Ace comedian, Gbenga Adeyinka, has shared his fatherhood tales in recent interview.
The TV personality/comic, also talked about the qualities of a father
saying not all men with kids deserves to be called a father.
How would you describe fatherhood?
Fatherhood is one of the
most amazing gifts from God. It comes with a lot of responsibilities
though. But I always say that it is not every man who has the capacity
to give birth to a son or daughter that is a father. A father is that
man who has children and lives up to his responsibilities; he deserves
to be called a father. To be called a father is an honourable title.
How did you feel when you found out that you were going to be a father?
felt good but the first time I saw my son in the delivery ward, I lost
control of my emotions. I was overexcited and confused. The nurse had
asked me to get some water to bathe my son, I did not know she meant tap
water; I went and got bottled water. She said she needed tap water to
bathe him. I then went to buy a packet of water. I told them to use what
I brought; I was confused. The experience was humbling, crazy, joyful –
a potpourri of emotions.
Were you present at the birth of all your children?
was present at the birth of my first two kids, but for my last child, I
was unfortunately not around. I found out on the telephone that my wife
had given birth.
Did you assist your wife with tasks such as bathing your baby and changing diapers?
I did. It was easy for me. I love children. There is nothing called
‘your work’ and ‘my work.’ On some Sundays, after an event, I head
straight to the market. I buy foodstuff to cook for my children. My
children always tease their mother about my good cooking skills.
Whenever people see me in the market, they yell, ‘What are you doing in
the market’ and I respond saying ‘what are you too doing in the market’.
Because you see me on television doesn’t make me a better human being
than someone else. I tell my children they are not special because I am
celebrity; I let them know that they are like every other kid.
Were you concerned about the sex of your first baby?
I am not one that prefers a particular gender. I believe God blesses
everyone with good children, whether male or female. I know families
that have all female children and are happy. In fact, my father-in-law
has female children and they take care of him so well. My mother and I
were close too. The general belief is that female children take care of
their parents better, which is wrong. I think that is old-school
thinking. Things have changed. One’s prayer should be for God to bless
one with a good child that will make one’s name bigger and better.
What were your concerns when you brought your children home?
kept asking myself if I would be able to take care of my child; if I
would turn out to be a father that my child would be proud of. Will I
raise him to be a God-fearing child? Different thoughts kept racing
through my mind. Even till now, I sometimes ask myself if I’m doing
things right. There are lots of books on fatherhood just like there are
books on marriage. But two children cannot be the same; raising children
is a thorough job. All one must do is to put in one’s best.
What do you like about being a father?
like it when my children use words such as ‘I love you dad’, ‘You are
the best dad in the world’. I love the credit that comes with
fatherhood. I like it when people pass good comments about my children.
What values do you teach your children about money?
teach them to respect and have value for money. When you have money,
treat it as a tool to greatness. I also tell them that they are not the
son or daughter of a big man; they have to work hard to succeed in life.
Money worked for would be valued.
Are any of your children showing interest in your profession?
my children are comedians; some of my best materials are from them. But
I always tell them to focus on their first degrees, after that, they
can pursue any profession which interests them.
Describe your relationship with your father.
relationship with my father was not amazing. I had a better
relationship with my mother. My parents broke up when I was quite young.
But I was lucky to have grown up with a couple of uncles who treated me
like their son. I saw the way they related with their children and
desired to follow suit. I was surrounded with a terrific family while
How do you spend time with your children considering your busy schedule?
my children are in the university but whenever we are at home together,
we have a nice time. They harass me and vice-versa. My relationship
with them is a special one; I can be extra hard on them and other times
very friendly. We relate like friends. When they were younger, we used
to wrestle. But one thing I have discovered in life is that most times,
these kids are your children not your friends. You must be hard on them
and also make them your friends. I punish them when I need to. For
example this year, they all went to school and did not call me on phone
for a month. During their birthdays, I refused to send them birthday
cakes. I wanted to pass a message about how to care for one’s parents.
Where is your favourite place for family vacation?
rarely travel with my family; my wife usually travels with them during
summer. It always happens that when I’m free, my wife is occupied with
work. When I am free, I travel with my kids. There was a particular
holiday we travelled to Ghana; it was our best bonding trip. We all had a
lovely time. I have been looking forward to such trip.
Are you close to all your children?
am close to all my children but I’m closer to my daughter. My son is a
little withdrawn from me but I’m trying my best to bond with him. He is
closer to his mother; but my daughter tells me everything, even things
she does not tell her mother.
How old is she?
She is turning 20.
How do you balance your responsibilities at work with your role as a father?
human being must learn the act of balancing. I know sometimes work
takes a lot of one’s time but as a father, one must not allow one area
to suffer for the other. Thank God for mobile phones and free time. When
one is at home with one’s kids, one should make it worthwhile. There is
no excuse for failing to fulfill one’s responsibilities as a father.
How do you discipline your children?
they misbehave, I withhold things they like. But my kids are well
behaved, I guess it is because while they were growing up, I was their
friend and at the same time, an old-school dad. I did not tolerate
naughty attitude. We understand ourselves; my children know when I am
joking and when I’m serious about a thing.
What is the hardest punishment you meted out to any of them?
It would be not giving them birthday presents. I intentionally withhold it.
Are there areas in your children’s lives you wish you had invested more time in?
wish I was closer to my son, I wish I had invested my time in talking
with him. I think if we had spoken more, he may have found it
comfortable talking to me more now. But I’m still trying. He is not
fully grown and I know that there is room for improvement.
How do you appreciate your wife?
always let how know how thankful I am to have her in my life and she
knows it. A good father needs the support of a good mother. If you are a
busy professional, you won’t always be at home which is why you need a
good wife to make your children grounded, firm and focused. I know that
my wife would always have prayers with my kids in the mornings and
evenings. No one is perfect in the game of child upbringing, there
would always be challenges.
Are you a father that gives his children all what they want?
it is always important to let one’s children know the status of one’s
finances. Whenever my children call me, they show concern about my work.
One’s children should know what one is passing through. If you show
your kids your worth, let them know what you can do, and also let them
know that in life one doesn’t get everything one wants. That way, they
would grow up well grounded. I have always wanted to raise my children
who to be grounded. When you don’t pretend to your children, they would
Would you describe yourself as a ‘westernised’ father who sees house chores as child labour?
I was not brought up to be a western father. I believe children should
be brought up in a proper way. For example, I was happy when our
housemaid left because I realised that she was the one doing the work,
probably because she felt it was her job. Growing up, I learnt how to
cook at a young age. In my house, everyone has a day to cook and clean. I
always make sure that when our new housemaid is busy working; my kids
are also busy working. Anyone who brings up his or her children to sit
back while a housemaid does all the work is treading a wrong path.
What areas in child upbringing do you think parents are missing out?
lot of times, it may not be their fault but they are missing a vital
part which is in talking with their children and forming their habits in
the proper way. Many children firm their habits based on what they see
on TV and outside influences. Some parents do not take time to access
their children’s academic work. However, I am not a perfect father. I am
still learning in the game.