Name: Godlove Ngwafusi
Occupation: Information Expert
How many children do you have?
How old were you when you first became a father?
How would you rank your relationship with your father?
5 out of 5
Briefly describe the relationship with your father.
Excellent, interactive relationship with a father who doted on me, and was extremely proud of our father-son dynamics, which he frequently referred to as a 'brotherhood'.
My father frequently told me that I was not only a son to him, but that I was more like a brother to him.
He respected me and everything I did and said, and went out of his way to anticipate my needs and wants, and try to fulfill them.
I fondly remember my toddler days with him, how I would sit on his knee and follow every page of the newspaper as he read, looking for the letters I recognized.
He was a teaching headmaster all his life, and I enjoyed walking in on his classes. He accommodated my curiosity, which he built into some classroom lesson plans.
As an example, I'd asked about the size of the men and women who talked and sang inside our radio receiver, believing that actual, miniature humans inhabited that sound box. He took the radio to school, opened it up, and let the class observe the mechanics of a functional radio receiver.
He truly believed that I could achieve anything and everything I set my mind to, and dutifully provided all the equipment and props and let my mind roam without trying to impose anything on me. It is because of this that I was able to experiment a lot as a kid, wiring our rural home, building and launching mini rockets in an African village, etc.
Although he couldn't speak French, he followed the publisher reviews and brought me popular French books.
When the time came to send me off to a distant high school, he actually leased a chauffeured car to take me there, not squeezed into over-loaded rickety public transportation. My new peers definitely noticed, and gave me respect.
This, and his visits to bring me money, which I didn't need, and his interactions with staff (most other parents never showed up at school) greatly influenced the high level of self-confidence which I have exhibited all my life.
How has this shaped the relationship with your children?
I cruised into fatherhood with excited anticipation. The immense joy I experienced growing up translated into a joyful partnership with my kids. In fact, my children became my priority number one, and I have not hesitated one bit to drop everything else as I focused on their upbringing.
Interestingly, I've observed that I'm becoming a surrogate parent as it were to my kids' friends. There is a strong bond of love between me and my kids, and we do not hesitate to show it. I never really stopped to think about my devotion to my kids as a product of my own upbringing, but now that I am thinking about it, I can clearly see the linearity between the two.
What do you enjoy the most about being a dad?
Dad. That has an obvious, nice, fulfilling ring to it, doesn't it?
I enjoy every aspect of fatherhood. The nursing, the nurturing, daily interactions...Being a single dad has added a special, bonding cachet to it all.
The joy of watching your offspring evolve.
The joy of daily participation with anticipation.
The hours on the road, together, travelling to distant hockey and soccer tournaments around the continent...Just daddy with the boys and girls.
The joy of rushing off work, at lunchtime, to go serve hot lunches to a classroom full of kids who yearn and crave the involvement of a male role model.
The ultimate joy of witnessing your own coronation, by your kids, who proudly proclaim you as their 'superhero', do-it-all number one dad in the world!
I especially revel in the knowledge of seeing the torch of responsible fatherhood so nicely passed onto the next generation.