Tev'ye Thompson - single, selfless superdad
After a lot of coaxing, begging and just wishful thinking, the first syllables off the precious lips of babies are often 'dada'. Every mother dreads the phone calls to his friends and family members boasting of the baby's first words, while she smiles with gripped teeth and rolls her eyes whenever the conversation comes up. It is this syllable, though, that turns these macho creatures into a complete ball of mush every time they are echoed.
Tev'ye Thompson knows this story all too well, but for him it's a precious memory that he holds dear. From the day she was born he was madly in love with his daughter. "I was super nervous the first time I held my daughter. There's no word really to describe the feeling," he shared with Flair. "I was just in awe." He explained that his whole life has changed since her birth. "She has become my reason to live. My reason to be the best I can in everything."
Thompson has proven to be a man of honour and immeasurable strength. With the unfortunate loss of his fiancee in 2013, Thompson had to pull on strength he did not know he had. He became a single parent to his daughter, Malkia, who was only four when her mother was killed. On that day, he was not only distraught that he lost someone he loved, but realised that he had to now take on the task of being the only parent for his daughter. The expected reaction would be to wallow in sorrow and to possibly sink into depression, but for the sake of his daughter, Thompson could not.
For Thompson, who grew up in a single-parent household with his father and two siblings, this situation was nothing new. He had seen his father take on the role of both mother and father. He recalls days when "he used to take me and two of my sisters to the movies every Sunday at the Carib Cinema".
KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOUR
Now, the two are inseparable, Thompson is Malkia's knight in shining armour. "We do everything together because we are all we have." He makes the time to be present at all swim meets and dance recitals, and is very much involved in parent-teacher association. "It is very important for a father to be involved in his child's life, no matter the sex of the child. As a young boy growing up, your dad would be the first 'man' you would copy and want to aspire to be like. A young girl will grow to look for the type of guy with the traits of her dad, especially if that father was affectionate, gentle and kind."
Thompson enjoys being a dad and embraces all the responsibilities that come with it. "I cannot cornrow but I can catch it in one or put bubbles in it, and I can plait," he chuckled. He admits that it is difficult at times but he gets support from family and friends.
Among the hardest of times are those when little Malkia thinks about her mother. But Thompson has found a way to help her to cope by encouraging her to keep positive and keep thinking of the happy times that they shared together.
Thompson is looking forward to his daughter growing up to be the best that she can be. He is dreaming of the day when she graduates college. Until then, he will continue to be her source of strength and support.