Updated: May 29, 2020
This is an emotional one for me. I'm just so happy at this moment. My father was reading a copy of my book! If nobody else read it or ever reads it, I'd be content he did. I believe he is proud of the man I am today, but I think I outdid it. He'd witness me lock myself up in a room for several hours, day after day, weeks turn to months, months turn to two whole years in the name of writing a book. "where is that ya book!?" he would often ask jokingly, with a tone and look that half said 'you aren't writing no damn book' and the other half 'wait, what if this child is really writing a book o!'
But he was ready, ready like everyone else who knew about the process to support. Id never seen my dad read more than the mail. Although, he might have read newspapers back in Cameroon in my formative years. But he would often skip to the section that announced the lottery winners and then maybe sports if his team played the previous night.
The day I put my book 'No Such Thing As Halfway: A Novel' in his hands, my father, a retired military soldier, despairingly charming on his first and only marriage of over 35 years, my father. The last born in his family of eight siblings, my father. A product of the 1950’s when Ahmadou Ahidjo was still president of the Republic of Cameroon and the Indomitable Lions were truly indomitable. When women wore skirts that went below the knees, and you could count on anyone of your neighbors to hold your keys, my father. A convertible Audi riding, Congolese TP OK Jazz listening, clean shoes, ironed pants, fresh breathe having. My father, instead of the accustomed nod that men give each other when they understand, went ahead to give me one of his lengthy lectures on why he saw the world the way he and his generation does, and I see it the way me and my generation do.
He said it's the same reason people are dying in Ambazonia (Cameroon) right now, and the same reason fathers are deadly afraid of their daughters becoming teenagers or their black sons encountering the police in the USA. It's like in war, son, you can hear the explosions. Ones that already happened and ones that will happen. You anticipate it. The previous ones are paralyzing. You're stuck! Living life in your rear-view mirror moving full throttle at high speed past traffic into the fork. You're too scared of the past. The forthcoming ones are like life is a game of tag. You're so focused on tagging the other person that you step right on a mine. You're not ready for the future.
And that was the conversation. Like we would say these days, "That's it. That's the tweet" but it hasn't stopped there. Haha I must say the man is a slowwwwww!! reader. But give grace to you pops! You can do it! You can finish the remaining six chapters by 2021 lol (my book has ten chapters ya’ll—he started a month ago)
But Pops has since sold over 15 copies alone! If people stop by the house, he is the first one to yell "go and bring your book for uncle/aunty!" If he is stepping out, he runs back in the house like he forgot his license or perhaps something of great importance but no, "give me a copy of your book to go give/sell" are his words.
He still gets on me to do Ph.D. I no go do! My own don do for school! I'm tired! LoL. Maybe one day i'll get rich enough to get an honorary one. Who knows? Until then, thanks for celebrating my wins and loses pops.
I love you, Daddy Victor Mba! Your son, Achu 'RifleX' Mba. 🥀