Upendo at one: Letter to a boy who walks in his father’s presence, by Sulaimon Mojeed-Sanni

Upendo at one: Letter to a boy who walks in his father’s presence, by Sulaimon Mojeed-Sanni

Dear son,

Finally, the day is here. From an inconsequential fluid to a fetus, you are today staggering to reality in your wobbling steps. Yes, it is one year since your mum walked tiringly across steep steps to get you started for life. It has been 365 days of keeping watch, praying and thanking God for His exceptional mercy on your cheeky frame.

Dear AbdulMukthadir, I am happy, we are happy you came into our lives, your presence has redefined our attitude to marriage and commitment to sacrificing for each other. Being our first fruit while we are all together under the same roof for almost 365 years, you have taught us the gravity of leaning on each other during trying times and we can’t but love you more for it.

Remember, I said yours was the first pregnancy I monitored from conception to delivery, you have also enjoyed the same grace in your journey to one blossom year. And it was indeed gratifying catching on record your wobbling attempts to have a foothold on earth. It was a moment of hysteria for me and I hurried to put it on record. I know you will thank me for it when you come of age because the video is a definition of the steepness of life; the attempt, the help, the fall, the cheering, the condemnation, the victory and the law of gravity.

Dear Upendo, the moment you took your first wobbling step signifies the beginning of the world’s race for survival. Many are not privileged to be told and many grew to know after many false starts, that this space called earth is a rat race – an unpleasant life of pursuit and competition seeking the good things of life and depriving yourself of leisure. Let me tell you, son, don’t blindly join the race because nobody eventually wins it. Heed my counsel son, never join the race, for every man lives at his own pace to earn his peace.

Dear AbdulMukthadir, it has been your morning tradition to look out the window every morning when you wake. I understand your optimism and desire to get started and explore the world. My prayer is that God sustains our capacity to help you make the best choice to excel. Dear son, while looking to get into the world as you grow, understand life is about perceptions, people believe what you present, not what you hide. Remember, a good character can thaw the thickest iceberg.

Son, what I am saying is that you fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you. Life is a schooner in a storm, surviving may come with suffering and strength. Strive to learn and earn, for there cannot be a paean without pain. Glorious songs of praise or triumph are only sung for people who have done their best, not even those who just tried.

Dear son, be mindful of what you fear. Fear paralyses human thinking by subjecting you to the dictates of what you fear. Know this son, a good number of people die by fear, only a few die by courage. Remember you came from the lineage of a prince-warrior, a nobleman, a highly-skilled craftsman and people of dignified heritage. Heed my words, be courageous, yet be humble for arrogance comes before a fall.

Dear Adebola, as you begin the count of a new year, know that you are truly loved. Your lithe growing body is something I am loving, for you are sure taking after your Daddy’s fine structure enclosed in your mummy’s good heart. Your brothers Ubuntu and Uhuru, care dearly and can not wait to pull you through learning’s rough road in a boys’ arcade.

With much love from your Dad,

Sulaimon Mojeed-Sanni


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