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Prison walls will not lock out daughter’s love for father

Posted by African Press International on March 14, 2018

POSTED  THURSDAY, MARCH 13, 2014 |  BY- JOYCE KIMANI, Daily Nation

Prison walls will not lock out daughter’s love for father

Despite serving a life sentence, Kabaria Itaaru remains the best dad 26 year old Felicity Naitore

Felicity Naitore and her father Kabaria Itaaru during her recent visit at the Naivasha Maximum Prison. For the past ten years, she has faithfully visited him and shared a lot. For her, he remains the best dad even though he is in prison. Even prison walls will not separate father and daughter. PHOTO/JOYCE KIMANI.

Despite serving a life sentence, Kabaria Itaaru remains the best dad 26 year old Felicity Naitore will ever have.

As the world prepares to celebrate the World Father’s Day, Naitore and her father will spend the day at the Naivasha Maximum Prison with the man she shares all her secrets with.

The love and chemistry between father and daughter is evident, as the two share updates on the world “outside” and “inside” prison.

Their conversation ranges from politics, religion and the state of national security. Kaberia was sentenced to life imprisonment for robbery with violence more than thirteen years ago by a Meru court.

TEN YEARS

And so, for the last ten years, they have strived to keep the father-daughter relationship alive.

Every month, the devout Naitore travels from Nairobi to visit her father carrying for him the basic necessities that he needs. These include tooth brushes, tooth paste and tissue papers and sandals.

She also carries homemade meals, including delicacies like mukimo, irio,roast chicken and pilau to “remind him of home.”

Her father was arrested when she was at a very tender age but her mother kept it a secret, fearing that the children might be traumatised once they knew the fate of their father.

Naitore claims that she discovered that her father was behind bars through one of her school mates while she was still in primary school.

SHOCKING REVELATION

That revelation shocked her and still traumatises her up to today.

“We had an argument with one of the pupils in my class who shouted at me and told me she would have me arrested and taken to where my father was.

I was shocked at first since I knew my dad was an international business man and my mum always told me that he was outside the country on one of his business trips,” said Naitore.

She was only sixteen at that time. She confronted her mother with the new information who then admitted that her father was behind bars at the Kamiti Maximum Prison.

She vowed to look for her father when she finished high school, a promise she fulfilled on the last day she cleared her exams.

On his part, Kaberia recalls that when he met his daughter, all they did for more than one hour was to hug and cry.

“I really wanted to calm her and tell her all was well but I could not. I was trapped and I hated myself for creating the distance between us,” said Kaberia.

NOTHING WILL SEPARATE THEM

The two then vowed that nothing was going to separate them anymore.

“I had always wanted a father figure. I am lucky that I still have one, even though he is not always reachable. Many people do not know their fathers. Having mine is a blessing from God,” she says.

For Naitore, her father has become her wisest source of knowledge.

Even during her first heartbreak, the first person she could think about was her father.

Naitore boarded a bus to Naivasha crying until she arrived at the prison. She then begged the warders to let her in, saying she “just needed to talk to her father.”

Her father sat shocked as he tried to console her for hours, watching her pour out her heart without uttering a word.

“I never knew what to do. I had never been in such a situation and watching my daughter heartbroken was devastating, to say the least.

All I could tell her was that she would eventually find the right man in her life,” said Kaberia.

SEEKS ADVICE

She seeks his advice in everything that she intends to do, especially on matters concerning education.

“Even when I was in college, I would carry my books and we would discuss some of the questions I considered hard. We would revise together then afterwards he would set for me mock questions before marking them and we would eventually discuss the ones I got wrong,” she added.

Her father, who was a former teacher, is strict with school work and is keen on her progress with books.

“It always tears my heart to imagine that when children are asked in school the professions of their parents, many say that their dads are teachers, lawyers and doctors, my children say I am a prisoner,” said Kaberia.

His daughter has also been of great help to him.

AUTHORED BOOKS

Kaberia, who has authored three books behind bars, relied on his daughter for the typing and printing of his work.

He gave her the raw copies of the stories and asked her to type them before looking for a publishing house that would oversee the final print.

She did this gladly, knowing that at least she was helping him become busy and also assisting him in telling his story.

She was also among the chief guests when her dad graduated with a Diploma in theology at the Institution. She baked him a cake to celebrate the occasion and gathered all her relatives for the occasion.

“It was a great opportunity to interact and celebrate his achievements. It was a clear indication that one can achieve much if you put your mind to it,” she added

Kaberia, who has another daughter and a son who are both perusing degrees in universities, says that he still fights to maintain the friendship between the family and his children.

ONE FAMILY

“I still love them. I cannot buy them fancy clothes or shoes, neither can I shower them with gifts but I love my children from the bottom of my heart,” he adds.

“Even though he is behind bars, my father and I share more than most people whose fathers are free. Some people cannot even talk to their father even though they sleep in the same house.

I am glad I can open up to my father regarding everything. My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me,” she concludes.

For her, everything is possible given time and chance.

 

Source: Daily Nation,Kenya

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