Ciru wa Digital grew up facing the wrath of her father. She shares her story with Njange Maina
A dad is always said to be a girl’s first love. He is her hero. But to some girls, it remains a fairy tale, sometimes with no happy ending. The struggle to seek a father’s attention, appreciation and eventually win his love has been an elusive journey to the few. Wanjiru Muigai, popularly known as Ciru wa Digital, knows this very well and how it feels not to have some fatherly love.
It all started when Ciru’s elder sister got pregnant while in high school, a thing which made her father vow never to educate any of his daughters. “My sister, a third born in the family, had gotten pregnant while in Form Two. And my dad vowed never to educate the girls in our family.
Still, my other sister who is slightly older than me scored 140 marks in her Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) in 2006. But she was enrolled in high school though she dropped out in Form One as she wasn’t interested in education. I sat for my KCPE in 2007 and scored 340 out of 500 marks. But my fate was sealed,” she recalls.
No love lost
In a conservative society where the man is the head of the family and a woman is reduced to a mere spectator, Ciru’s mother decided to protest against her husband’s biased decision. “My mother once left home for my uncles’ place. The family convened a meeting demanding to know the reason for my dad’s hostility towards me. But my dad pleaded with my mum to return home on a promise he would show love to me,” she adds.
However, nothing changed. Ciru’s mother enrolled her in a nearby Kagondo Secondary School, Nyandarua, in 2008.
She would work in farms to pay her fees. “When I joined Form Two, raising fees became so much a challenge. My brother called me to Naivasha and enrolled me in Form Two at Brilliance High School,” she says.
But Ciru’s father, a policeman, demanded her return. When she returned home, she was told to tend to cows and goats and was never taken to school. It is not until her brother came home and demanded that Ciru go back to school. She joined Form Three, second term.
Having not attended school for two terms, Ciru who had been reading books and notes from her friends seamlessly fitted back into class until end of first term, Form Four. Her father, again demanded her return. She decided to commit suicide. But on a second thought, she thought she needed to hit back at her father—she got pregnant.
She delivered a baby boy in February 2012. “My father developed some affection for my son. In fact, he loved him more than any of his other grandchildren, but still, we were not open,” Ciru recalls.
Meanwhile, with his point proven, Ciru’s dad paid her school fees and she sat for her Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) in 2012 at Kagondo Secondary School.
However, the father was not of the idea that Ciru should join college. But with a fundraiser and some help from her brother-in-law, she pursued a career in journalism at Nairobi Institute of Business Studies.
She graduated in 2015 and after a successful internship, Ciru eventually got a job at Kameme FM. However, her father demanded a refund of all the money he had spent on her.
He put it at approximately Sh50,000. “I worked hard to save the money. My mum advised me not to present it as payment of debt. I handed the money to him in form of funding for his projects and even built a house for my parents,” Ciru says.
Eventually, Ciru an upcoming gospel artiste composed a song titled Aciari Ndekerai (Forgive me my parents). The song, which became an instant hit, is a dedication to her father asking him to forgive her for any wrong she may have committed knowingly or unknowingly.
“I couldn’t face him to ask him questions directly. So, I composed a song as a way of speaking to him and seeking answers from him while at the same time, seeking parental blessings. He was overwhelmed and even shed tears,” she adds.
Her dad says he has no issues with his daughter. Also, he couldn’t admit to having ever wronged Ciru. And the two hugged and agreed to work on the father-daughter relationship.