Growing up, I first wanted so much to be an aeronautic engineer, then a pilot, then a writer, then a priest (a catholic priest to be precise), and a farmer. As I grew older, the careers I desired increased and architecture joined the list. My interest in renaissance art made physics interesting and I also wanted to be a physicist. A few more career options popped into my head before I got admitted into the university and all these careers excited me and also left me a little confused.
However, a new reality came upon me after I got admitted into the university and I had to separate my dreams and fantasies from reality. Away went most of my listed career options as I had to settle for survival in Nigeria. This meant I had to focus on a career path that was most guaranteed to bring financial stability to my life.
In all these career selection turbulence, one thing remained constant through my years of growing and understanding the difference between reality and dreams. My parents support for my dreams never wavered nor did they attempt to talk me out of any of my career options. They only advised and showed me the positives of all the career options I mulled over.
My dad was my biggest supporter and I can remember him giving me all the support I wanted. From making enquiries about air force school in Kaduna when I said I wanted to be a pilot, to getting me excited about architecture and what it offers when I decided it was architecture I wanted. Then going on to pay me for my first architecture design even though it lacked the required professional edge, modifying it and going on to use it for a development. To keeping all copies of my literary works, from the first play I wrote to a draft book on African wise sayings and their interpretations. Placing these juvenile works of mine in his library along with other important books of his, and always pushing me and my siblings to be the best. I knew I always had a fan to cheer me through anything in life.
Like most fathers around the world, he was never as vocal as our mom, nor did he seek any adulation for providing us security, respite, discipline and the support we will always need as we found our different paths in life. Fathers love are usually silent and powerful, and their sacrifices always easy to ignore as they tend to be less emotional and dramatic than our mothers. But this has never affected a father’s love for their child and how immense it is.
This quiet love from fathers means fathers aren’t celebrated as much as they should, and this is totally understandable. The media makes it worse, as there are more stories of dead-beat fathers in the media, even though they dwarf in numbers when compared with the number of great fathers out there. Fathers doing all they can to ensure their kids reach the best of their potential.
The hushed tone in which the recently concluded Father’s Day went will attest to how easy it is to overlook the sacrifices of the father. So today at The Fademi Jacobson Foundation, we remember all fathers on land, air and sea doing all they can to provide support and security for their families. We remember all fathers who are their childrens’ biggest supporters and continually encourage them to be the best version of themselves so they don’t give up on their dreams. We salute you all for being the superheroes you all are.