Featured Storyteller

CAMEROON: My Father Made the Difference

Tumanjong Miranda
Posted February 6, 2018 from Cameroon
Photo courtesy of Tumanjong Miranda

Despite cultural pressures, Tumanjong Miranda's father raised both his sons and daughters to champion gender equality.

“I call on all men to learn from my father so that we can attain a level of equality.

Growing up in a community where girls were looked upon as weak, fragile, and incapable of handling property, one man made the difference.

Growing up in a community where a girl’s place was in the farm or kitchen, one man made the difference.

Growing up in a community where girls were not given the opportunity to go to school and sent into early marriage, one man made the difference.

Men and boys in my community did not treat girls with dignity and respect, but my father instilled his virtues into my brothers and that all made the difference.

In my community, boys were made to believe they were superior to girls. You could find girls doing all the house chores like cooking and cleaning, doing farm work and carrying heavy loads to and from the farms to markets; meanwhile, the boys stayed out drinking in bars and playing in football fields.

My father made my brothers know that boys and girls are the same; they all deserve equal opportunities and chances. He taught us that human rights were applicable to all and not just the male folks. He assisted my mother at home by teaching by example. He sent my mother back to school and took care of us while she was away.

Because of this, my brothers treated us the way we deserve to be treated: as human beings with equal rights. Whenever people saw my brothers going to the farm with us or cooking for the family, they made comments such as, “What are the girls doing?” or “What do you people want to show?” Their friends even made fun of them and called them weak guys. To them, it meant nothing because they upheld our family virtues and values. They knew that we (the girls of the home) deserved the best too. I admire the way my brothers treat and take care of their wives and children. They also instill this value in their children.

This is because of the difference one man made.

My parents educated both their boys and girls. They have shared their properties with all of us. I can boast of a piece of land which my father gave me. That is what makes him my biggest role model.

He talks to his peers about the importance of educating both boys and girls and about his reasons for sharing property equally. He believes in allowing girls to make their own life choices with respect to marriage and dowry-related rites. I remember an instance when his friend came to my home and asked my father why at my age, I was still not married. He responded by telling the man he was not going to trade me for selfish desires. Due to the way my father brought us up, community members gave him the name “Last Man Standing” or “Last Don”

I celebrate this great man because through him I am where I am today. He still fights against inequality, though he is aging. He encourages my walk in the fight against gender-based violence and inequality; he told me that the world will not be complete if there were no women and girls, and that they deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.

I call on all men to learn from my father so that we can attain a level of equality, and so that girls will be given the opportunity to reach their full potential. This can only be done by educating and involving men and boys in the fight against gender inequality.


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Comments 52

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Olutosin
Feb 06, 2018
Feb 06, 2018

I join the universe to celebrate your father today. How I wish the whole world would emulate such a good man. He is like my grandfather too. My Grandfather had lots of children but he treated them equally. Even, he told my mother that the girl child is the best child.

Tumanjong Miranda
Feb 06, 2018
Feb 06, 2018

Thank you Olutosin for your kind words. I'm really grateful! :)

Karen Quiñones-Axalan
Feb 07, 2018
Feb 07, 2018

I celebrate the hero that is modeled by your father, Tumanjong. May all men follow his example. Please extend my respect to your dad!

Tumanjong Miranda
Feb 06, 2018
Feb 06, 2018

Thank you Karen, I'm humbled! :)

Sophia Atadana
Feb 07, 2018
Feb 07, 2018

Wow Tumanjong, your father is a true example of who a man and dad is. I pray and hope that men will emulate his example. Thanks for sharing

Tumanjong Miranda
Feb 07, 2018
Feb 07, 2018

Thank you Adisatu

Adanna
Feb 07, 2018
Feb 07, 2018

Nice one Tumanjong! You have an amazing dad.

I love the cover picture :)

Love,

Adanna

Tumanjong Miranda
Feb 07, 2018
Feb 07, 2018

Thanks Adanna :)

YUREKA BAN
Feb 07, 2018
Feb 07, 2018

Your story describes mine story too, yes i am here because of my dad. I am inspired by him and he encouraged me a lot. He is the real HERO for me.

Tumanjong Miranda
Feb 11, 2018
Feb 11, 2018

Thank you You're!

AMANWI ELVIS
Feb 08, 2018
Feb 08, 2018

Am grateful to know this talented lady. keep the family spirit burning. dad is an icon for all men to follow.

Tumanjong Miranda
Feb 11, 2018
Feb 11, 2018

Thank you Elvis!

Soumeya Lerari
Feb 09, 2018
Feb 09, 2018

Great story!

He reminds me of my father :) We are lucky to have them and we definitely need men and boys to follow their paths. 

Tumanjong Miranda
Feb 11, 2018
Feb 11, 2018

Yes, we really need more of such men in Africa.

Soumeya Lerari
Feb 12, 2018
Feb 12, 2018

MANY more indeed...

Kadidia Doumbia
Feb 11, 2018
Feb 11, 2018

Miranda,

I understand very well what you mean. My father did the same thing with me: believing in me and telling me that I may succeed and be whoever I want to be. In an african community, it may sound revolutionary but it is the way to go. Coming from a father it is so powerful. 

your father is the best.

Tumanjong Miranda
Feb 11, 2018
Feb 11, 2018

Thank you Kadidia

Anita Kiddu Muhanguzi
Feb 12, 2018
Feb 12, 2018

Thanks Miranda

This is a beautiful piece on your father.  He is a true hero and a real model for other fathers.  God bless his soul for he has done well.  We need to educate the boys and men in the different communities on how to treat girls and women. 

Thanks for sharing and God bless your father.  

Sophie Ngassa
Feb 14, 2018
Feb 14, 2018

Dear Miranda, Thanks for sharing your very inspiring story. I wish many dads can read this piece.One day will will attain a level of equality. so let's keep on making efforts.

Tumanjong Miranda
Feb 14, 2018
Feb 14, 2018

Thanks you Mme Sophie!

Feb 14, 2018
Feb 14, 2018
This comment has been removed by the commenter or a moderator.
Surbhi Jain
Feb 18, 2018
Feb 18, 2018

Miranda, your father is really an inspiring person there are only few men who takes action for equality; thank you for sharing such a inspiring story .

Tumanjong Miranda
Feb 20, 2018
Feb 20, 2018

Thank you Jain

Tamarack Verrall
Feb 19, 2018
Feb 19, 2018

Miranda,

It touches my heart deeply to read your beautifully written story about your father. This shows so well what a difference one man can make, and into the next generations. And because of him, your path has led you to have great effect on so many. Above all it has led you to all of us here within WorldPulse!

Best wishes to all of your family,

Tam

Tumanjong Miranda
Feb 20, 2018
Feb 20, 2018

Thank you Tam!

Tumanjong Miranda
Feb 20, 2018
Feb 20, 2018

Thank you Tam!

Almighty
Mar 06, 2018
Mar 06, 2018

Dear Miranda, this is truly an inspirational piece.

I doff my hat to your father for having the strength to be 'the last man standing'. May his determination to make a change never waver and may his lessons continue to inspire you, us and the world to fight gender based violence and inequality.

Warm regards to an amazing dad like yours.

Loads of love,

Almighty Nchafack

Tumanjong Miranda
Mar 06, 2018
Mar 06, 2018

Thanks you dear Nchafack

sridevi k
Mar 06, 2018
Mar 06, 2018

Dear Miranda,
Indeed a very exemplary story, Very Nice of ur Father to show equality and bring u and ur siblings the same way without partiality, These days when discrimination and ill treatment of ladies is rampant, Ur Father has set up a good example. Please convey my Best Regards to him.
Sincerely Sridevii

Tumanjong Miranda
Mar 06, 2018
Mar 06, 2018

Thanks Sridevii

Kirthi
Mar 06, 2018
Mar 06, 2018

Love love and love to you Tumanjong. What a force of nature and resilience you are! Thank you for who you are.

Tumanjong Miranda
Mar 06, 2018
Mar 06, 2018

Thank you Kirthi

Vivian Emesowum
Mar 06, 2018
Mar 06, 2018

Thumps up for you Miranda, you are lucky among many, continue sharing your story to reach out to more women and men

Tumanjong Miranda
Mar 06, 2018
Mar 06, 2018

Thank you Vivian

mae me
Mar 07, 2018
Mar 07, 2018

This is nice, thank you for sharing...

Tumanjong Miranda
Mar 07, 2018
Mar 07, 2018

Thanks Mar :-)

rachel_2
Mar 07, 2018
Mar 07, 2018

It must have taken a lot of determination and love for your father to be so true to his belief in the value of women - respect is due to him, and to your brothers . I hope they are all loved for their strength and kindness. Thank you for telling us - it's obvious you love him a lot, and that must be one of his greatest rewards!

Tumanjong Miranda
Mar 07, 2018
Mar 07, 2018

Thank you Rachel. Yes I love him so dearly, and respect him. It's not easy for a man to break the webs in our African culture surrounding women.
I'm humbled!

Clodine Mbuli Shei
Mar 07, 2018
Mar 07, 2018

Good piece there Miranda,
When are fathers become feminist the work gets light. My father too is a feminist and he is so supportive of my work. With this support system we can accomplish more.

Tumanjong Miranda
Mar 07, 2018
Mar 07, 2018

Thank you Clodine! I respect your father too.

florence kekong
Mar 08, 2018
Mar 08, 2018

I join the world to celebrate your father. Our stories are almost the same. My father did all this for me. He even rode a motor bike across many states and on cow tracks just to visit me at school which was thousands of kilometers away from our home. This story has inspired me to write my own story because all the good my father did has been destroyed by my siblings.
Thank you for sharing and inspiring me to share my own part.

florence kekong
Mar 08, 2018
Mar 08, 2018

I join the world to celebrate your father. Our stories are almost the same. My father did all this for me. He even rode a motor bike across many states and on cow tracks just to visit me at school which was thousands of kilometers away from our home. This story has inspired me to write my own story because all the good my father did has been destroyed by my siblings.
Thank you for sharing and inspiring me to share my own part.

Evelyn Fonkem
Mar 09, 2018
Mar 09, 2018

Florescent so happy your father was different but it's sad to here your siblings destroyed his legacy.I will like to also read your story

florence kekong
Mar 14, 2018
Mar 14, 2018

I am writing my story now.

Tumanjong Miranda
Mar 14, 2018
Mar 14, 2018

Hi Florence, I'm happy I was able to inspire you to write your own story. I look forward to reading your story.
Thank you!

florence kekong
Mar 21, 2018
Mar 21, 2018

Sure. Thanks my dear. Remain always blessed.

Evelyn Fonkem
Mar 09, 2018
Mar 09, 2018

Dear Miranda,your story is soooo inspiring.Thanks for sharing

Tumanjong Miranda
Mar 10, 2018
Mar 10, 2018

Thanks Aunt Eve

Freddy Njang
Jun 08, 2018
Jun 08, 2018

Dear ister Mira, big congrats, happy to join you here.

Tumanjong Miranda
Jun 08, 2018
Jun 08, 2018

Thanks Freddy:)

AGNES TUMASANG
Jun 19, 2018
Jun 19, 2018

I love this

Tumanjong Miranda
Jun 20, 2018
Jun 20, 2018

Thanks Ma Agnes