Six things you didn’t know about fatherhood columnist Josaya Wasonga
Josaya Wasonga’s column Fatherhood 101 runs in Daily Nation’s Living magazine every Wednesday.
The series is about the tricks and shenanigans of his daughter Puddn’g. This Father’s Day, Wasonga is on his eighth year as a father and a columnist.
Here are things you may not be knowing about him and the column he started writing in December 2006, a month after the birth of his firstborn daughter.
1. His daughter has never known she is being written about
That is the reason he has nicknamed her “Pudd’ng”, and has christened his wife “Tenderoni”. “Josaya Wasonga” is his real name, though. He says no one ever calls Puddn’g by the nickname and no one has ever told her that she is the subject of a column.
“I want her to be real,” Josaya says. “Even at her school, they usually don’t know she is the girl I write about.”
However, his wife is aware of the column “and she is my number one fan”.
2. He has been keeping every copy of every published piece
He says he stores every published article — though he doesn’t read them as his “perfectionist” nature doesn’t allow him to — so that one day, when his daughter is 15 or 16, he can finally show them to her.
“When that day comes, I want her to know that I was serious; that I was not making fun of her,” Josaya says.
3. He likes his anonymity
He doesn’t want any of his photos shared (there’s a vague one of his face on his Facebook account) and that is how he wants it to be.
“I never want to identify myself because we just want to lead normal lives,” he says.
“I like the feeling when I sit with someone reading my piece, not knowing that the author is right before them.”
4. He does any chore that can be done in a house
Josaya says he never feels shy doing any job around the house. Any.
“I wake up every day, Monday to Sunday, and make breakfast for my family. I want my daughter to grow up knowing that men work. I do most of my work from home and she sees me working. I don’t shy away from performing the duties that are often considered motherly,” he says.
5. He momentarily separated with his wife
Followers of the column will know that there is a time he parted ways with his wife, and lived with Pudd’ng for some time.
“Marriage is like a human’s health. Sometimes it is up; sometimes down. Through the separation and reunion, I hope people have known that ours isn’t the perfect marriage they have been thinking it is. Perfection isn’t always about being faultless; it is about going down and rising again. It made us learn a lot of things about ourselves,” he says.
6. And, oh, he is a fatherhood philosopher
“Parents should know the power of the words they say to their children. The insults you throw like “umbwa” are words you are speaking to a human being and those words can have a lasting impact on the child.
Fatherhood is joy. It is so fulfilling to parent somebody as they are like a seedling that God has placed in your hand,” he says.