The Father’s Day Project: Reflections on Fatherhood

by Kibwe Madyun, “Baba”

I have been asked to comment on this blog on the topic of fatherhood. But, what exactly does the word “blog” mean, and how is it that it has become a preferred communication tool of the day? At any rate, that’s another discussion all together. I’m being nudged in the background to stay on the topic. 🙂 So, back to the subject at hand.

I must first comment on MANHOOD.

We must understand the importance of manhood and where it fits in the scheme of things. We are living in a time where definitions are being propelled from all directions on what it means to be a man.

It is a very touchy subject because today we see many young people who tend to believe that everything is open for discussion–because of their intellectual ability to express the things they have seen but misunderstood. They fail to understand that manhood does have a definition. This definition came with the creation of the objective realm. In other words, our physical reality.

To be a man is to get in touch with my God force. And take responsibility for that which is created from my dreams, my thoughts, and my actions. To stand on the shoulders of those who came before me, while building a foundation for those who will come after me.

Now, fatherhood is the act of sharing and caring for people that you come into contact with during life’s journey. Fatherhood allows me to learn from the men who have been my example of fathers, to teach the young what I’ve learned and to observe the babies to find out what it is that they need in order to accomplish their objectives this time around.

Fatherhood is the greatest gift that a man will receive in his life. It is the joy, the sorrows, the pain, the beauty and the uncertainty all at one time. Fatherhood is a commitment to every race. It gives a man the opportunity to create a better planet.

I’m commenting on this blog because of my love and my commitment to the person to whom this blog belongs.

I pray that my words, my thoughts and my deep feelings have been conveyed in this blog entry.


Father of Ife, Taiwo, Kehinde, Abadeu, Ahkita and baby Akeru
Father figure to many (including me)
Grandfather to Ahki, Isatou and Baby Khepra 


Pictured (from l to r): Menhefen (nephew), Kehinde, Abadeu, Ahkita, Alexis (niece), Ife and Taiwo


Baba and Akeru


Father of D’Jhanir

a glimpse into fatherhood…

AJ: I don’t want to see you fighting anymore! How did it even start with that other little boy anyway?
DJ: He’s always messing with me. He’s a bully.
AJ: Bully? Well, the next time that he messes with you…you push him so hard that he’ll never want to mess with you again!
DJ: Ok…but what about telling the teacher?
AJ: Yes, yes…tell the teacher first. (and don’t tell them what Daddy told you to do)

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Father of Khepra Ab Ari

what does fatherhood mean to you?

Fatherhood. The realization that all life up to this moment has been, in its entirety, preparation for this moment.

Watching my first-born child breach the gate between this world and the next left me gasping for air. Take a knee! Catch my breath.

Take a knee and pour libation to my fathers of yesterday, thanking them for preparing me to answer my call to manhood, my call to fatherhood.

Seeing my son’s little hand (no doubt the hand of his mother), go sailing through the air for the first time: wow! I pray that with her hand comes her heart. That he, too, may love without boundaries. That he, too, may possess her caring nature for all things living.

Mama saw him for the first time. Surveying him, taking inventory, she exclaimed, “Baby, our son has your feet!”

“Oh, wow. He does, doesn’t he?” I responded.

Well, may those little feet carry him strong.
Allowing him to bare the generational weight
That I now must carry,
and one day will be his to carry.

I once asked myself, what is the true meaning of life? Why are we here?

Looking into my son’s face for the first time, I received my answer—an answer that language falls far too short of explaining, that any father who has shared that moment instinctively knows.

While I’m sure such complex questions undoubtedly are accompanied with equally complex answers—of which I still do not know, in that moment I felt an answer that, for me, is simple and worth a life of effort and love: Fatherhood.

Father of Khari

what has fatherhood been like for you?

Fatherhood, for me, hasn’t been much more than a new chapter in my life. A special one that involves my best friend in the whole world returning to this planet to enjoy this wonderful life with me.
She will teach me more than I will teach her, I’m sure.

Father of Mosi

what does fatherhood mean to you?

Being a father is about relating to the sun. If you think about it, the sun is the ultimate provider. It provides light for all of its children and wives (i.e. moons), and it nourishes all life. As fathers (and husbands for that matter), we must as men provide, protect, and raise positive families at any cost.

This is, in a nutshell, what a father is to me… I am a Sun burning bright—a husband and a father to the fullest! Axe!

by Ciara Calbert

Congratulations and Thank You to the Fathers who participated in this Father’s Day Project, some of whom are new fathers and all of whom are great ones.  Happy Father’s Day!

Thank You and Happy Father’s Day to the late Artie Calbert, Sr., “Daddy”,  and to my Step Father, George King, Jr., who have fathered me.  Happy Father’s Day to my Uncle T., who is like a Father to me, my Uncle Bill, to all my Uncles, Baba Kibwe, my brother, A.J., and to all the men who play the Father role in my life.

Thank you and Happy Father’s Day to Abadeu Madyun (pictured below), whose actions let me know that he will be a wonderful, strong, loving Father to our children because of the wonderful, strong, loving Father Figure he is to our loved ones… and to Me.



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When Mama Goes Home Poem

by Ciara Calbert

When Mama goes home,
The whole family goes with her
Although it is sad
We think we will miss her

We find ourselves traveling along beside her
With the intuition she has used herself to guide her
When Mama goes home
We say and we do
What Mama says,
We make Mama’s dream come true

When Mama goes home
We travel along
Bobbing our heads,
singing along
to Mama’s Going-Home-Mama’s-Traveling Song

When Mama goes home,
She takes me and you
Because Mama knows that’s just the right thing to do.

And Mama knows one day that we’ll see it, too.

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More Reasons Why Everybody Is A Journalist

Solidarity.  I’ve got quite a big opinion on the idea that Everybody Is A Journalist™, so much so in fact that I started a biz of the same name. That’s why I enjoyed “In The Twitter-Tumblr World, Everybody Is A Journalist” by Anu Parthasarthy on Telhelka:

Today’s journalist has to do a lot more research, and dive deeper into issues, to build credibility and hold an audience; just the fact that he is affiliated with a big name publication, or the impression that he is supposedly neutral will not get him page views any longer! Yet it is a great opportunity for many who once aspired to be journalist, but got stuck in other professions as it happens invariably in India! Go ahead and start writing —if that is what you always wanted to do — you never know where you will reach one day. Tomorrow’s best-known journalist might just be a lawyer or a marketing executive today.

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On Reading Donda West’s “Raising Kanye”

Someone once said that reading is a social act. Even though we might read alone, we are still interacting when we read–with the characters, the intentions of the author. As such, I felt I was interacting with her while I read, even as she looks down from heaven. I could tell that she was and in spirit is a smart, smart lady. As well as funny.

I’d wanted to read the book ever since I saw an interview she did with back when the book was published in 2007, where she talked about self-actualization through art. And, when I heard her say those terms, I completely got it. I completely understood how our artistic expression can help us become self-actualized, realizing our full potential. That concept, along with some words of wisdom I received from a guest when I was working as a cashier at a vegetarian restaurant (“It’s important that people refer to themselves as artists because that helps them accept their responsibility [to serve others].”) helped me decide the concept that I wanted the work I do to serve: Journalism as Artistic Expression. It guides my belief that Everybody Is A Journalist.




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Just Finished Reading Modelland by Tyra Banks

I recently finished reading Modelland by Tyra Banks.  It’d been many years since I last read non-fiction literature; it was quite fun to let my imagination travel to the places the characters in the book were going.  I loved how Tookie, the main character, eventually came to see herself as a bella.  That’s what is so magical about the preparatory academy of Modelland in the book, and what has always been magical about America’s Next Top Model, Ms. Banks’ real-life platform for training young women to become superstars: those moments when the participants start to see that their dreams are real.  I love it.

With Modelland, Ms. Banks tapped into something that I feel is both spiritual and ancient.  I think that’s what creative works do, make something new and useful out of what is timeless. For example, as I read the book, I thought often of the ancient Egyptian goddess named Het Heru.  Her colors are gold and green (both dominant colors, along with blue, on the Modelland book cover).  She represents beauty, femininity, joy, creativity, sensuality, artistry, imagination; and if you cross her, she becomes fierce― forces that I’d say come through throughout Modelland.  She is also often depicted adorned with a sacred eye, which reminded me of the SMIZE.

As you can see, I’m a fan of that game-changing element known as the SMIZE.

These are just a few of the connections I made.  I’d love to know what Ms. Banks thinks about the spiritual connectivity of her work.

I’m so proud of Tyra!

The fact that she’s been able to wrap experiences from her big life and imagination into a story that children and adults can enjoy, really inspires me.  It keeps me dreaming.

Learn more about Modelland!  Check out the Google+ chat with Tyra Banks that inspired me to buy the book:

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A Show Unlike Any Other: Ariel and Shya Kane on Being Here, Part IV… How Do You Recharge?

To complete our four-part blog conversation with Ariel and Shya Kane of Being Here, I asked the lovely couple about rejuvenation.  Helping others takes time, energy and effort.  I imagine that anyone who is able to help others transform their lives–in the way that Ariel and Shya have, would need their own mechanism of rejuvenating themselves in order to stay on top of their game.

As Bob Burg and John David Mann put it in their book, The Go-Giver, “The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving.” So, I had to ask these great givers about how they take care of themselves and each other.

And, surely enough, they were willing to talk about the value that sleep, sex, fly fishing and community bring to their lives!

Here’s our conversation:

Q:  I want to thank you for all that you do for your listeners, readers, workshop participants and audiences in general.  What do you do or where do you go when you need to be recharged?

Response from Ariel and Shya:

We hope you’ve enjoyed this blog conversation as much as we have.  Follow along by reading Part I, Part II and Part III of this four-part series.

Special thanks to Ariel and Shya Kane for your great responses to my questions.  Thanks for being so open!  And, to Valerie Paik, thanks for helping this idea come to life!

I’m looking forward to meeting the Kanes soon at one of their upcoming Monday Night Alive sessions in NYC.  Hope to see you there!  You can also find out what the Kanes are up to on Facebook and Twitter!

Listening to Ariel and Shya’s show, Being Here, has helped me see things differently.  As I said earlier, my friend Kathryn introduced me to the show.  And, now I’m a huge fan!

Catch a show some time, why don’t ya?!  Enjoy Being Here!

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A Show Unlike Any Other: Ariel and Shya Kane on Being Here, Part III… How Did You Meet?

We’ve had great conversations in our four-part blog series with Ariel and Shya Kane, the couple whose Internet radio show, Being Here, helps listeners discover how to live in the moment through Instantaneous Transformation. 

As someone who loves to see happy couples, I was instantaneously inspired by the love that they share and how they use that love to help others.

So, we asked them about it!

Q:  Seeing the two of you together provides wonderful images for me as someone in your audience because it’s clear that you enjoy each other, work well together and have a common purpose.  How did you two meet, and how did you know that you were right for each other?

Response from Ariel and Shya Kane:

Follow along by reading Part I and Part II of this four-part series.  Stay tuned for Part IV!

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