He has been my hero since I was young. We have had our tough times. When I was born, he was not even there – he was at work. My Dad is a hard-working man who once told me that he likes to “struggle.” His life has been a lot of struggling.
At the age of nine, his father died. In a small village called Hoima in Uganda, my grandfather went out to kill a boar that was terrorizing the village. He did not return and the boar got the better of him. My Dad tells me he was a well when it happened and he could feel his body becoming depressed. He knew something had happened before he knew for sure.
My grandmother then became in charge of taking care of my Dad and 11 other children. If it were not for the kindness of a man in the village, my Dad and his other siblings would not have been able to go to school. He went to Budo, the best boy’s school in Uganda. Later he went to Makerere University, the oldest African university.
He continued his studies in Canada with a Commonwealth scholarship. After returning from Uganda after graduation back to Canada, he worked with the Ministry of Natural Resources and currently delivers newspapers for the Toronto Star.
When I was young I would harangue him about delivering newspapers. I thought it was beneath him. He has been doing it since 1981 and I now realize how important his work is. As an astute young man has told me in the past – all work is important.
Many of his customers, who are elderly, are not even mobile to go out and get a newspaper on their own. It is important to know what is going on in your city, in your country, in the world. Now with the Internet, many people are plugged into getting their news from online. Even I am like that. Yet, it is comforting to sit down with a newspaper, have some coffee or tea in the morning, afternoon or evening and flip through those pages. It is the tactile nature that makes such a difference. Just feeling the pages can help you feel more in touch with what sometimes seems like the insanity that is this world.
My Dad just left for work and every time he leaves I wonder how does he do it. How does he go out in sleet, rain, snow, ice and every condition imaginable on every day of the year except Christmas? I do not think the people who give us things receive enough credit. People like the letter carriers, delivery people and even the people who keep our roads as clean as they can. Plus, there are the people who work indoors – keeping our offices clean so we can enjoy our environments better or be making sure we feel more secure in our buildings.
My Dad always seems to be working on his sleep. This is a book I am working on now. Look out for it. I do not know when I will be finished with it, however, you can check out my e-store for more information and certainly feel free to purchase any of my existing books at http://stores.lulu.com/kakonged.
Well, my hero is now a grandfather. My niece turned 2-years-old on Tuesday. Things have changed for the better. He was there when she was born.