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Abanobi’s What’s Up Message… A gift to fatherhood

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It is not every time that you get to read a book that is devoted to the girl child written by a man. Women and young ladies, in the ‘guise’ of inspirational and motivational talk, write most books on the girl child.

Chika Abanobi’s book, What’s Up Message: From Best Dad to Dearest Daughter is one book with a difference. It treats a father’s concern for the daughter. It interrogates the relationship between a father and daughter: the special bond between them.

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The award-winning journalist with The Sun Newspapers captures what fathers feel for their daughters, especially the love in their early years, and the concern as they grow up into young adults.

Abanobi simply details the thinking of fathers, especially when their daughters become young adults.

Most fathers cannot discuss the things shared in the book with their daughters, so the author has really helped in this area.

In this unusual collection, the author takes out all the unsavoury characters you’ll expect from such a treatise in a world that is populated by mostly the bad and a few good: The world of single mothers, absentee fathers, rapists, drunkards, sexual predators, gamblers and what have you.

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In a beautiful and breezy narrative that is overtly motivational and inspirational, the author makes a passionate plea to his loving daughter.

More importantly, the book is not your moralistic or ‘churchy’ treatise. It is also not your ‘sermon on the mountain’ kind of book. A detailed reading of the 118-page collection shows it’s a book on parenting.

The author makes an incursion into the mind of his daughter, who is a metaphor for the girl child, and by extension, children.

His voice rings clearly in the ears and transits to the clean papers in a manner that is blisteringly acceptable. What stands the book out is the manner with which the author puts together all the elements that make for proper parenting.

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The highly emotional book takes the reader through critical and joyful moments of a girl child. The anxieties that parents go through in order to raise daughters who will be inspiration to others.

“Honestly, like you, I do wonder too. A British sitcom created and written by Raymond Allen, some years ago, and starring Michael Crawford as Frank Spencer has this curious title: Some Mothers Do Have Them. Maybe the same thing applies to my thought of the girl child: ‘Some Fathers Do Have Them’,” he says.

The reader is not choked with too many hanging statements that characterise some literary work. People who have blazed a trail in their academic and professional lives turn out to be his voice and the secrets of their success are the elixir for sustaining the 118-page book.

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The author reveals that majority of successful women were supported by their parents, most especially, their fathers.

In his creative ingenuity, Abanobi deploys successful characters as the voice and response to the ‘shocking silence’ between father and daughter at home.

From Alex Iyaji and Olumayowa Temidayo Daodu, who set high standards in their academics at the Benue State University and the Nigerian Law School, both appreciating their fathers for always encouraging them to study hard while in school, to actresses like Bimbo Ademoye, Omoni Oboli, Uzo Osimkpa, Belinda Effah, Uche Jombo, among others, who equally paid glowing tribute to their fathers, the book takes readers through father-daughter relationship.

The book also looks at Michelle Obama, Hilary Clinton and Nigeria’s award-winning novelist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. The essence of such connection is to ensure that fathers also play their roles properly in the lives of their children. Abanobi uses same standard to gauge his relationship with his daughter, Victory.

In his messages to his daughter, Abanobi keeps asking if his daughter will also speak glowingly of him when she attains success.

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The author also uses the opportunity to guide his daughter in the right direction, where he discusses the need for her to face her studies, move with good and studious friends and the need to quickly restitute when she ‘misses the way.’

He also discusses the role of self-discipline and hard work

One interesting aspect of the book is the quotes shared by the author, which shows that the connection between a father and his daughter is historical and eternal.

The book can be read at any time, anywhere even while standing. The language is lucid and conveys a sense of compulsion to the reader. You’re not likely to put the book down until you’re done reading it. The book is, therefore, recommended for fathers, mothers, children, everybody, as it will help one to understand how parents think. Most of the times that children think their parents are tough or harsh but simply stated they have a reason, and that reason is love.

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