KENNEDY OSANO became a dad when he was in Form Three. Now at 31, his daughter is 13 years old. He takes us through the journey of raising a child as a young single dad including how their relationship raises eyebrows when they are in public.\u00a0 Sandra Wekesa @wekesa_sandra \u00a0 \u00a0 \u00a0 \u00a0 \u00a0 \u00a0 \u00a0 \u00a0 \u00a0 \u00a0 \u00a0 \u00a0 \u00a0 \u00a0 \u00a0 Their daily routine entails doing homework and studying, cooking various cuisines ranging from African to Italian, playing jenga (a building blocks game) and also, going for evening walks around the neighbourhood. Looking back, Kennedy Osano, wouldn\u2019t wish for any other gift than that of watching his teenage girl grow into a responsible and humble girl. To him, fatherhood is a lifetime responsibility with its challenges, sweetness and bitterness and he is glad to walk through it as a single parent.\u00a0 He had met the mother of his daughter in 2006 when they were both in secondary school. He lived in Naivasha, she was in Nairobi. But during the holidays, he would visit his uncle in Nairobi and often would spend time with her. But it wasn\u2019t long before she showed up in his school with a bulging stomach. He was in Form Three. He had nothing. But he decided he wasn\u2019t going to deny his blood. Though it was challenging, he proved to be tough and resilient. He adjusted to his new fate and became a paragon of docility and diligence.\u00a0 A few months later, a princess was born and they named her Mellisa Levian Lanaya. At first, she stayed with her mother. After his secondary education, things changed for the better when he got a job as a messenger at a local bank. He was paid enough for him to save and enrol at a university to pursue an undergraduate degree, which propelled him to move up his career ladder.\u00a0 Full custody \u201cI was there by my baby mama\u2019s side all along both physically and emotionally, but when I got a stable job, I could afford to lead a decent life without struggling. I also longed to be closer to my little princess and spend more time with her,\u201d he says. During school holidays, Mellisa would often visit her father and spend several days before leaving for her mum\u2019s place. At first Osano didn\u2019t know how Mellissa\u2019s mum would react to having him take full custody over their daughter, but he decided to do it anyway. Also, Mellisa\u2019s mother had already moved on and married someone else. \u201cI was determined to get her to stay with me, so I talked to her mother and we came to an agreement that Mellisa would visit her during the holidays. It wasn\u2019t hard since I had always stepped in and played my part even while my daughter was with her,\u201d he says. Though he was not a stranger to his daughter, when he started living with her in 2018, they had to start learning each other \u2014 learning what his daughter liked and vice versa. The 31-year-old father says raising her became easy with the support of his friends and family. Also, his baby mama is supportive and is always a phone call away when her attention or guidance is needed. Osano is determined to raise his girl into a disciplined and responsible individual. \u00a0 But despite the merits that fatherhood has to offer, their biggest challenge is the 18 years age difference, between them. Often, especially when in public, people eye the duo suspiciously. \u201cShe has grown so fast. Sometimes when people see a young girl in the backseat and no adult woman in the passenger seat, they raise eyebrows. At times I have been questioned and even forced to pull out her birth certificate just to prove my point,\u201d he says. He makes sure he is in the house in time to have dinner with her and limit the number of guests that come to the house. \u201cSometimes, a man just needs a quiet place, a beer on his hand; watch his favourite football team play (Arsenal), eating whatever he decides or not eating at all, and spending the night anywhere. However, all this drastically changed,\u201d he says \u201cMy biggest challenge is having the sex talk with Melissa\u2014 talking to her about boys, her body changes and why she has to shuttle between her mum\u2019s place to my place. But I take her through this, helping her understand we both love her and wish the best for her,\u201d he says. Fatherly advice As his only child, Osano has made sure that her interests come first. His parting shot to fathers is to instill the desire for success in their daughters. \u201cI make sure she grows up knowing that her success is solely in her hand and the world will only elevate her to her platform of success, discipline, empathy, modesty, self-belief and respect for authority and those who are older than her will keep her on that right path,\u201d he says.