Legendary comic-actor, John Ikechukwu Okafor popularly known as Mr Ibu speaks on fatherhood and how marital crises shaped his decision and remoulded him for good.
Speaking to The Punch in a recent interview, the actor highlighted the responsibilities that come with being a father and the head of the family.
According to him, he was a careless father at first but retraced his steps and changed for good.
Mr Ibu further revealed that two of his wives left after having a child each for him and made it clear to him that they left because he didn’t have money. This however made him double his efforts in order not to be looked down on again.
In his words:
“When you are young and single it is a big difference from being a married man, and a bigger difference when you start to have children. When you have babies, you are becoming a man, and when you are becoming a man, you are thinking big. There were certain things I wouldn’t do that I do now, because I am the head of my family and family comes first. Also, my children look up to me, learn from me and emulate me.
I have to show them that I am responsible, so that they can be proud of who I am. God says you should nurture them, provide for them and that is what I do. Fatherhood makes you a responsible person. We have fathers who are responsible and there are others who are irresponsible and careless.
When I started my journey into fatherhood, I was a careless father, but by God’s grace I was able to retrace my steps, build up myself and today I am proudly a responsible father. If you are a careless father, who doesn’t care for his children, who doesn’t have love for his and family, who doesn’t have love and passion for building a home, such a person is not a man. I have been able to live up to my responsibilities as a father by providing for my family and making sure they never lack.
You have to build confidence in yourself. You learn everyday as a father, and I never miss any opportunity to learn everyday and this makes me a better parent.
I have people who learn from me and I teach them how to build a home even though I had some ups and downs in the course of trying to build a home. My first and second marriages failed; they (my wives) left me after having a child each for me.
I wondered what made them make such decisions and they made me know that it was because I didn’t have money. This made me know that I have to be able to keep my family and provide for them and make sure that they are satisfied and not have any reason to look down on me.”