Father's Day in Kenya - All you need to know
Out of the many holidays we celebrate yearly here in Kenya, Father’s Day is arguably one of the least recognized holidays.
The fact that Father’s Day isn’t a public holiday here in the 254 is definitely a major contributing factor to the holiday’s low publicity.
Also, unlike popular holidays such as Easter and Christmas, many of us don’t know how Father’s Day came about or traditions associated with marking the day.
In this guide, we’ll go through the origins of Father’s Day and how the day is typically celebrated globally.
We’ll also cover how the specific date for Father’s Day is determined yearly and give you our top suggestions for marking this special day here in Kenya.
Father’s Day has an extensive history that varies from country to country. This day has been celebrated in one form or another by different cultures and religions for centuries as a day to celebrate fathers and fatherhood. For example, Catholic countries in Europe have been celebrating their version of Father’s Day as Saint Joseph’s Day on March 19 since the Middle Ages.
Presently, some countries have their own date for celebrating Father’s Day. The holiday also has a different name in other countries.
Many countries that celebrate Father’s Day (including Kenya) follow the date the holiday is celebrated in the United States of America. There, a lady by the name Sonora Smart Dodd founded Father’s Day in 1910. Her father, William Jackson Smart, was a civil war veteran and a single parent who raised six children.
Sonora was inspired to start Father’s Day by a sermon she heard about Mother’s Day in 1909. She initially wanted to celebrate the day on June 5th, her father’s birthday.
However, her church pastors were unable to prepare their sermons for the celebration on time. This meant the celebration date was moved to the third Sunday of June which is when we celebrate Father’s Day to this day.
In countries that have adopted America’s Father’s Day traditions, the day is considered a commercial holiday where fathers are given gifts and special recognition.
Companies in the men’s gifts industry are usually at the forefront of promoting Father’s Day by offering special deals and sales on products, holidays or special events.
It’s common to see ads, billboards and special offers targeting wives, girlfriends, sons and daughters with gift ideas for the fathers in their lives.
In the next section, we’ll go over our curated list of gift ideas for Father’s day here in Kenya. Kenyan fathers are often neglected and overlooked when it comes to being given presents. Don’t be shy to get a gift for the father in your life, just to remind him that you care.
A dress shirt is a simple and practical gift for any dad. It can be worn to work, church or a special event. Also, due to responsibilities and bills, many fathers here in Kenya have very few nice clothes. When picking a dress shirt, it’s advisable to pick simple and versatile colours such as white and light blue. Avoid screaming colours like yellow or luminous green unless that’s what the father your gifting likes.
Just like the dress shirt, a good pair of shoes is a welcome addition to any father’s fashion collection. Don’t forget to do some research to help you identify the best style for the person you’re gifting. Start by checking the shoes they already own then pick something similar or a style they don’t own already but will like.
Nowadays, a smartphone is an essential part of everyday life. If the father in your life has an old model, this gift will definitely be much appreciated and used everyday. Given the significant financial investment this gift requires, consider involving your kids or siblings and make the phone a group gift. If you need more help picking a specific model, check out our list of the best smartphones in Kenya under 15k.
If the father in your life has been using the same TV set for years/decades or you don’t like watching dad’s documentaries and movies, then consider getting him his own TV. If the TV will be used by dad alone, you can install it for him in the bedroom, spare room or home office.
This gift is ideal for any father who loves football and sports. Stiff competition from new platforms have forced Multichoice to lower their prices in order to remain competitive.
Getting a new DStv package that includes the decoder, dish, installation and one month subscription nowadays costs around Kshs. 5,000. Monthly subscription fees start from Kshs. 1,000 for the basic package and go all the way up to Kshs. 8,000 for the premium package.
Showmax Pro offers online video entertainment here in Kenya. It has a mobile plan available for streaming content on a smartphone or tablet. You’ll also get access to all the popular sports channels that air matches from major football leagues throughout the world.
The only downside with this gift is the recurring monthly fee but if you have the financial capacity, definitely consider this gift idea.
Another no-brainer gift for fathers who like kukata maji. Some easy ways to make this a more memorable gift is to pick something new for him to try or combine several different drinks to create a diverse drinks gift package.
A decanter is a glass bottle for storing whiskey, wine and other alcoholic beverages. Pouring wine into a decanter enhances the flavour by letting the wine breathe. Some decanters come with drinking glasses, meaning you can gift dad a complete home bar setup which looks cool and isn’t very expensive.
While many people have switched to audio or digital books, a good old-fashioned physical book is still a good gift, especially for the father who loves reading. You can choose a self development best seller such as this one or go for an autobiography such as this one. The are plenty of options to choose from.
If the father in your life is into fitness, then this gift is a no brainer. A set of weights consisting of dumbells or a barbell will help dad stay in shape and remain consistent with his workouts. They can easily be used at home and you’ll never have to worry about repair or wear and tear.
This is another practical gift for many fathers here in Kenya, especially if they have a car. Just be sure to confirm dad doesn’t already have one. If he does have a tool box already, you can get him a specific tool or piece of equipment his current box doesn’t have.
At the end of the day, fathers have wants, needs and obligations that cost money. Many fathers would be happy to receive funds that can be used to sort their personal expenses, pay for a trip or invest in a new project.
You can send m-pesa, do a bank transfer or hand over cash. This gift can also accompany any other gift you’re thinking of getting the father in your life.