A little ways down the road, your beloved missus is safely delivered of a healthy, bouncing baby boy. Hurray! All kinds of congratulatory messages come from all quarters. You ain’t sure who deserves them more, cowardly you, or your resilient wife.
But you nod wisely like a Socrates incarnate and accept the endless rounds of free beer thrown your way by the boys at the local. Even Nyambu the waitress temporarily ignores your perennial bill.
You feel great, albeit with a splash of nervousness. I am now a father, but am I man enough to be a dad? Do I have what it takes to shape someone into a significant someone?
No time for questions, though. Things are happening faster than you can blurt ‘Timbuktu’. The new born needs a name. A rose is a rose by any other name, you think. But your wife lets you know you need another think coming. She wants to name him Gift. Or, Miracle. Or, Blessing.
But you have ancient cultural blood coursing through your veins, but though you suspect third-generation alcohol may have diluted a huge percentage of the culture in it, you stand your ground.
“No son of mine will be named after random verbs and adverbs”. You say.
Your wife loves it when you stand your ground. Perhaps that’s why she fell for you, anyway. So the nurse politely asks your preferred name. But you haven’t thought about it at all – you were too busy dreaming of the Derby’s you’ll attend with your son. Will he be a Liverpool fan like you or choose the sissy teams perennially rooting for the fourth position on the PL table?
Tomorrow. You say. Let me talk to my ancestors tonight.
It’s trickier than you thought. Out of the blues, Eko Dyda the gospel artist, comes to mind. In a bid to shield his two sons from what he termed as tribal prejudice and preferential racial bias, Eko Dyda named his elder son Keep It Real, and the younger one, Am Blessed.
No. That brother must be smoking something illegal. NACADA should probably investigate.
You decide to merge the names of a few father-figures who’ve made an impact in your life. Paid some of your school fees? Yes. Gave you some pocket money? Darn right. Pleaded for your case when you were suspended from school for (allegedly) selling school’s piglets? Oh, yes! Does it meet ethical and cultural expectations? Your son has a name.
Mother and son finally come home, to a lot of fanfare. If only your father was a Jubilee-era tenderpreneur – you’d most probably hire a stretch limousine with police outriders to escort your son home.
Your neighbors are beside themselves with joy – some for weird reasons, though. You shall no longer split their eardrums with cranky, loud music at 3am after a drunken night out. Gone are the impromptu house parties and unseemly guests knocking at the gate at ungodly hours. Your dread locked weed guy won’t knock on the wrong doors, on the wrong floors, and scare kids bat less.
But, oh boy, ain’t it happiness to hold the bundle in your arms? Love, untainted flows in your veins. You have never experienced unconditional love, untainted by Chinese weaves and Scottish whisky. You know you’ll do whatever it takes to see this helpless little thing grow up.
You’ll be fine to join people on those long queues at Odeon Cinema to board the earliest bus home. Many a times, you had walked past those bus queues shaking your head with an almost tangible disdain on your way to Kiza Lounge – wacha jam ipungue washukishe fare.
And you’ll lose your favorite seat at the local on match days. Even your Barcelona jersey will go out of season – and you won’t give a hoot about it. You’ll forget to renew your formerly religious DSTV subscription. The saying heri nikae njaa but ball ni watch has been a scam all along.
Your phone will eventually lose its many passwords, because your browser history won’t have much to hide. Suddenly, you are searching ‘best substitutes for breast milk’ and ‘how to soothe colic’. Previously you had a thing for things Brazilian and Latin, and God knows what else.
This is what love is all about.
May you grow to be a better man than your daddy, Zack.