In this interview, Fuji musician, Adewale Ayuba, speaks to TOLUWALOPE KAREEM about his parenting experience.
That was 25years ago, and I am 55years old now.
From your perspective, how would you describe fatherhood?
I would describe fatherhood as a platform. It is a platform God has created for you to have little ones under you and in your care. (A platform) where you offer advice, protection and guidance for them in order for them not to go astray, just like God is our father and we are his children and He takes care of us. After God, as a father or parent, you are the next person your children look up to.
It is generally said that fatherhood comes with a huge responsibility. What has been your experience?
It has been a wonderful experience so far, and I am a blessed father, I must say. Your children are your biggest critics, for example, in my profession. I do not see my children as just children; I look at them as my fans and listen to whatever they have to say about my music. When I release an album, I allow my children to listen to it and ask them for their honest opinion and review. Whatever comes from their mouth, I take it seriously. In a nutshell, I do not see my kids just as children, who cannot offer advice to me, I also see them as a spiritual mouth that comes from God, and whatever comes from them is from God. I always stick to their advice and gain a lot from them. I am the head of the family, I am also seen as a small god in the home, hence, much is expected from me, and that is why I never let any opportunity to learn and become a better father for them pass me by. Fatherhood is not a phase you can pass through by yourself, it is not by your might and power, you need the grace from God, and I never cease to ask for God’s help and guidance on how best to train my children.
How are you able to manage your duties and obligations as a father with your busy schedule at as a famous musician?
Music career is also a profession and you have to be professional about it. My name is Adewale Ayuba, as everyone knows, but once I am not on stage I come back to ‘ordinary Wale’ for my family. I do not live the life of a superstar, because this is one of the things that ruin your life. Don’t ever let your profession be a barrier to your duties as a parent. You have to partake in the upbringing of your children; do not let your music career be your priority. Being a musician is also like going to the office in the morning and returning home in the evening after work. After work, you must focus on your other business, which is your parenting business. I stay with my children and use my free time from work to interact with them. I do not allow anything to come between me and my family.
Some women like their husband to be in the labour room with them while delivering a baby. Did you have to be in the labour room with your wife?
Yes, I did, for about three of our children. I was in the labor room with her, held her hands and was there for her. It is very important to do that; when you pass through that you will know that this life is more than what you think it is and you will appreciate your wife better. The moment when that baby is coming out from her body is a delicate moment and more like a life for a life. After experiencing such, you’ll understand why for you to raise your hand on that kind of person (woman) is a grave sin. Every man needs to experience the moment of childbirth; I think it’s important that men are present during the birth of their children.
How do you discipline your children when they misbehave?
Discipline is not by beating. Rather, I give punishment to them. For example, if they have been asking me for something and I promise to give it to them, you can imagine the excitement they will have. From that moment I will begin to watch, and the moment they misbehave, I will withdraw my promise. This has worked well for me, and because they never want to lose their promise and avoid being punished, they always do their best not to misbehave.
What has your experience as a father taught you?
It has made me a semi god; I am always happy when I see my kids. For instance, when I go to their school for graduation ceremonies and all of that, I look at myself and feel so proud. I am happy that my effort and grace from God were achieved. I see this as my greatest achievement.
Are any of your children toeing your career path?
One of them is studying and trying to get into entertainment, but as an actress and not a musician. But all my children have good voices and can sing, but not to become a musician.
Did you ever try to impose your career on them?
No, I never did that, they are free to do whatever they want to do.
What are the values you learnt from your father that is helping you in parenting?
My father (may his soul rest in peace) took his married life seriously and never made a joke out of it. My father was never found to be out late or act in any way suspicious. He would always go to work and return home early, I never saw him with another woman besides my mother.
How different is the type of parenting you are providing for your children from the one you got from your dad?
Eighty-five per cent of the upbringing I am giving to my children, I learnt from my father. The only thing he did that I don’t do with my children is that, when he was angry he would throw things at you. That could hurt, so I do not do that to my children; I would rather punish them in other ways.
Fatherhood changes a lot about men. What did it change about you?
I realised that this life isn’t for me alone. Whatever I am doing, even when it comes to business and work, I have to consider my family first. They are a priority, so anything I do must have a positive effect on me and family
Have you received any gift you cherished so much from your children?
Yes, my children give me random gifts, but what I cherished most was the day I heard my daughter praying and she asked that God give her a husband like her father. It was an emotional day and I cried.
How do you celebrate your children when they make you proud?
One thing they cherish most has to be spending time with me, they always love a family trip, tour or outing. So, I always do this to make them happy.
When you have a disagreement with your wife, how do you resolve them? Do you usually involve the children?
We do not involve the children and we do not even allow them to know that we are having a disagreement. We might be shouting at each other but once we hear their voice or knock on the door, we will change the subject immediately and act like there is nothing wrong, no matter the disagreement. It doesn’t mean the marriage is coming to an end, whatever disagreement you are having is just at that moment. Anything that is not permanent in your life, don’t let your children know about it. It is not advisable for parents to expose their children to things like that, because when you do, you are telling them that it is the best way to handle situations. Whatever you do, children tend to adapt to it and even do more, hence, you shouldn’t involve children in any problems and disagreements you have.
How do you bond with them and where do you take them to for bonding?
Bonding is very important as a family and it is something I love to do. I go to various places with my children and we have fun. These are memories that will forever stick with them, and this brings love into a family. I always listen to my children whenever they have something to say, I give them a listening ear and we talk about everything and anything together.
How are you helping them in their education?
Education is general, but when it comes to certain subjects, I may not know it. The best I give to them is advice, I let them know how important education is; I always encourage them to study hard; tell them about reading patterns, such as reading after classes, so they can understand better.
How did you choose names for your children?
Everyone in my family has “Ade” in their name, because we come from a royal family. Also names are very important, because what you call your children is what they become, that is why they always call us “Oladipupo”. Every name given to my children is like a prayer.
Do you also believe in sharing house chores with your wife? Some men don’t like that.
Yes, of course, I believe in that. And house chores make you bond well with your wife and family. Why would I choose to stress my wife when I can be of help and I have children who can also assist? We all get involved in chores to make things easier for everyone.
What advice do you have for the youth who believe they won’t marry if they don’t have money?
For me, it is a very wrong decision to make. What people do not know is that marriage is not something that just happens; it is what God has ordained in our life. Marriage is a blessing that comes from God, if you chose to marry today; there is a door of blessing that comes with marriage that would pave the way for you in your life, but if you do not get married, that door would remain shut. That is why you can see that most people who are successful are married men and women. You’ll be wondering why people with a lot of responsibilities are the ones making money while you, who are single, are probably not as successful as the family man. Once you get married today, the door will open from heaven, so don’t shoot yourself in the leg. When you meet a woman that is ready and you are equally ready, forget about what you are making now, because what is going to come after marriage would be better than what you are making now, and that is what people need to know.
Source: The PUNCH