LifeMen Of Our Lives

Celebrating fatherhood: Three heartfelt Fathers’ Day tributes

It is a fact that fathers do not invoke those gooey, gushy emotions mothers do. That, however, does not mean that we do not understand how invaluable fathers are to our lives. Their lessons often sternly taught are appreciated much later in moments when one needs to take a stand.  In these heartfelt tributes three men from different generations share how their fathers shaped their lives for the better.

Dr. Paul Kasenene

I am honoured to have the opportunity to salute my father Prof. Peter Kasenene on this Father’s Day while he is still alive.

Everyone has a father at some point in their lives, but not everyone has a father who they are proud of or who has been a real example of what a father should be. I am one of those who is proud to call you dad.

Right from childhood, you have always been the perfect role model for us all. You have always been there for us as children, always present and always at home. I struggle to remember any night when you were not home with us aside from when you were away at work.

You have been a man of integrity all your life. You have taught us the value of honesty and integrity. We have learnt this not through hearing this from you but from watching you live it every day.

You have taught us the value of education and the value of working hard, a value you too have lived all your life.

But one of the most important values you have taught and instilled in us is to believe in ourselves, to set goals that are noble and big, to have a mindset of success and to work hard and never give up even when others do not believe in us. This has led us to face the world with courage and positive expectation.

You have taught us all to put God first and we thank you for instilling this is in us. Your love for God and for the church has been exemplary to us as well as to all whom you have been in contact with. I pray that the Lord will continue to bless you.

You have extended your love far and wide. You have dedicated time and countless resources to help the needy and the less privileged. You have empowered children and communities by changing the way they think and teaching them that the only limitations in life are their mindsets.

Lastly you have been a great husband. You have treated my mother with honour and respect. You have showed us that a true man shows love to his wife and takes care of her at all times. You have never disrespected her and I salute you for this. My mother has been fortunate to have you as a husband.

I and all my siblings are what we are because of you dad. You have been a great dad, an amazing example and we thank the Lord abundantly for your life.

May the Lord continue to guide you and bless you all the remaining days of your life.


Frank Gashumba

My father is a man’s man woven from a fabric of humanity that is fast becoming extinct. He worked hard for his family and was not hesitant to spread the wealth around.

At 81 years old, Antonia Kasumba will tell you that he has never bought a second hand vehicle because he knew how to work hard, save and had his priorities right. Growing up watching him inspired me to want to work hard, to always have enough not just for myself but for all those around me.

My father was a very strict disciplinarian who tolerated no mischief or excuses from his children. There was no democracy at home; his word was law. Because of this militaristic attitude we nicknamed him “colonel”. Following his example I do not give my children unlimited freedom; there is no democracy in my home. I do not remember any of them voting me to be their father; I am their father by the grace of God.

I know the world they are going in is not easy so just like my father taught me, I am preparing them for a harsh world. If you want your children to fight with lions you do not train them with rabbits.

My father taught me the value of travelling as a way of expanding my horizons and knowledge. I remember him telling us about his travels to Italy, Spain, Nigeria and of course all over east Africa where his business took him.

He taught us to be people of our word; to honour our promises.  He taught us to be loyal to our friends and family first. He encouraged us to overlook tribes and make friends according to their values. He often cautioned us against starting wars but advised us to fight for our rights. He views church as a social constituency; he believes one can be a good Christian without going to church.

Having fathered over forty children with multiple women, my father is liberal about relationships but he has strongly advised us against being married to more than one woman. Lastly he taught us that sometimes people will hate you for no reason instead of wasting your time on making them like you, just ignore them and move on with those who matter to you and your life.

 Businessman, activist

Kyle Kushaba Duncan

My dad Benon Karuhinda defies all the stereotypes about men like him. He is not judgmental and neither is he heavy handed. He is a very liberal man and modern in his outlook. Growing up in this environment empowers a child to truly form their beliefs and stick by them instead of pretending to believe in whatever their parents are imposing on them. My sense of good and bad is deeply entrenched because of this. Therefore there is no way I would find myself being compromised to do things that go against my beliefs.  I have learnt values such as respect, honour, honesty, compassion, dedication from watching him. I love that as a reverend he does not just sit back and become a burden for the church; he knows how to make his own money independent of the church. I am proud to be his son as well as his business partner.

Journalist and TV producer