Father’s Day 2019: Kenyans pen emotional letters to fathers they have never met

Every third Sunday of June, the world marks Father’s Day to honour biological fathers, step fathers, spiritual fathers and all men who play the role of father figures. Without a doubt, men play a major role. They are role models, confidants, friends, coaches and disciplinarians too. Fathers are not perfect, they have weaknesses – they are human. But without them, we would never have been born.

Those fortunate to have a father or father figure that they love will honour them on Father’s Day. But what about those without? What about those who have a father who is not present? What will they do on Father’s Day? Who will they celebrate?

This year, Standard Digital Editors has offered a platform for sons and daughters who have no father. We have published letters from Kenyans who have never known or met their biological fathers. We know there are very many people who have grown up not knowing who fathered them.

After our appeal, we received very many letters. We have published just a select few. We thank all those who emailed us. We hope you will be able to find the answers you are seeking regarding your fathers.

On this Father’s Day, we celebrate all the men who are fathers, step fathers, mentors and role models. There are also men who have never had a chance to know their children and be a father to them. Wherever you are, we hope one day you will be reunited with your children. May this Father’s Day bring you love and peace.

From the Standard Digital Team, Happy Father’s Day!!

Dad, I am not bitter but better

Dear Father,

I hope you are well wherever you are. I thank God for this opportunity to write to you and I sincerely hope you get to read this letter.

Mum rarely talked about you. She gave us very scanty information about you. In those early years and with mum around, I never thought much about you either, but when she passed on in 1996, and many issues came up, I started asking around about you.

I have been told many different things by different people that I approached. I was even told that I have aunties in Kitale who claimed that their brother died without a family and they didn’t mind meeting me. However, I refused to go because they did not fit the description I had of you and where you came from.

I have also been told that you came from the Coast region though not Swahili or Mijikenda. You know what? My mum made sure I studied Kiswahili up to university, sometimes I think I reminded her of you!

My grandmother told me that you worked in the media and you met my mum when you were on attachment in Kitale in the early 70s. She said you left with the full knowledge that mum was expecting your baby and you gave me the name Hellen after your mother. The story goes that you told my mother that if the baby was a boy, then I should be named John or James after your father. I don’t know if you still remember because I came out as a girl! You know I cannot prove this but somehow it satisfies my curiosity.

Anyway, I want you to know that I am now a full grown woman. Not bitter but better. I would like to meet you and tell you that no matter what, I am thankful for bringing me into this world and I love you very much.

People tell me that I look like you. I would also like to meet my grandmother and the rest of the family if any. I want to believe that you did not just abandon my mother but even if you did, dad I FORGIVE you.

I have sent you countless messages on the many Father’s days in the past but this one here is the best ever.

Your daughter, Hellen

Dad, mum died before telling me about you

Dear Dad,

As the world celebrate fathers; I can't hide the joy of having an opportunity to be alive. It has always been my dream to know more about you even if it is just for a second. Each morning I wake up with the hope of meeting you or even just to hear about you - the stories of who you are, where you are that is if you are alive and where I can find you.

I look at myself and I believe you must be one of the most handsome men in this universe. I wish mum could be alive to tell me more about you but unfortunately God took her away when I was only seven years old. I know nobody talks about you but I know your blood always flows in me.

I may not know more about you but I have hope you are somewhere and it's never late for us to meet. I always pray for a miracle that one day I will hug you and you will hold me in your arms. I always pray that one day I will call the name" dad" without stammering and you will give me the smile of hope and belonging.

I always believe you are the best dad ever even though I don't know you. How I wish you could see how your daughter has grown! I always believe you have a good heart even though I haven't heard from you. The hope of meeting you one day gives me the strength to move on. I love you dad even if I don't know you.

I will always love you.

Your lovely daughter, Nelly Nekesa

In loving memory of my late father who died before I met him

Dear Dad,

Twenty-six years on after your demise, I still wish that I met you. I wish I had a chance to have a one on one talk with you. I always see your pictures at home. I am told you were a great athlete, an enthusiastic teacher and a wonderful father who gave his best to his family.

I have always gone through your archived documents at home. I am happy that you dearly loved my mother. You cared for your family. Even you did not have a well-paying job, you laid a foundation on which we stand today.

Dad, mum always says your model of parenthood was based on principles such as a good education, providing for the family financially, disciplined children, respect and dedication.

I am happy and proud to say that all your five children have a university degree. I graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Were it not for the education standards you set, we would never have aspired to aim for a good education. Although you are not alive to see the fruit of the seed you planted, I salute you for setting the bar high.

On this Father’s Day, I want to tell the world of what I know about you. As I was going through your documents and reports, I was so proud to learn that apart from being a teacher, you were a talented athlete.

At Shanzu Teachers College, Mombasa where you studied, your records still remain in the archives. Your trophies speak of your endurance and prowess. You surely inspired me through the albums I find at home. I have also slowly taken after you. I am an active athlete. I am doing well in marathons like the Run for the Bibleless which I have been attending for the last five years. I know I have your genes since I am always among the top five athletes during the marathons.

I can write a whole novel about you. All I want to say is I have always wiped the tears that mum cries. There are many times I cannot tell her sorry because I see how much she still misses you. As the last born child, I will always strife to make her happy and be a blessing to her.

On this Father’s Day, I will end by saying since I never met you physically, I look forward to becoming a father one day. I want to follow in your footsteps and be a role model to my children.

Your loving son, Kelvin Kamathiro Murage

Mother has refused to tell me who you are

Dear Dad,

I am 25 years old. Since I was born, I have had so many rough moments in my life. Some of the moments may have gone unnoticed but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t there anymore.

It all started in class one when I noticed that my name didn’t have a surname. Instead, I was using my mother’s name as a surname. After comparison with other children’s names, I couldn’t understand why my name was different. I guess I was too young to understand.

As time went by, the truth dawned on me that I had no father. I am not sure whether I have one. As other children shared about how their fathers were muscular and powerful, I had nothing to share. All I could do is to listen to their tales, enjoy while feeling really sorry for myself. Why don’t you have a dad, remained the hardest question for me to answer. In a nutshell, my life without you has never been easy as you may perceive. My quest to know your whereabouts has been met with a lot of resistance from my mother and other family members.

Despite all the knowledge I have acquired over time, I have always been told, ‘baba yako alikanyangwa na lorry’ (my father was ran over by a lorry). The funniest thing is that all friends who share the same story as mine, have been living with the same lie.

Whether dead or alive, I owe you much respect dad. Though in my mind I have so many questions, I believe that you have your own reasons. You may be called hit and run, dead beat etc but to me, that doesn’t matter anymore. The fact remains that you sired me and without you, I may not have existed.

It is because of you that this day was made. As many boost about their fathers on this day, I choose to open my heart for you. I may not have pictures of you to share on social media but trust me, I owe you so much respect. I may not know your face but in my own world you do exist and that’s why I choose to celebrate you. Daddy, I dearly miss you. Happy Father’s Day.

Your loving son, Paul

Please get in-touch


I hope this message finds you alive. Mum and I are OK. I am now doing a degree in marketing. My grandmother told me that you are in military but mum has refused to tell us anything about you. You know her as Sarah Mbatha.

I pray that this message will reach you and you will get in touch. I miss you dad. God bless you!

Your son, Nathan Munyao

No matter what kind of a man you are, I love you

To the biological father I never met,

As the world celebrates Father’s Day, mine is not a celebration but a day of hurt and pain. I have to ask you so many questions to ask and things to tell you in person. What really happened between you and my mum to make you two hate me so much? What made you abandon me? Where were you when I first uttered the word “papa”? I even have no idea whom I first called that name.

I would like to know if you ever thought of me. Do you remember or know of my existence? Do I have other siblings? Did you ever tell them about me? Did you even care about who ended up raising me? How I went to school? Have you ever imagined the confusion I felt as a child, a teenager and later an adult? When I needed my identity card, where were you to give me your identity dad? Oh Lord! I have never felt so lost.

When I joined the university it was my happiest yet saddest day. I went all alone to a new place. I had no hand to help me as other students were brought by their parents. I was on my own. Did you even bother to look for me?

I wish I could see you and tell you how much I need love. How badly I needed parental care, a complete home and a protector. A father to call my own. I want you to know that no matter what kind of a man you are, I would still have loved you all the same.

You are my father. My blood. Why do I not know anything about you? Not even a name? Why did you abandon me? Are you alive or dead? If you are alive and come across this letter, know that I love you. Know that you have a daughter who lacks identity and considers herself unknown.

Thank you for giving life to me. Today, 27 years later, I forgive you and set you free. Maybe, just maybe I can heal now. In your absence I have learnt so many lessons. Thank you for you made it possible for me to meet wonderful people who took care of me as their own, and loved me maybe more than you would have. Anyway, happy Father’s Day.

Your daughter, Jackline Kakai

I am jobless and contemplating suicide

Dear Father,

It is your son. The one you have never met or known. How are you doing wherever you are? I believe you are doing just fine. I am sending you my warmest greetings. I hear I have royal blood and that it has been kept a secret from me to protect me from political assassination from both local and national leaders.

Please come out and clear the air. Life as an orphan has not been easy for me. I am a grown man now but that doesn’t change the fact that I am an orphan. I have gone through hell to get an education. The Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) has been sending me threats every now and then reminding me to settle the Sh60,000 they loaned me. It has now accrued interest to over Sh600,000.

I am not able to even get a job since in today’s Kenya, you need a technical know-who as opposed to technical know-how. I have been contemplating suicide.

Dad, I have some questions that have been disturbing my mind. I would love you to answer me since you left no inheritance for me. Why did you bring me into a world of absolute poverty?

Lastly, I haven’t married yet, the price tag in the name of bride price is exorbitant. Bride price has become a way out of poverty. I am waiting for “bei ya jioni” to purchase a wife. The cost has been used as an instrument of exclusivity. Wives are being auctioned to the highest bidder by their parents and relatives.

Your son, Frankline Olum

Project Team:

Carole Kimutai – Managing Editor
Patel Okumu – News & Current Affairs Editor
Julian Kamau – Social Media Editor
Allan Njau - UX/UI
Hashim Issa – Software/Web Developer

Email: [email protected]