I Was In Labour Room, Recorded My Baby’s Birth — Solade—>EXPLAIN
What does fatherhood mean to you?
Fatherhood is bringing forth a child, nursing and nurturing that child. It also means doing all you have to do to place the child on a proper footing in life and that starts from when the child comes into the world till the child is of age.
How did you meet your wife?
I met my wife in the course of work. I met her on location when I was working. We started off as friends and I saw that we were interested in each other. Then, I told her that I would want to marry her and that was what we did.
How many children do you have?
We have two children; a male and a female.
When did you first become a father?
It was about 13 years ago.
Were you in the labour room with your wife?
I was there. I witnessed the arrival of my child and I even had it recorded.
How did you feel to see your wife give birth?
It was a mixed feeling. I felt like she went through a lot bringing the baby forth. I saw all the pain she had to go through and even when the doctor asked me to step out, I insisted on staying there. I even burst into tears eventually because the experience was heavy. Afterwards, it was all joy when the baby arrived.
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Did you wish for a particular gender before any of your children was born?
No. I am not a gender person. I am concerned about having healthy children.
How have you been able to manage your career as well as fatherhood?
There must be a balance in anything anybody does in life. I knew one day I must be a father and live as a family man. I am an actor and most times, my job takes me out of the home but that is what the work dictates. When I am not around, I connect with my family by speaking with them. We miss each other when we are not around ourselves physically but they understand that I am working. My work is not a 9-5 (9am to 5pm) job. I am into movie-making and that involves being out of the house for weeks and sometimes months, but it is what I have to do. I play my role to the best of my ability.
Can you tell us about your father and how he raised you?
Interestingly, I was not raised by my father like that. I was one child that the entire family loved; so, I actually moved round my father’s siblings. It was a love that the entire family shared. Most of the children moved around every member of the family.
I was not with my father all through. He played his own role too. I was very happy growing up and after university and professional training, I began to work on my own.
Did you face any difficulty when you were growing up?
I grew up in Surulere, Lagos. The style of living there was very communal. Any parent could scold any child and of course, mobiles were not in vogue at the time. We shared bicycles, played on the trees, flew kites and played football. It was a huge fun.
Would you say that you were born with a silver spoon?
I don’t understand this ‘silver spoon’ thing. I was born normally and I grew up normally. I was born in an environment that was very conducive and I had the best of growing up. I went to good schools. I did everything that a child should do and I played with my friends.
What values did you imbibe from your father and other father figures around you that now guide you as a father?
It is to be a man of one’s own and to always stay positive. It is important to carry the family name well which I believe I do. I believe that I have carried the name well and respectfully. It shows that I have been able to be a good ambassador of the name and my family. I grew up with the notion that I should be a good person and to do nothing that will rub mud on the name of the family. My family is very proud of me. In moving around family members, I learnt a lot of things and those are the things that have moulded me into being the man that I am today.
What has been the major challenge for you as a father?
A major challenge will always be finance. Finance is needed to run the home and the present-day Nigeria is not easy. A lot of families are in disarray owing to the economy in the country. A lot of people do not live together because of survival and it is sad. I work hard to provide for them and due to the nature of my job, I have to be out of the home for long periods of time. However, thankfully my wife, despite having her own business, always ensures that she is at close radius of the children and it is helpful.
What has been the happiest moment for you as a father?
The fact that I look at my children growing before me always makes me happy. I am always happy when I see my offspring.
Are any of your children interested in following in your footsteps?
My children are art-inclined. They appreciate what I do but they are fashioning out their own thing. They love entertainment as well and if they decide to continue in it when they are older, then that is fine by me. I can’t compel them to do what I do. If they want to do it, the only thing is to guide them and to make sure that they do better than me.
How do you discipline them when they act up?
I talk to them most times. I am not in the habit of beating children. I scold them but once in a while, I spank them. I don’t like doing it because I am emotionally attached to them but if the offence is intense, that I have to spank them to correct them, I do so. However, most times, I do not even wait for them to come back and apologise after I spank them, I quickly warm up to them and tell them why I had to hit them and then they apologise and we are back to normal. With children, they let go easily. They never brood but as they grow, it is less spanking and more talking.
How do you reward them when they do good?
Reward is like bribery in the family unit. I don’t often bribe my children. Due to the fact that they are still young, it is their right to get whatever they ask from me that I can provide. If I can’t provide it, I explain why I can’t provide it because they are still dependent. It does not matter whether they make me happy or not. Once, I know I have the means to do whatever it is I have to do for them, I do it. There is no regulation to that. I get them things based on my means and if I know that they would like it.
How did you prepare for fatherhood?
There was not really any preparation. I watched my wife go through pregnancy and the most important thing was to make sure that my wife was well taken care of because she was the one who was really dealing with the baby as she was the one connecting with the baby at such an early age. In attending to one’s wife, one is attending to the child as well.
How do you relax with your family when you are home?
My family loves music and we play a lot of music. We dance together sometimes. Music is always playing in my household and that is why my children love it too. My son plays the saxophone and my daughter plays the clarinet. We just have fun generally. We go out sometimes and we are a happy family.
What has been your favourite movie that you featured in?
I’m not sure I have a favourite movie. I am as good as my last job. I love every movie I feature in. I am not sure that I have done the one that I love the most. I am still working and I am still evolving. I enjoy my job. I love acting, it’s my second nature and maybe a producer will come one day and bring the job that will be as challenging as I imagine that I will probably fall in love with.
What advice will you give to children that have no fathers?
The advice I would give them is to just be realistic and face the world squarely and realise that this world is only for a while. In any field, they find themselves, they should do their best to impact the world positively. They should keep living and do positive things.
What advice would you give to men that are about to become fathers?
They should support the woman because the woman is the one that is going to be physically and emotionally attached to the child for the first 18 months. The men should take care of the women and also do their best to provide for the child when the child arrives.
How do you manage scandals?
I just let it go and it fizzles out. This is Nigeria where even the president of the country is being rubbished. So, who am I? I don’t think there is anything written about me that says that I have been to jail or I have been arrested. Anything that is written about me, I just consider it a part of show business. I don’t do anything illegal, I am just an actor. I have a right to express myself and associate with people. I am into show business and I have seen things written about me involving some women that I don’t even know. I don’t even have time for that.
How do you appreciate your wife?
If I don’t appreciate my wife, who will? I appreciate my wife because she is a wonderful person and I am not just saying that because she is my wife but she is one of the best human beings I have ever met. She is a thousand times better than me. She is super human. She is stronger than me. She came to make my life complete. There is nothing I cannot do to appreciate her. I appreciate her as much as I can and it is still ongoing. She is beautiful inside and outside. She was sent by God to stabilise my life and make me who I am today.