Dear Daughter

Dear Daughter

Namulanta Kombo and parents from around the world build a “handbook to life”. Sharing your parenting advice and extraordinary personal stories in letters to your daughter, the daughter of friends and relatives, your future daughters or the daughters you never had. What do you want to say to your children? What family stories will help them in their lives? What’s your best advice? Our award-winning parenting podcast is back for season three. If you are a mum or mom, dad or papa, grandparent, uncle, aunt, daughter, son or just want to write a letter, send us a Whatsapp message on +44 800 030 4404 or visit Get in touch and let us know what you think on social media - #DearDaughter - and please leave ratings and reviews. You can read our privacy notice here:


June 7, 2024 25 mins

Yvonne was on a bus on a trip to Europe when she had a realisation. There’s more to life than having kids, she thought – I could travel the world. She made that decision at twenty, and now she’s 64 she’s never doubted her choice. She tells Namulanta about her relief at missing out on some of the challenges of parenting, why things are harder now her friends are having grandchildren, and how she’d advise other people who are wond...

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Farida grew up with 19 siblings in a polygamous family in Kenya. She’s been married five times, and four of those times have been to men who have other wives.

In a letter she writes to her daughter, Farida describes some of the pros of a polygamous relationship, such as growing up with a large extended family and never feeling alone. But along with the pros there are also some cons, such as what it feels like for your husband to tak...

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May 24, 2024 28 mins

Regina had a difficult childhood. Her parents both struggled with addiction, and she developed substance abuse problems of her own. She thought she’d never know how to be a mother. But now she’s using her experiences to help other children heal – trying to be the person that she needed when she was a child.

She tells Namulanta about the joy she finds in parenting her two daughters, the many women who have mothered her, and the train...

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Comedian Ria Lina finds out she is autistic after an audience member picks up on it at one of her shows. What does being autistic mean for her?

She tells Namulanta that being a woman with autism is like being a chameleon: you wear lots of different masks to suit the occasion, but sometimes all you want to do is go to a quiet dark place and crash.

Ria tells Namulanta all about autism so the next generation can feel more prepared than...

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Gretchen’s daughter is transgender. When she first told her parents, it came as a shock – but Gretchen wants to tell her daughter she’ll always be on her side.

But she worries that the outside world might be hostile. How can she protect her daughter, while also helping her grow?

Letter writer: Gretchen Namulanta Kombo is creating a "handbook to life" for her daughter with letters of advice and stories to help her navigate her life...

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May 3, 2024 27 mins

Rehman becomes a widower with three children after the sudden death of his wife. Over a year later, he remarries a woman with three children of her own. Now Rehman has three children from his previous marriage and three new stepchildren. Blending the two families together is Rehman’s dream. He wants his family to accept this new reality, but it’s not all smooth sailing. Letter writer: Rehman Namulanta Kombo is creating a "handb...

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April 26, 2024 26 mins

Malini has a lot of regrets about her parenting - but her daughter Raji remembers things differently.

Malini raised her family in a big multigenerational household in India, with relatives coming and going and little privacy for anyone. She and her mother-in-law were both strong personalities, and sometimes her daughter was caught in the crossfire.

Malini writes a letter to Raji about her regrets over the past. Was she too strict? Wa...

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April 19, 2024 27 mins

Joy Kendi doesn’t want her hair to define her – so she shaves her head.

Joy is an influencer in Kenya who’s known for her personal style – sometimes she has tight curls, sometimes long braids or a perfect afro.

But she wasn’t always so confident in her appearance. Growing up in the US, she wanted to look like the other girls around her, and didn’t know how to take care of her natural hair.

She joins Namulanta in the studio to talk abo...

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April 12, 2024 22 mins

Mary receives a menacing message and decides to leave her home.

Mary has lived in Florida ever since her university days. It’s where she fell in love, met her Taiwanese husband, and had two children. With hopes of her children growing up and going to college in Florida, Mary thinks she’ll live there for the rest of her life.

But that all changes when, at 40 years old, Mary receives a menacing message that makes her move her Asian-Am...

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April 5, 2024 22 mins

Wen is raised believing sex is taboo but knows she must change for her daughter’s sake.

Her grandmother was ashamed to talk about it. Her mum and dad had to visit the biology section of the library to find out how to do it. Wen wants to create a safe space at home to talk more openly with her daughter.

Letter writer: Wen

Namulanta Kombo and parents build a “handbook to life”. Sharing your parenting advice, personal stories, and lette...

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New mum Janine Harouni is anxious and lonely, so why do the other mums online look so happy?

She was performing stand-up comedy while 40 weeks pregnant, but now there's a whole other set of challenges. On social media, she sees pictures of pregnant models who don’t appear to gain weight. Nobody seems to talk about the gross parts or the difficult parts. She’s exhausted and full of worry. Then a surprise family DNA test changes her ...

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March 22, 2024 24 mins

Anna fights her eating disorder, knowing she needs to be healthy if she wants to be a mum.

She spent half her life dealing with the condition, until she was finally diagnosed and treated. Now she is working on getting better, trying to appreciate the joys in life again, and regain the spark she feels she lost. She writes a letter to her future daughter about how to avoid the “perfect trap” in which she found herself.

Letter writer: ...

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March 15, 2024 29 mins

Musikari risks his life fighting corruption in Kenya, but at what cost to his family?

Namulanta’s father is a political, an anti-corruption campaigner and a successful businessman. He’s busy, so he’s not around much for his children. They miss him. They don’t understand.

Now, he comes into the studio to read Namulanta a letter about family values, the importance of friendship - and how he’s making up for lost time with his grandchil...

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March 8, 2024 25 mins

Solene endlessly juggles work and parenthood, but something must give.

She loves her job and wants to keep her identity, but she's working just to afford childcare. She has little family support. Then a moment at the school gates makes her realise that she has her priorities wrong.

Letter writer: Solene Namulanta Kombo and parents build a “handbook to life”. Sharing your parenting advice, personal stories, and letters to your dau...

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March 1, 2024 29 mins

Nadiya Hussain, TV chef and winner of The Great British Bake Off, writes a letter to her 13-year-old daughter about how to make space for herself wherever she goes. When Nadiya was a teenager she had big ambitions – but it felt like the world around her kept trying to hold her back. She tells her daughter to keep her elbows out and not let anyone squash her dreams.

Plus, Nadiya gives Namulanta advice on raising teenagers, talks abou...

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February 22, 2024 2 mins

We’re back! Join us weekly from March 1 for the third season of the award-winning BBC World Service podcast Dear Daughter.

Namulanta Kombo is putting together a “handbook to life” for her daughter with letters of advice to help her navigate the world ahead, and she needs your help.

This season, Namulanta will talk to letter writers from Hong Kong to Copenhagen about everything from body image to blended families to the horrors and jo...

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November 9, 2023 50 mins

Other people’s children. The mothers who leave their own families behind to care for someone else’s. This special episode, from The Documentary, is hosted by Dear Daughter’s Namulanta Kombo. She speaks to women from around the world who are in the so-called “global care chain”.

The Documentary, from the BBC World Service, is the home of original storytelling – bringing the globe to your ears.

News about season 3 of Dear Daughter wi...

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Disastrous dates and how to make a relationship last. It's our second live show in Nairobi, Kenya. We hear a tale of a truly disastrous date and find out about the tough dating scene in Nairobi. Plus, advice on how to make a relationship last, while holding on to your own identity. Letter writers: Stand-up comedian Maina Murumba and public commentator Daisy Maritim Maina. This is the final episode in season 2. Please send Namulanta...

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How to approach dating. Tips and laughs, as we explore relationships and the highs and lows of dating, in our first ever live show. Hear from our guests and audience in Nairobi, Kenya. Our letter writers tell their daughters that they need to set boundaries, have mutual respect and not to settle for less than they deserve. Letter writers: Tatiana Karanja and Peter Nduati. Please send Namulanta your letter. Go to www.bbcworldservice...

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June 4, 2023 27 mins

“Fly the plane”, volunteer and keep asking why. Andy is an airline pilot from Northern Ireland. He tells his son to avoid being thrown off course by life’s many distractions, volunteer for everything, and keep asking questions. The final golden rule? Always stand up to inappropriate locker room banter. Plus, Namulanta has a letter for her son too.

Letter writer: Andy

Please send Namulanta your letter. Go to

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