NMA President, Faduyile speak on his experience as a father at 26

How would you describe fatherhood ?

I would describe fatherhood in one word and that is, sacrifice . A father is someone who sacrifices for the home , wife , children and even for his parents.

When did you become a father?

I became a father when I was 26 years; I had my first daughter then.
Do you think that was early?

No, I don’ t think so . One of my childhood idiosyncrasies was that I wanted to finish having children by the time I was 30 years.

When a man can take care of himself, his wife and he is responsible , then I think he is mature enough to be a father .

I got married to my wife in an official way and not that I impregnated her .

In my own opinion, I think it is a bit late to start having children at 30.

Did you nurse any fears before you became a father?

No, I think I prepared myself long enough .

I knew what I wanted in my life . I think I enjoyed being responsible too early .

When my peers were jumping up and down on the street , I was already taking care of a home .

The good thing about early marriage is that by the time one is 50 to 55 years, one will be free from raising children .

The children will be old enough to take care of themselves and one would have enough time to take care of oneself and develop oneself .

Unlike when you are still 65 years and still having the burden of raising children .

Marrying early has its disadvantages as the man sometimes might not be mature enough and would still want to still ‘ play outside ’ and might not take care of the home .

How did you meet your wife ?

I met her when I was in final year at the College of Medicine , University of Lagos .

We met through a friend , and then we became friends and started dating.

By the time I was doing housemanship, we became serious and married later during my service year .

Did you have a preferred gender before the birth of your first child?

Sincerely, I didn ’ t but deep inside me , I wanted to have four boys .

God gave me two boys and two girls .
Why did you want to have boys?

Having female children demands much more responsibility .

You must have an eagle eye to raise female children .

You need to keep them under watch all the time .

One wouldn’ t want them to be violated or anybody to take advantage of them.

Even when they get to marriageable age , one wouldn’ t want them to be caught in the web of a swindler .

Raising female children demands lots of responsibility unlike the boys ; one can use iron hands on them and they will comply .

What has been your experience since you have two boys and two girls ?

The boys are great and the girls are also lovable .

I would say I am a balanced man .

I have the two gender and they are giving me lots of joy and happiness.

I would say it is the Lord ’ s doing and I am happy about it .

Were you in the labour room with your wife during the birth of any of your children?

I was in the labour room during the birth of my second child who is my first son .

During the birth of the first child , I was around but not in the labour room.

It was during my service year and I just returned from Kaduna when she went into labour . For the third and fourth, I wasn’ t around .

How was the experience being in the labour room with your wife ?

I saw it as normal delivery .

One thing we shouldn ’ t do is for doctor to attend to their own relations.

There was no way I would be in the labour room and not get emotional looking at my wife going through pains.

When the baby came out , I was happy . It was an emotional moment as well as joyous for me .

How did you feel when your first child was born ?

I was on the hospital premises , only that I wasn ’ t in the labour room.

There were many things on my mind when my wife was going through labour .

After she gave birth , I saw the baby crying and I was joyful .

It’ s not a feeling that can be described seeing that one produces one’ s semblance .

What values did you learn from your father , which you are instilling into your children ?

My father is patience personified ; I have learnt to be patience through him .

He is also a disciplinarian who doesn ’ t talk too much.

He passes message through body language and gesture and that I have also trained my children in.

My father doesn’ t encourage children to eat pastries , desserts and the rest.

I have also taught them to avoid it .
Most importantly , my father taught me to make decisions independently .

I have taught my children that too. I taught them to lookout for the pros and cons of any situation and make right decisions from them .

Is any of your children following in your career path ?

My first daughter wanted to be a doctor but she changed her course when she had to change her location .

The second child wants to be an engineer and the other desires law and the last one has yet to get to the university .

I can ’ t boldly say I have a child who wants to take up my profession .

How does that make you feel?

It’ s a mixed feeling. On one part, I feel that I have not been a good role model because if I am , they should want to emulate me and practise my profession .

However , I feel that the world is revolving and it is not a straight decision that they must be like me .

I gave them options to make decisions; mine is to guide them to ensure they are successful in their chosen paths .

How do you celebrate them when they do things that make you proud ?

We organise small parties. I take them out and we talk deeply .

Generally , I don’ t talk too much but whenever they make me proud, I talk to them about many things and life .

Do you talk to them about relationship ?

Yes , especially my first child . She is 21 now ; so , I talk to her about all phases of life and all. But I try to push the mother to do the talking with her .

With the boys , I talk directly with them .

How do you correct them when they err?

When they were younger , I used to beat them on a few occasions but I rarely do now .

What I do mostly is that I don’ t talk to them .

Once I don’ t talk to them, they will apologise .

What has fatherhood taken from you ?
I think because I became a father early enough , it denied me playing around like many of my friends .

I wouldn’ t say it denied me of anything ; just that it made me more responsible early enough and kept me focus.

What has been your challenge as a doctor , NMA president and a father?

As a medical doctor, I could remember when we were to have our second child .

I was on call that day and they came to pick me at 9 pm .

I didn’ t return till 6 am after I carried out two or three surgeries.

By the time I was home , my wife was in labour .

I took her to the hospital and in less than two hours, she had given birth .

The whole thing took my time that I didn’ t have enough time to stay with her while she was going through labour pains.

The job is time – consuming and one won ’ t have enough time to stay with the family .

As NMA president , it increased the number of time I have to be away from home .

The good thing is that my children are grown enough to understand the work and I talk to them about it .

I remember when I was contesting a position in politics .

I sat them down and explained to them that I was going to be contesting and it would take money ; so , they have to bear with me and they understood.

Whenever there was no provision in the house and any one of them wanted to talk, others would quickly tell him or her daddy was contesting election .

Were they disappointed when you didn’ t win the election ?

Yes , they were disappointed but I told them that in life , one wins and loses.

It is a show of strength when one can accept if one loses.

They have imbibed the culture of winning and losing . In fact , they have become my greatest fans .

I contested twice which I lost and they took it in good faith . In 2011, I contested a seat in the Ondo State House of Assembly and later in the House of Representatives .

What can NMA do about the issue of doctors leaving the country in droves?

It is rather unfortunate that we have found ourselves in this situation.

The NMA has been doing all it can to make doctors stay in the country but the government is paying lip service to that .

We told the government the importance of making the country liveable for people , but it has continued to turn a deaf ear to it .

Until the government does what is necessary , we might not be able to do anything to the situation. In fact , these days , it looks like the situation is getting worse.

The effect of that cannot be overstretched.

We have a high mortality rate and life expectancy in Nigerian is one of the lowest even among contemporary countries .

Our healthcare system is bad and we are not even bothered about it .

The few doctors remaining at home are not well taken care off .

Imagine some states owing doctors 13 to 15 months . If such people get access to travel out of the country, won ’ t they do so ?

We cannot stop such people from leaving .

What is your advice to fathers to -be ?

Getting married is not a tea party .

They must be responsible .

Getting married is not a day party .

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