytelling and history enthusiast, he fanned the coals of his children’s creative talents and ensured we do more, much better more, much best more.


I have seen all kinds of pastors, preachers, clerics, priests, but I haven’t met one like my preacher dad. Passionate minister who will rather reason with a proselyte than impose doctrines on em. Paul-like preacher who, like Paul, takes the form of the Romans to reach Rome.

It’s with nostalgia I remember sitting on a hardwood bench in a local church, located in the remote pasts of Ngwa land, listening to dad minister in the singsong Ngwa dialect, with a little humour, localized proverbs and indigenous parables. I’ve seen him pray and miracles happen. He’s prophesied and the barren for decades bore a son.

When people speak of fake pastors, I struggle to relate because I’ve been with one who’s as real as the warm kisses of sunshine on my cheekbones.


… of whatever he sets his heart on, to do. Most especially, his fried plantain whenever mum was either away or sick, which of cause I failed to emulate (forgive me, father). I am because I have a father who was and is.

Happy Father’s Day, Pastor Anyatonwu Goodluck Okechukwu. I’ll forever remember your sacri-fries (plantain)

30, a collection of poems by Jaachi Anyatonwu
Jaachị Anyatọnwụ
Jaachị Anyatọnwụ is a poet, editor, and publisher living in the suburbs of Aba. He is the author of numerous poetry chapbooks and collections, and the Editor-In-Chief of Poemify Publishers Inc. Jaachị is passionate about discovering new voices and mentoring emerging poets. He is also a fierce advocate for the boy child and sexually molested.

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