Nnam; My Hero

Chinwe Nlemoha Written by Chinwe Nlemoha · 2 min read >

“Nnam, I am that daughter that is proud to call you father anywhere.” 

Some weeks ago, I was talking to a friend and I told him I was in LBS. He repeated my answer like he was not sure he heard ‘the LBS’ well.

Then he said “your father has really invested in you oo, he deserves to be celebrated and called a hero.” 

My father has always been a constant reminder of who a hero is, but that day, the words sank deeper. 

My Nnam

In my local dialect, ‘Nnam’ means my father.

Some people call older men nnam, but when I call nnam, I make reference to my biological father. 

 You may be wondering why I am writing about my father today. 

I just remembered my dad and the several sacrifices he makes for me. 

When I think of my father, I see the most courageous man I have ever known.

Nnam takes up tasks that are way too big in everyone’s mind except his. He accepts responsibilities easily and is always willing to give a listening ear. 

Today, we had career fair in school and guess the first person I called afterwards. Nnam!

I laughed heartily and described in details how my day went and nnam was glad to share in my excitement. 

Nnam has several admirable qualities, but what has endeared my father to me is his willingness to go the extra mile for me. 

Things Nnam has done for me

The things nnam has done for me are more than money can offer. 

I remember when I was preparing for WAEC in SS3.

My school instructed prefects in SS3 not to partake in GCE. If we did, we stand the chance of losing our positions in school.

He claimed that GCE would expose us to the malpractice that was rampant in GCE centers.

Then we will not write our exams objectively anymore. 

I liked the idea, but more than that, I was not willing to give up my position as a prefect. However, my parents were not in support of this idea and insisted I took the GCE as a preparatory exam for the main WAEC.

One fateful day, my mum and I were discussing the issue and I refused to sway because I knew I was going to pass my WAEC. 

My mum was clearly irritated by my choice, so she called my dad who was on a trip then. Nnam requested to speak with me and asked me if I will pass WAEC.

With tears in my eyes, I said yes and he said the GCE matter was over and nobody should make reference to it again, because his daughter will pass her exams. 

Even if I was destined to fail, the faith of nnam in me pushed me to excel in my WAEC. 

I gained admission in UNIBEN and my father drove me to school.

The following day, I had to start clearance and documentation and nnam was there with me. He followed me to every office and queued on the line with other students just to be with his daughter.

He did this for about 3 days before I had to beg him to go back home because he was the only parent there. 

I can never forget those days in my life. 

One day, Nnam called me to his room.

He told me, “Chinwe, I see you as the Okonjo-Iweala of your generation.” The time my father said this, I was not doing anything significant with my life, but he never fails to express how valuable he sees my life. 

I do not know how children receive fathers, but I think every child deserves a dad like mine. 

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