A Hammer & A Cigarette

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I didn’t interview any mothers or fathers last week. I was out camping in shags the whole week, listening to nature’s heartbeat. Which means I don’t have a story. As a filler I will tell you a story about the day some boy punched Tamms in school.

But first I will tell you what kind of girl Tamms is.

If there was a war raging between us and Tanzanians and all able-bodied men and women who can RT secondary-source information and take pictures of their food on Instagram were called to war, and I found myself leading a very small ragtag platoon stationed on the Namanga border and I wanted someone to sit in a room alone for long stretches of time manning spying equipment, listening in on the enemy’s conversations and reporting back to base, I’d pick Tamms. Not because she’s my daughter and I’d trust her with it but because she is the kind of person who can sit alone in a room and delve into the minutiae of listening in on bland enemy conversations. She notices details; grains on wood, shapes of clouds, such things. She notices if I trimmed my beard or if I missed my weekly barber visit. She will notice if I buy new shoes. Or a belt. She notices if I change the strap of my watch. She also has high emotional intelligence; If I go to pick her up from school and I’m in a foul mood, immediately she gets into the car she will have one look at me and say, “You are tired today, papa?” which is our way of saying, ‘you are not happy today.’ Kim, my son, on the other hand will simply say, “I’m a bit hungry.” But then again he’s only 8, so his constant hunger rises about everything else. “Tell me when you are very hungry,” I will tell him.

Tamms was born at 7:05am on a Friday, January 11th, 2008, one of her half Luo and the other Kikuyu. I only mention this detail because ironically, when she was born those two halves were out there killing each other. On her day of birth, outside the hospital walls, the world as we knew it was ablaze with post-election violence. Churches were being razed to the ground; men, women and children were being shot or hacked to death, houses set ablaze, troops of displaced families, villages, moving in long lines to higher ground, running battles on the streets, batons and teargas and sirens…basically shit hitting the fan. This was two weeks before the distinguished and now late, Kofi Annan and his sexy white beard got the two big boys in a room and said gravely, “Okay gentlemen, I don’t want to know who ate whose lunch but is there a way we can make another lunch? …Er, Baks, do you mind not chewing gum? This is serious, man.”

The same day Tamms was born, Raila announced mass rallies to be held in 30 places the following week. Newspaper headlines bore death and angst and entitled men with hard stares. Hate floated from the ground like mist in a swamp at dawn. The country was like an ugly varicose vein, but on the face. This was the melee my first child was being born into. But I was delirious with joy. I didn’t care if they brought in Koffi Olomide and his Quartier Latin Band to run the government. I was a father, I was born anew. The world would now know that my seeds work. Finally I would be called Baba Nani.

I held her in my arms before her mother did. This is an unimportant detail but one I like. At 3.55kgs, she weighed a little more than a pumpkin, a messy pumpkin, because babies come out looking slimy and swollen in the eyes. She was so tiny and I couldn’t believe I had made something that breathed and had toes and could yawn. That engineering was puzzling if not humbling. I was only 30 years old, a pivotal age where you either start cocking up your life or steer it somewhere else.

Then she grew up.

I liken childhood to one of those Euro Trains passing through a tunnel. It’s a blur. The speed distorts everything, even the memory of it. You will miss the detail if you blink. One moment you are kneeling down to tie her shoelaces, her holding the top of your head for balance and the next she has her own life, she has her own needs and she wears clothes you don’t understand and listens to music you can’t begin to fathom. A flash in the pan.

The other day she asked me, “Do you know Dababy?”

I asked, “Da-who?”

“Dababy,” she repeated.

“Whose baby is that?”

She smiled wearily. “It’s a rapper.”

I wanted to ask why he’s called Dababy. Was there no other name he would have picked other than Dababy? But I didn’t because then I would have sounded like my dad who might have wondered why anyone would be named after 50 cents or even worse, a snoopy dog.

“What about XXXtentacion?”

“Is that also a rapper?” I asked anxiously because it sounded like something that could electrocute you.

“Yeah.”

“Never heard of him.”

“What about 6ix9ine?”

“Nope. Never heard of him either. Are these real people?”

“Yeah.”

She sunk into silence.

“Pop Smoke?” She asked half heartedly.

I know Pop Smoke! Rather, I knew of him. Read about him in the New York Times.

“I know him!” I cried. “The guy who died, right?”

“Yes.”

When she turned 13 last month I wrote her a thirteen-paged letter in ink in my horrible handwriting. Each page had what I wanted to believe were words of wisdom, life skills; things like love, respect, humility, confidence, avocado, life, boys. Eg, on boys; “Boys will treat you how they see you treat yourself.” On humility; ‘You are not better than anybody else because of your perceived privilege or talents.’ On Avocado: ‘Don’t fraternize with anybody who doesn’t eat avocado or anyone who talks trash about avocado.’ Such like things. Hopefully she will keep it and refer to it once in a while when teenage proves uncertain and anxious and she feels marooned by emotions and feelings.

I also realise that my window with her is closing very fast and her ecosystem is about to start changing drastically and she will perhaps start doing things I don’t understand like piercing her face or tattooing the back of her calves or just things that look scary or just unhygienic from where I stand. And because there is no time, occasionally we take long walks in Karura with Kim in tow (grudgingly), bored out of his ass, telling us, “I’m about 30% hungry now.” Doing those walks I try to subtly drum in her the importance of happiness, freedom and independence. Make your own money no matter how little it is, I tell her, that way you get to control your own life. I realise that I’m slowly turning her into one of those girls we meet and we say, “Man, that chic is so idealistic and complicated,” when they don’t fit into the familiar box we want to fit them in.

Shopping with her gives me migraines. It tires me. I have little patience for walking down aisles looking at things. The things she wears are strange. I call them “things” because they resemble clothes. I could never guess what shoes she would like. Or what colour. She loves tops that show her navel. I see other girls her age in malls dressed the same. It’s a thing, it seems. Their thing. Navels are in, bare shoulders are out. She’s a quiet girl, very lowkey. She enjoys the back of rooms, where shadows fall. She loves obscurity. She doesn’t post her pictures online. At least not where I follow her on Instagram. Maybe she has two accounts; one which parents can follow and see the pictures of flowers and puppies and the other where the real ratchetness lives. And it’s all good. I love my blood pressure as it is now.

I love her, but I also like her. A lot.

She’s gotten tall suddenly. She’s the second tallest girl in her class. Only three other boys are taller than her. Which means she tries to stoop, to hunker down not to attract too much attention with her height. I try to tell her as often as I can, “I love your height. You are elegant. Don’t look down while you walk. Chin up, let the world see the beauty in your eyes.”

It’s one of those shorter boys who punched her in the face.

It’s always the short ones.

It happened on a Friday. She couldn’t stop crying. I only learnt about it later that night. I asked what happened and she couldn’t even articulate it. I was enraged. Oh, I was mad. I felt my ears grow hot like someone was blowtorching them. He punched her AND used the “F” word at her. In case you are wondering, the F word in question wasn’t, “fauna.” “What’s this boy’s name?” I demanded. She told me. You don’t ever forget the name of the boy who punches your daughter in the face. I will always remember that name.

My poor baby, punched in the face by some little caveman. I pictured her in the playground, embarrassed, humiliated, defeated. I felt murderous. To calm down, I lay flat on my back on the carpet. I once read an interview where one movie actor said it helped him calm down when he’s very angry. It didn’t help. I just pictured someone punching her fragile face with his fists, her staggering back a bit from that force and it filled my insides with molten fire. I’ve read tons of articles which tell you to take a walk when you are mad, so I took a walk down at night, just around the block. But I was still so angry.

I fantasized numerous ways I could grab that boy off the streets, throw a dark hoodie over his head, bundle him in the boot of my car then drive him somewhere desolate, the edge of a forest, or a Athi River, somewhere I’d get him out under the dark omnibus sky and place his hand on a rock. “So, you like punching girls in the face, huh? Turns you on, huh, you little prick.” Then I’d lower the hammer on his right fist so hard all the bones would crash. I’d derive pleasure from his screams. I’d sit on another stone and light a cigarette [I don’t smoke, I’m just being dramatic] and look away from his pitifully wailing form, into the yonder darkness.

“Please let me go,” he’d plead tearfully.

“Why? So that you can punch another girl in the face?”

“No, I swear, I won’t do it again.”

“ So why did you do it?”

“I dunno…I’m sorry.”

“Does your dad punch your mom in the face?”

“No.”

“Do your uncles punch your aunts in the face?

“No. Please, let me go, I need to pee.”

“Do you punch your sisters in the face?”

“I don’t have sisters?”

“You are an only child?”

“Yes.”

“Better for all involved. Nobody needs two of you around.”

“Please, sir. I need to pee.”

“Pee with your fist.”

“Please.”

“So where did you learn how to punch girls in the face? On Youtube? On Tiktok?”

“No, I swear I won’t do it again.”

“Are you on Tinder?”

“What?”

“Forget it.”

“I really need to pee, please.”

“Pee in your pants.”

I also thought of doing much more horrible things to him. Like putting his right fist into a pool of piranhas to strip off all flesh. Just horrible things. Things you wouldn’t think of doing to someone else’s child. When I went to bed I was still angry. I stared at the ceiling for long. I told God, remove this hate from my heart tonight. I called my brother and told him the story. He was more furious than I was. He only has daughters.

The next morning God had removed maybe 40% of the hate. I couldn’t wait for Monday to go to school. To see this little shit’s face. The weekend dragged on like a pregnant walrus. On Monday I was in the deputy headteacher’s office at 8 on the nose. I was spoiling for a fight. I was ready to be very disagreeable. To fight for her honour. “What are you guys raising here, wolves in boy’s clothing?” I asked. They were aware of the incident, they said, and they were sorry it happened. They would investigate and get back to me with a full report.

Investigate? I asked. Like setting up a commission of inquiry? Leave no stone unturned? Did they intend to call in forensic experts? Were they planning to dust the crime scene for fingerprints? What are you investigating? I inquired. A boy punched my daughter in the face, there were witnesses! They asked me to go back home, they’d call me once they got the true story. I said I wasn’t going home. I’d cleared my whole day for it. I’d wait outside the office if it took the whole day.

So I waited outside the office as they conducted their sleuthing. I leaned on the railing and watched school life go by. After an hour I was called back into the office and said they really had to investigate further, they would call me at the end of day. They didn’t. I called the class teacher the next day. He gave me some cock and bull and promised to call me back. He didn’t. Then they stopped picking my calls. So I called the headmistress who invited me for a meeting the next day. We sat in her office with the class teacher [a man] and the assistant class teacher [a man] and a part of me truly hated them for taking this lightly. They had established what had happened, they said. It was a squabble over a pencil, which turned out to be my daughter’s. I was furious. The class teacher said, “We understand your anger,” I asked him, “Do you? Are you gentlemen fathers?” They said they all were. “Do you have daughters?” They said they only had sons. “Then you wouldn’t understand my anger,” I said.

Look, if it was Kim who had gotten socked by another boy and he came home crying I’d have pulled him aside, out of his mother’s earshot, and told him, “Next time that boy punches you, punch him back, hard.”

I asked the teachers; “What are you guys doing here? Looking away as boys punch girls? What message are you sending the other girls in her class, that it’s business as usual when a boy punches you?” I said I wanted the boy to be made an example of. “You can’t normalise behaviour like this. Show the rest that this is unacceptable.” I would have loved him to be flogged in a market square, but this isn’t 1908.

He was punished. And he apologised to her. I asked Tamms if she was happy with the punishment and the apology she said she was. Quite honestly I wanted her to know that I fought for her. That next time I will fight for her. That I will stand by her, protect her honour. That I will not hesitate to take on anybody who phits her to the edge of the forest and harm them. Then pee on them.

They are now friends with the boy, she tells me. It makes me sick. Obviously she doesn’t take after me in that regard because once in a while I think about that boy and the edge of the forest, a hammer, and a cigarette.

***

I’m still hawking my books; Thursday and Drunk. Click here to buy.

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132 Comments
    1. I think being a Father of daughters makes you vulnerable; the I got angry right off the bat and when he got to the School taking him round ‘investigating’ I was already furious. I am a father of daughters. You touch those, you die. You touch their Mother, you die. Simple. I have no better language for the consequences.

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      1. Everyone is defending daughters, understandably but who is standing up for the boy child? Who is telling them they have their back? Aren’t they just as vulnerable?

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        1. The horse bolted.
          Very few of the female fraternity believe that the boychild has been neglected.
          It is said that they are just lazy and should man up.
          Be it the Pope, Obama, Uhuru, et-al..all they ever speak of is empowering the women and the girl child..
          Even the money funds-Uwezo..Youth fund…girls are usually ‘very’ encouraged to apply by the govt…
          Life chronicles…..

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          1. I think defending Girls (am a Father of Girls) is not to be taken to be in competition with defending or standing with Boys; they are different with different areas of vulnerability. In fact, if we are raising strong Girls and we are not raising strong Boys (ok, Men), we are setting up the Girls for disappointment. Despite all the negative slur against Men, society needs Men, good strong Men. Almost all Women can point to a Man who is responsible for where they are in life (or where they are not in life); we need to step up support for Boys/Men but not in competition but complimentary to the support to the Girls. Ni hayo tu kwa sasa…

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        2. I also pray that these fathers who stand up for their daughters treat other peoples’s daughters with the same way.

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  1. “I didn’t care if they brought in Koffi Olomide and his Quartier Latin Band to run the government. I was a father, I was born anew.” – My day is made! Now go find Kim something to eat. I am sure he’s 45% hungry now.

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  2. I love this Biko ❤️ the way i have my daughters back, Nobody is allowed to treat her just like any other child. I have to tell her she’s beautiful and i love her everyday.

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  3. Your article today had me seething with anger on your behalf. But then again, quite funny how you describe avenging for Tamms; the edge of the forest, a hammer, and a cigarette :0

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  4. ‘I love her, but I also like her. A lot.’
    Ngai Biko. You are the sweetest. Is this what you would tell people’s daughters when you were younger? Sigh.

    Heh, ati she’s now friends with the boy? Well, no wonder the Bible tells us to be like children. If someone punched me I would not be friends with them even if they were the last person on earth(insert a high pitched dramatic voice)

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  5. Might be overstepping here but…She knows you fought for her. She knows. Also, it wouldn’t hurt if you took her aside and taught her how to punch back.

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  6. Ahh Tamms stories, missed this. So happiness, freedom & independence is a wonderful mantra to live life by, and I like that you like her…most of us have to wait until after highschool to befriend and like (or be liked) by our parents. My mom always said to bit back when a bully hit me – solid advice that will never grow old. And lastly, wanting to fight for your kid is very important – when you’re older and get into bad spots of trouble, you remember this loyalty and confide in your parent. I always tell my friends, if I’m arrested, I’ll call my mom – no matter what the reason for arrest – that’s not the time to be shameful & call my fellow kurutu broke friends for help:)

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  7. Biko, your daughter Tamms is my daughter’s twin, born in the same year, same month, their taste in music right down to the punching incident only different is mine punched a boy who was bullying her younger sister, when I asked her she said that “no one bullies my sister under my watch”

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  8. It has been refreshing catching up on Tamms.

    Anyone who figures her out in the crowd is going to have a whole book of pick up lines and stories to kick off from.

    Abouot Kim, I can relate… I have severally told my boy to bite off the ear of whoever bullies him in school….I wouldn’t be sad if he did. Its about standing up for oneself. Literally.

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  9. I have two kids in my house. The girl who is the eldest can never go to bed before I get home. If I don’t call and tell her I won’t be coming then she’ll wait on the couch till morning. Huyu ni yeye hufanyia househelps orientation. Then there’s her brother. This son of paharoah never worry about shit,provided he’s full and has his cartoons ako Sawa. May God bless them equally.

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  10. “Quite honestly I wanted her to know that I fought for her. That next time I will fight for her. That I will stand by her, protect her honour. That I will not hesitate to take on anybody who phits her to the edge of the forest and harm them…”

    My heart!

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  11. Time whizzes by so fast..one day you’re tying their laces with their little hands on top of your head for balance, the next they are looking at you eyeball to eyeball.
    Though we profess Christ, wisdom is having some knowledge of self-defence, especially for young women. Because no matter how right you’ve raised your child, some other family is not taking the time to instill kindness, or respect into their children. That includes language, I don’t allow anyone to speak wrong words into my teens life, whether it’s said in a casual manner or joke, I correct them immediately.

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  12. What enrages me about this whole story is that no one got to to when they said they would. Like it was not important.. Were those male teachers with sons secretly condoning the act? Were they hoping you’d forget?! Or were they testing your patience as a parent?. Children don’t do what we say, they do what we do and it’s these seemingly small incidents that form and cement a child’s character. I’m a mother of boys by the way and my sons would have prayed to the almighty to switch their mother for another one had they hit a girl.

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    1. That really got to me too. What was with that? I secretly hoped Chocolateman would have decided to be done with that school (and face Tamms later)!! How now? It is your customer. The reason you get a salary how do you just ignore? Coz you have sons? Waaaa. God forgive them.

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  13. Biko i love that you fought for her and i know she will forever remember this grand gesture of love. Honestly Tamms is truly blessed to have you as father, friend and a mentor in her life . She brought out the Shaka Zulu in you aha! I have had a good laugh on this one.

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  14. ‘Don’t fraternize with anybody who doesn’t eat avocado or anyone who talks trash about avocado.’ Totally get this.

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  15. This, every time you narrate it, I feel like coming with a camera to record you driving sanity in his head as you break his bones. The rage! The tears!

  16. I often wonder do your children know you write about them?
    As in I have an 11 year old who believes I have violated a cardinal rule by mentioning him in passing in a conversation where he is just an extra and fairly irrelevant but without which the story can’t be complete and sometimes you’d think I have betrayed sacred trust!!!!. Did the Missus okay it? Thanks for the anecdotal stories that help us jijazia a day in the life of le monsieur chocolat!

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  17. “If there was a war raging between us and Tanzanians and all able-bodied men and women who can RT secondary-source information and take pictures of their food on Instagram were called to war, and I found myself leading a very small ragtag platoon stationed on the Namanga border and I wanted someone to sit in a room alone for long stretches of time manning spying equipment, listening in on the enemy’s conversations and reporting back to base, I’d pick Tamms. ”

    I almost died holding my breath as I read tht one sentence., we can always travel miles for our young ones.

  18. I can see Tamms and I can get along quite well on the music front On other news, I stan you Biko Zulu for protecting your daughter’s honor

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  19. The love of a father! So beautifully penned Biko. I could feel the rage.

    She knows you stood up for her and always will.

    Above everything else, she is more than blessed to have you as her Papa.

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  20. Reading this has brought tears to my eyes because the love, Jesus the love you have for your daughter! For Tamms..
    I never had it but I’ll be that mommy, the one that will crash a boy’s hand with my teeth (I have very strong ones btw from chewing cassava and sugarcane) if he dared punch my daughter. God I’m pissed already. At the thought.

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  21. So where did you learn how to punch girls in the face? On Youtube? On Tiktok?”

    “No, I swear I won’t do it again.”

    “Are you on Tinder?”

    “What?”

    “Forget it.”

    hahaahaha are you on Tinder…hahaha

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  22. I am another of your brother Biko, I can’t stand and see my brother’s daughter bullied.

    This was so worth every second

  23. Too dramatic for a father. I think it should have been the mother being that dramatic on the teachers. I can’t stop but wonder how the conversation between them was about a parent who came burning on her face because her teenage girl got punched on the face. They laughed it up and wondered what men have turned into lately, possibly wondering whether he had the same kind of upbringing.
    Anybody boy fought a girl in primary school, I wouldn’t known of international schools.
    Cool off, que sera sera.

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    1. Waaaait….Whaaaat???? This comment is just laughable
      Ati boys fought girls in primary school and now Biko fighting for Tamms is being dramatic?? Ati for a father..hehe..as if fathers are not supposed to cause chaos for their daughters..
      Eeeiy….hahaha

      May other men and all of us not watch people being oppressed just because someone else can be more dramatic in that situation.

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      1. I cannot contain my shock. Ati Biko was too dramatic and it should have been the Mrs. I can’t believe this.
        His child was punched! He was supposed to brush it off? Some fathers out here.Eh.
        I’m shook.

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    2. So growing up I was bullied, one because of my parents career, secondly, I had eczema(I was always white from scratching). Now, my parents didn’t have the luxury of marching to the school and fighting for me, it would be translated as “trouble making” compromising their careers
      Now, there were these two boys who always made it hell for me and my friend, especially when going home, they would really beat us and insult us. And I had just had it, it was time for me to stand up for us. Tell you what, I looked for the shiniest rock I could get and was like, “leo ni leo” , let them just come. Oh yes, we fought, and ended up hurting the boy so bad, he bleed all over and had to be rushed to an emergency room by good Samaritans, young me thought he would die.

      Funny enough, the teachers whooped me up real good, I almost dropped out of school, but my parents said nothing… in my mind, I knew I would be killed, bearing in mind they were disciplinarians…think it was a way of them saying, good, as a girl you need to stand up for yourself

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  24. Quite honestly I wanted her to know that I fought for her. That next time I will fight for her. That I will stand by her, protect her honor❤

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  25. *Eye rolls* Boys don’t actually treat you how they see you treat yourself. That’s outdated & bad advice. How people treat you is a reflection of their poor character, not yours. Boys will disrespect a self-respecting girl/woman because they don’t respect themselves. What you’ve now taught her is to think that she did something to deserve it. To blame herself.

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  26. Oops they grow fast. Your approach was good. Lessons for me too. I think I will cause more chaos, but wisdom is important. 13 Pages for her birthday is a great idea.

  27. That was amazing Biko, she’s lucky to have you. The words of wisdom will definitely come in handy. I also couldn’t help but play the scenario at the forest in my head, hahaha.

  28. This reminds me of when I was playing outside one day when I was younger then a boy hit me and I reported him to my Dad who got so infuriated I almost got scared things would go out of hand. The guy to this day has never forgotten the hot slap and threats he was given by my Dad…..so I understand your fury Biko because I was once in Tamms’ position hehe

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  29. “Are you on tinder?” Are there only naughty men on tinder?lol.you were so mad at the boy.you set the bar.no man can disrespect her again.

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  30. Kids are so forgiving unlike us. No wonder the reference to the kingdom of God !
    PS Link to buy the book is un clickable

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  31. Today’s post reminds me of 2019 around June, one day when we were having dinner i saw dark circular marks on my son’s cheek. I asked him what that was and he said “aaagh mum achana nayo nilipona” i insisted and he still refused to say what that was, i took a phone to call his class teacher and ask what that was and immediately he saw me with the phone he said ” husiambie teacher” . Then i told him i won’t call the teacher once he tells me what happened. Then he told me a boy called Brayo was fighting with another called Pascal and when he saw Brian wanting to bite Pascal, he had to intervene and stood between the two of them and thats when Brayo munched his cheek… Iliniuma sana till today whenever i go to my son’s school and see Brian and Brian’s parents i develop some surge of hatred pilling up in my chest.

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  32. Don’t fraternize with anybody who doesn’t eat avocado or anyone who talks trash about avocado…..i like this no i love this part of the article. now i know how i’ll protect my daughter when that time comes

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  33. Biko
    this has made me laugh so hard!

    ‘They are now friends with the boy, she tells me. It makes me sick. Obviously she doesn’t take after me in that regard because once in a while I think about that boy and the edge of the forest, a hammer, and a cigarette’

    Beware!! One day he may be introduced as a possible son in law!! Okay bye!

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  34. Having literally ‘watched’ Tamms growing up through your stories, I am genuinely livid. They shouldn’t be friends with that boy who I am not certain is not being raised by…let me not say it.
    You are a good father for fighting for her.

    That boy…

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  35. I love your stories, I actually look forward to Tuesdays. You remind me of the girl that introduced me to your writing…and an angel she was.

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  36. This makes me want to have daughters very soon! I’d love and protect them the same way.
    I’m always eager to read your next story, very wonderfully written.

  37. Bikooo….you’re hilarious…that part of blood pressure took me out…. . Good job, teaching your girl life. Trust me it will pay off n your BP will remain

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  38. My friends have been pushing me since 2nd year to read your blog,I guess it took a Degree for wisdom to set in.
    I mean I liked it. Thanks

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  39. Eh!
    Kim is already 8?
    Time flies fast.

    The percent references of Kim’s hunger is just dope. May he grow to be a mathematician.

    I hope Tamms grows to make you super proud. Does she read your blog?

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  40. 30% hungry has really cracked me up. I am a mother of boys and quite familiar with the “all consuming hunger”.
    Teachers can be rather unperturbed about bullying. Annoying!!!!!

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  41. I like stories about Tamms and Kim. Tamms sounds like a well grounded young lady. So admirable that you fought for her. That’s what parents do. Reminds me of primary school when one of my male classmates slapped me in the face. Oh boy! Didn’t my mum fight for me. The poor boy was punished for a whole month. Sometimes I helped him with his punishments…hahahahaha..children are so innocent. You are doing a great job.

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  42. Tamms! So adorable! This story mirrors mine in so many ways. My daughter´s about to turn 13. Like Tamms, she´s low-keyed and loves those navel-revealing tops I seldom approve of. And like Biko, I once almost picked a fight with some male classmate who, reportedly, shoved her roughly and made her cry. We are fathers, we love our daughters…it´s all a dad-daughter connection.

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  43. Biko!!!
    Last time I read about Tamms, you were waiting for feedback. Glad it got sorted out. My son being a newbie was attacked by another boy in class. He didn’t tell me a thing but I noticed he was onto something. Evening came and first thing he gave me was His Diary in which the teacher has written “J***. fought in class”. I suspect it’s the same short boy.! So he’d been hitting my son on the head every time he passed by his desk. My boy decided to wallop him properly in class. I spoke to their teacher and told him my son is a peacemaker and when bullied he fights back. The boy was punished.

  44. Small boys actually rough up the girls they like for some weird reason… Starts at kindergarten. It’s such a creepy and scary phenomenon that suggests that all men are born monsters and are then tamed with time (some, not all are tamed)

  45. 1. I think you told us this story a few years back. i remember it
    2. now you realize how patriarchy works, the boys side of the story must be heard because the girls version isn’t believable enough until a commission of inquiry is set up.
    3. also teach Tamms to fight. when my daughter was 3/4 she would always come crying to me about being beaten by kids playing, i got tired of scolding those kids. i would tell her go beat them too. and she did. and they stopped picking on her.Le me be called to school that she got into a fight.i plan on enrolling her into karate instead of ballet self defense is a life skill a girl must have in this world

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  46. In a world we are increasingly seeing men harm, and kill, women, this behaviour must certainly never be excused.

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  47. You’re better than me. My daughter told me a boy was bullying her in the school bus, I called the her class teacher about it as they’re in the same class. The teacher told me she’ll look into it but the bullying continued. One Monday my daughter asked me to change school for her since she hates the class because of this boy. I went to the school first thing the same Monday morning and walked straight to her class, said hello to the teacher and asked to see the said boy, I held him by the collar and warned him against bullying anyone including my daughter. He apologized and swore never to bully anyone, they’re friends now and I hate it. The teacher told me there’s nothing she can do about the bullying as she had already reported to the management.

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  48. It’s the 13-page letter for me. She will forever know someone’s got her back no matter what.
    Also, she’s not slipping away Biko, actually be careful not to be the one that gets away in the name of giving her space. It’s terrifying. Daddy’s girls always need their dads, reason we never underestimate ourselves

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  49. I have a daughter, and if some boy -a wolf in boy’s skin touched her,i will put on my track suit, go pick him up, drive him to the edge of the forest and i will be carrying a hammer. Which cigarettes’ are perfect ?I will be smoking for the first time.

    Lets just say, I will not tolerate anyone assaulting my daughter .It wont even matter if they are all grown, maybe married and doing their things.

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  50. felt mortified when this was done to my twin sister …..but this cracked me …..’ i personally thought the culprit should have been put in a sack dragged down the ocean with heavy weights strung by his balls ‘

  51. Well, the boys who will try date her are in for a hard time . I love how you love your kids. I remember telling my son you fight back, I would rather come to school coz you threw a punch rather than coming to pick you to go to hospital. For my girl, she knows her selfworth but I always remind her nobody should hit her nor put her down and if they do, she comes and tells me. That person shall see fire . My son knows the same, only sane punishments from the teachers.
    I am not raising broken kids. Some things once broken, that’s it. See how hard it is to heal a broken adult.
    You are Tamms hero.

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  52. So where did you learn to punch girls in the face? YouTube? Tictok??

    Well Biko at least you know Pop smoke, kudos

    Beautiful piece as always.

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  53. And then there is us, from broken families to single mom but i’m happy, for all the days my mum stood for me, i couldn’t ask for more. Long live mum! (tears of joy)
    I wish i experienced such, so sweet, makes one feel loved, protected and cared for, Oh God!

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  54. Aah Biko…pole!I am somebody’s daughter and rage is something i have seen on my father’s face for similar issues … sad news, the rage stays 9or does grow?), as the punches move from being physical to systemic-

    also to think i went to school in Athi River…well it is what it is!

  55. I love love you @ bikozulu..this story made me tear up and I don’t know why.. i wish all dads were this protective of their daughters..or even just show up for them.

  56. …boys will treat you how they see you treat yourself’ so true right there Biko…a life lesson to not only young girls but women in general.

    It’s always the short ones…so funny, I love this

  57. I am sensitive about physical abuse, probably its got something to do with my experience of domestic violence in childhood, so I took real personal interest in the beautifully yarned piece.
    In the end I laughed at Tamms becoming friends with her antagonist…

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  58. World’s best Dad,that your daughter will certainly raise standards for any guy who approaches her,nothing less than Daddy.☺️

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  59. Are you on tinder? hahaha…. I also think of all the things i can do when someone crosses me.
    You are definitely a great dad.

  60. Wheeeew! I am holding the grudge on behalf of Tamms and all our ancestors. FFS!

    .
    Frankly, the only happy ending here would be a public flogging for that boy. (I’d throw in the collection of teachers in that office.)
    .
    .
    What’s his name? Where does he go to school? I just want to talk.

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  61. This is quite an insightful piece Biko. I am a mum of 3. Two boys already in high school and my daughter is the last born. She is 10. Raising a girl is not easy and quite honestly its scary for me especially the rate at which they grow. Thank you for reminding me that time flys so fast and they are grown before we blink. I once had the same incidence with my first born and i am was quite dramatic. Actually no one bullied my son after that. I too get those nice thoughts of how to deal with kids who bully other kids just because they can then i remember that i have children too.
    I will try to be closer to my daughter and make more memories. We do stuff together girly stuff, we cook we shop but i still cant get her to work out (lol)

    PS thank for you the beautiful note on my copy of Thursday.